A day trip to the Ancient Theater of Thorikos from Athens

posted in: Ancient Greece, Athens | 0

Updated June 18th, 2022 by Travel the Greek Way

Ancient Theater of Thorikos, Evgenia sitting on the thetre
Me at the theater of Thorikos

The ancient theater of Thorikos is the oldest still existing stone theater in Greece, built at the end of the 6th century BC. Thorikos was an important ancient coastal city of the southeast Attica, which controlled the neighboring mines of Lavrio, from which lead and silver were mined in antiquity.

Other similar important coastal towns of Ancient Athenians were the Ramnous Fort and the Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon site. However, what is unique about the ancient theatre of Thorikos is that is not circular like the later ancient theatres, but ellipsoidal with a rectangular orchestra and 21 rows of seats.

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Nearby Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion

In this post we visit the ancient theater of Thorikos in a bit more detail, I provide information on how to get there from Athens and what are the other important sites that you shouldn’t miss. The idea is to make a great itinerary for an enjoyable trip from Athens.


Athens Quick Reference

Where to stay in Athens: Grande Bretagne (luxury), A77 Suites by Andronis (mid-range), A little Taste of Home Guest House(budget)

Heading to the Greek Islands from Athens? Book your ferry tickets in advance with no-hidden-fees FerryScanner or FerryHopper

Essential Things to Have for Athens Metro: An anti-theft design Backpack

Map of Athens Metro


How to Get to the Ancient Theater of Thorikos

The distance between Athens center (Acropolis) and the ancient Theater of Thorikos is 82 km. There are buses that can get you there please visit http://www.ktelattikis.gr/en/ for more info.

vouliagmeni lake in Athens Riviera
Vouliagmeni Lake in Athens Riviera

However, the best way to get to the ancient theater of Thorikos is through the Athens Riviera by private or RentalCar because that way you will get to see:

  • Every suburb, beach, and seaside resort of the beautiful Athens Riviera
  • You can stop at the Thermal Spa of Vouliagmeni Lake and have a swim or a cafe or have a fresh fish at Lambros restaurant right across from Lake (see Google map)
  • You can visit the stunning archaerological site of Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon. Drive from Cape Sounion for another 11.7 km and you get to the ancient theatre of Thorikos
  • After Thorikos drive in the same direction for another km until you find the industrial facilities of Ravazzo Lavrion on your right side. Park cross the road and start walking uphill to the Mycenean Acropolis and the 5 tombs there, see more details on the post.

The Ancient Theater of Thorikos

Ancient Theater of Thorikos
The ancient theater of Thorikos

The ancient theater of Thorikos was used not only for performances but also for the meetings of the citizens of the Demos (ancient Greek word still used and meaning ‘municipality’) with a capacity of 4,000 spectators. Nearby you will also see the remains of a silver mine and a wash plant that has been restored right next to the ancient theater.

Ancient Theater of Thorikos, entrance and parking space
Entrance to the theatre of Thorikoss

As soon as you get to the Thorikos site you can park right outside the entrance. This is not at all an organized historical site; it is free, and there are no staff there or booklets to buy. There is an information board that gives you a bit of an orientation.

Ancient Theater of Thorikos, information sign
Information board at Thorikos Site

When I visited, it was early March and it was quite chilly and windy. However, the plains around me were full of wildflowers which were so beautiful to walk past them.

Ancient Theater of Thorikos, wildflowers
Flowers at the right side of the entrance

And no surprise, a few kitties were about, I had some dry food – as always when I visit places around Greece – and they had a snack. I was told that they are neutered and the guards feed them, which was a relief.

Ancient Theater of Thorikos, stray cats
Snacking on an ancient rock ­čśÇ

As you walk the short distance from the entrance, you see on your right-hand side the theatre and on the left the remains of various sites.

