THE NEXT STEP
The now historic Epidaurus Agritourism Exhibition is already 25 years old and has contributed a lot to the place.
From this year, the exhibition is being upgraded and is redefining its identity, offering many different activities to visitors and the opportunity to wander, discover, taste, learn, be entertained, meet the local people, and finally live an authentic experience in the Epidaurian land.
This new identity, a holistic and participatory approach to highlighting the natural and cultural heritage of the region, inspired by the ancient religious tradition of health and healing, marks the transition from the established Epidaurus Agritourism Exhibition to the “Epidavros Vioma“.
* Vioma (Greek word): An experience gained when one has experienced or lived an important or defining event personally. According to Bakhtin (1993), the concept of lived experience is related to the unique nature of each situation, with “the once-occurrent event of being”.
Vioma is beyond a simple experience.
Culture, history, theatre, antiquity, memory, community, sustainability, well-being, health.
FROM AN "AGROTOURISM EXHIBITION" TO "EPIDAVROS VIOMA"
The evolution in the new format aims to engage visitors in a holistic experience of tours, tastings, alternative activities, artistic events, entertainment, knowledge and well-being, discovering the diverse characteristics of the area, not as mere visitors or tourists but as parts of this sacred place. This opportunity aims to “re-discover” this place of well-being, euphoria and well-being, in connection with the natural and cultural environment.
VIOMA IS...VISIT TO ASKLEPIION
This unique archaeological site features the temple of Asklepios and the facilities of his healing center: the seat of the ancient physician god and the most important healing center of the entire Greek and Roman world.
Looking back at the history of the place, we learn that the cult of health was born in Asklepiion in the 6th century BC in an effort of devotional renewal and reformation. Here was the transition from the magical, religious stage and the worship of chthonic nature deities to the foundation of scientific medicine.
As a place of wellness and well-being in ancient times, Epidaurus gave the impetus for the organization of sports competitions, religious and cultural events, but also dramatic performances with the construction of the theater, the art of which exerted and still exerts a huge influence on mental health, something rediscovered by modern drama therapy.
VIOMA IS...watching a performance in the ancient theater
Epidaurus is mainly known for its ancient theater, which was built by the architect Polykleitos on the slope of Kynortios mountain, near Lygourio, in two phases: the first around the end of the 4th century BC and the second in the middle 2nd century BC.
The theater of Epidaurus, one of the most important ancient theaters in the world, is considered the most perfect theater structure of antiquity, thanks to the harmony of its proportions, the symmetry of its parts and its excellent acoustics. It is a pole of attraction for a large number of Greek and foreign visitors and is used for the presentation of ancient drama performances as well as some important musical events.
Also important is the Small Theater of Old Epidaurus, on the “Island” peninsula, in the acropolis of ancient Epidaurus. Its construction began in the 4th century BC and continued into Hellenistic and later Roman times. Dedicated to the god Dionysus, the theater had an initial capacity of 2,000 spectators, while today it has 1,000 seats. Its existence was discovered in 1970 and the excavations continued until 1989.
The first performance in the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, the tragedy Electra by Sophocles, was staged in 1938. After the 2nd world war, in 1954, the theatrical performances began as part of the organized festival, while in the Small Theater of Epidaurus they started in 1998. Today, every summer there are events in the two theaters of Epidaurus, as part of the Athens Epidaurus Festival.
VIOMA IS...exploring the natural landscape and alternative activities
In Epidaurus, visitors have the opportunity to walk the paths of Pausanias and cross the first arched bridge in Europe (Arkadic or Kazarmas bridge). With the help of local community members and producers participating in the agritourism exhibition, visitors can create ceramic structures and herbal cosmetics using local materials and do herb collection. For those who love alternative activities, we recommend walking and cycling routes on the paths of Epidaurus land, boat trips for fishing lessons, canoe kayaks on sea routes, diving in the sunken town of Epidaurus and yoga lessons in the open air!
“Vioma” is to get to know in depth the nature, the landscapes, and the people of Epidaurian land, through many experiential activities.
VIOMA IS...gastronomy and well-being
From the 2nd millennium BC, in the early era of the sanctuary of Epidaurus, the faithful sought health in a purely magical way: using water from the nearby springs, they were first purified, in preparation for the main ritual, which was the common meal with the god. After the sacrifice on an open-air altar, a banquet followed in which the god was invited to take part, offering him a piece of the flesh of the sacrificial victims, while the rest was consumed with wine. This process was called theoxenia, i.e. hosting the imaginably present god, initially Apollo and finally Asclepius, and it was a kind of partaking and gaining animal power by eating the divine food.
Today, the local products of the Epidaurus land and sea are the protagonists in the exploration and enjoyment of the local gastronomy, in the events and tastings and in the local cooking and pastry classes. Visitors are invited to learn how the excellent local PDO olive oil and the Manaki variety olives are produced and to taste them in olive mill tastings and in their meals, to tour orange groves collecting excellent oranges but also to taste the special orange pies, to pick aromatic plants, to taste the famous cheeses of Tracheia, sourdough bread from a wood-fired oven, fine honey from producers with passion, vegetables from outdoor vegetable gardens, cured meat products from local pork, fresh seafood, homemade sweets, pasta, pickles and even Aloe vera juice! The traditional tavernas with flowery courtyards and home-made food are there, participating in the “Vioma” of tasting local products and recipes, ending in a modern “common meal“.
VIOMA IS...a holistic experience of Epidaurus
In the land of Apollo and Asclepius | “Vioma” is a modern message taken from the historical past of Epidaurus, where healing was combined with entertainment and theater, in other words healing was coming through the psychosomatic and spiritual approach.
Here | In the place where alternative and experiential tourism meets agritourism and culture, where the visit becomes an experience and the experience a Vioma.
Here | Where the timeless is everyday.