The Sanctuary of the Goddess Hera near Loutraki, Greece

For lovers of Greek mythology who are fans of Hera, they can swim at one of the sanctuaries dedicated to the goddess. The hidden cove is near Loutraki, a resort town an hour away from Athens, and aside from the ancient ruins the crystal blue water is the perfect spot to swim and relax.

The temple is not part of the tourist route so it is possible to visit without having to deal with throngs of people. The parking area is by the Melagavi Lighthouse of Korinthia and it's a short walk down the hill to the ruins of the sanctuary.

The view of the lighthouse from the water.

An apsidal cistern, part of a water system.

The sanctuary was founded at the beginning of the 8th century.

The site was excavated in 1933 and the archaeologists revealed three different levels that comprised the sanctuary. THe buildings are around the cove and extend up the hill overlooking the water. A small chapel dedicated to Saint John occupies part of the middle level.

The site also figures in Greek mythology with Medea in Jason and the Argonauts. It is believed that she buried her sons with Jason in the sanctuary before fleeing for Athens.

A visit to the sanctuary is a perfect day trip from Athens. There are other points of interest in the area such as the Lake Vouliagmeni, the thermal baths around Loutraki, and the wineries and vineyards of Nemea.