The finest part of the Corinthian Isthmus region was chosen to dig the canal. Its construction is between 1881 and 1893. Its length is about 6,3 km and connects Corinthian Gulf and Saronic Gulf.
The Greeks jokingly call it "draining", it is really a very small water channel by modern standards: 6.5 km in length, 16.5 km in width and 8 meters in depth. However, besides saving 700 km around the Peloponnese, you don't need to climb the hard-to-reach hills in the south. The canal provides fast connection between the Aegean and the Ionian Sea, as well as shortening the route between the Adriatic Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
One of the features of the canal is the bridges that are available at two entrances and can be submerged by the motor power. Since the navigation technology was not developed during the years it was built, the 400 km sea route from the Peloponnese was very difficult and dangerous, and this channel's economic and security dimension increased considerably. With the advancement of navigation technology, this channel loses its importance day by day. It also supports this development at the following points:
- The width of the channel is only for small-sized ships today.
- The time gained thanks to powerful and fast ship engines makes the channel worthless.
- The major maintenance and repair work of this 114-year-old channel cannot be performed properly due to financial problems.
The canal is too narrow for large freighters, so it is used for tourism. Although the channel usage fee is high, a total of 50 ships from 15.000 different countries pass through the canal every year. Recently, work is underway to expand and deepen the canal so that ferries departing from the port of Piraeus can travel to popular destinations in the Ionian Islands and Italy. There are three bridges for vehicles and trains in the strait near ancient Corinth. There are two bridges that regulate the entrance and exit of the channel.
About 60 km away from Athens, the canal is a gateway station visited by millions of people every year. Visitors are watching the magnificent steep cliffs, the blue of the water, and of course taking pictures… and enjoying the cult souvlaki of the Bosphorus.