Porto Heli has a rich history stretching back to ancient Greece, yet has still managed to retain its small fishing village charm. With a vibrant restaurant and cafe scene, this is the ideal place to relax and eat really good food.
For those with an interest in ancient history there is much to investigate. Archeological surveys show that the area has been inhabited by humans since the Middle Paleolithic period, close to 50,000 years ago. Directly across the bay from the modern town, the ancient city of Halieis dates back to the 7th century B.C.
At its most powerful, around 500 BC, Halieis was a city enclosed by walls, accommodating around 2,500 residents in approximately 500 houses. Besides the Sanctuary of Apollo (currently underwater in the Bay of Halieis), the ancient city also had a stadium for athletic competitions, a mint that produced coins with the head of Apollo, an industrial site for the production of dyes, and an acropolis located on a strategic vantage point overlooking the harbor and Argolic Gulf.
Halieis was abandoned in 300 BC and resettled by the Romans and Byzantines between 400 and 600 AD. There are underwater ruins of Roman baths from the period that can be seen when the bay is calm.