Ancient Theater of Thorikos, looking at the theater

Right across from the theatre of Thorikos stands perhaps one of the oldest ore “washers” of the 6th century BC. The “washers” are special constructions of the ancient miners, to which the ores were transferred after mining, crushing, and sifting, for their enrichment.

Ancient Theater of Thorikos, the metal washer
The Washer. Photo: Huffpost Greece

In the plain south of the settlement, a large marble Doric building in the shape of a double stoa, of the 5th century BC, which has become known as the “Temple of Demeter and Daughter” from an inscription found in the area, is preserved.

Ancient Theater of Thorikos, temple of Demeter
Remains of the Temple of Demeter. Photo Wikimapia

The most famous Demeter Sanctuary is in Elefsina, one of the sacred ancient Greek cities where the Eleusinian Mysteries were taking place.

Ancient Theater of Thorikos, with wildflowers

In the background, Makronisos rises its rocks, defining the Aegean Sea. A ship with its stern to the north slowly crosses the narrow passage between Lavrio and Makronisos island. It is a really lovely spot to sit and watch the beautiful serene nature around you and the boats back and forth in the Aegean.

The Mycenean Tombs in Thorikos

Ancient Theater of Thorikos, Mycenean tombs paking area
The Ravazzo Lavrion where we parked right across

Traces of Mycenaean settlement have been discovered in the area, including five vaulted tombs belonging to the period 1600 – 1100 BC. On the eastern side of the hill of Thorikos is the largest vaulted tomb of the Mycenaean period and near the top of the hill are the ruins of the other tombs.

As mentioned, you park right across the industrial facilities and start walking uphill towards the Mycenean Tombs.

Ancient Theater of Thorikos, walking to the tombs
Towards the Tombs

The hill has a couple of points that are very steep but if you take your time, you can make it. However, if it is a very warm day it may be difficult to get to the top, there is absolutely no shade.

Mycenean Tomb in Thorikos

After 15 minutes of hiking, we reached the first Tomb.

After another 10-15 minutes you get to a small settlement and the second Mycenean tomb that really needs immediate attention from the authorities.

Ancient Theater of Thorikos, exterior of MYcenean tomb
Ancient Theater of Thorikos, Mycenean Tomb 2
The Second Tomb.
Ancient Theater of Thorikos, remains of Myceneaan settlement
Ancient Theater of Thorikos, top of the hill with the tombs
Top of the hill

There are 3 more tombs on the top of the hill but we didn’t make it as it started raining really heavily and had to rush back to the car. Next time I will go to the rest of the site, I promise!

Ancient Theater of Thorikos, Mycenean hill
The coastal Industry we parked and the peninsula of Agios Nikolaos

As we were running downhill I could see the neighboring peninsula of Agios Nikolaos with the small bays of Fragolimano and Porto Mantri. This was the port of ancient Thorikos, which was fortified during the Peloponnesian War (see Google map). It will be a nice stroll of the church and see what remains of the port today.

Where Best to Stay in Lavrio

Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon , Lavrio port with small fishing boats and Lavrio in the back
Lavrion town

If you decide to stay overnight at Lavrion and explore the beautiful area, then you can stay at NJ Apartments-Deluxe Edition which is conveniently central to Lavrion and has great facilities.

Lavrio and Rafina are the two smaller ports of Athens, with Pireaus being the largest one. There are ferries leaving from Lavrion to islands such as Kea, Kythnos, Folegandros, Ios, Milos, and more. Check out FerryScanner or FerryHopper to see which timetable suits you best from Lavrion and book your seat.

Sailing and Hiking Kea, Kythnos, Syros, and Serifos

Best Things to Do on Ios Island, yachting Ios
Sailing Greek Islands… a real bliss

Sail to the most unknown corners of the stunning Cyclades Islands such as Kea, Kythnos, Syros, and Serifos. Walk in the footsteps of the ancients along beautiful trails and visit ancient sites, chapels, remote beaches, and stunning natural scenery.

Check out availability and prices on the GetYourGuide website.

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Evgenia 
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