A famous, sacred land
Ancient Epidaurus, famous for its theaters, has a long and great history, accompanied with a uniquely beautiful nature. Explore with us renowned monuments and historical landmarks, secret trails & routes, as grouped in daily excursions to accompany your vacation with us.
Photo: Epidavros, Greece. View on Mount Kynortion (Profitis Ilias). By Schuppi, CC BY-SA 4.0
Long and renowned history
Ancient Epidaurus is a village of the Argolida Prefecture, located east, on the shores of the Saronic Gulf. It is built upon the narrow bay that constitutes its harbor, with a small plain abundant in orange trees at its very end. Epidaurus owes its name to its third ruler, who was also a hero of the city, Epidaurus, son of Argos and Evadni. According to Homer, Epidaurus fought in the Trojan War and his leaders were Podalirius and Machaon, sons of Asclepius. The city participated in the Median Wars and was an ally of the Spartans in the Peloponnesian War. The city became famous all over Greece due to its Asklepieion, one of the greatest in ancient times, with its temple of Asclepius and the renowned ancient theatre, 15 km from the city.
Ancient Epidaurus is scattered with antiquities, as the ancient city of Epidaurus was located right where the modern village now stands. From the ancient city of Epidaurus remains the Small Theatre, located on the Nisi peninsula. The theatre is dedicated to the god Dionysus and its construction is estimated around the 4th century B.C. according to inscriptions. 23 centuries later, in 1971, excavations in the area began, and even today works are being carried out to conclude its restoration.
Next to the theatre, in the sea around the Nisi peninsula, there are remains of the ancient city, which archaeologists have not yet brought to light.
On the highest point of the peninsula, in the church yard of Panagia (“Panagitsa of the island”, as locals call it), the remains of the ancient city castle can be clearly seen.
Right across the Small Theatre of Epidaurus there is a Mycenaean cemetery with seven domed tombs (tholos tombs), while in close vicinity we can see the remains of the Ancient Temple of Artemis, accessed from a path connected with the small country road from Corinth to the Theatre.
Around us & Points of interest
Photo: Epidauros, Ancient Theater. By Hansueli Krapf, CC BY-SA 3.0
Asklipieio Epidaurus / Small Ancient Theater of Epidavros 2km-15km.
Byzantine monuments of Epidaurus 7km – 25km.
Mycenae / Argos / Ancient Tiryns 40 km.
Nafplio / Archaeological Museum 35 km
Ancient Corinth / Ancient Nemea 55 km
Athens 120 km
Olympia / Temple of Epicureus Apollo 235km
Mystras / Ancient Messina 250 km
Athens & Epidaurus Festival
In the Ancient Theater of Asklepieion Epidaurus after the first performance in 1938 (Electra of Sophocles) and the establishment of the festival in 1954, the “Epidaurus” revives continuously every year. The Festival is taking place at the Ancient Theater of Asklepieion and the small the Ancient Theater of Epidavros. The program is available at the Greek Festival. Should you need from us to arrange your ticketing for one of the events of the Festval, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Holy Monastery of Kalamio
If you come to our place during the Easter or Christmas season, let your spirit travel and pray with the melodic female voices of the monks at the Holy Monastery of Kalamio.
* Most of Epidaurus is covered by olive groves, orange groves and short-lived forests, as well as the beautiful pine forest that ends up in the sea.
* Visit the Natural History Museum located in Lygourio, 2 km from the Epidaurus Theater. Its collections are considered unique in Greece and one of the richest in Europe. The collection of the Epidaurus ammonites, which characterizes the museum, is considered to be the fullest of the world. www.museum-kotsiomitis.gr
* The Methana Mountain, at the side of the currently inactive volcano with delimited routes will reward you. Distance from Yialasi is approx. 35 km.
* Dimitsana – Stemnitsa, approx 180 km from the hotel
Kostas & Panayiota, owners of Yialasi Hotel and residents of Ancient Epidavros, recommend you fascinating daily excursions that you can include in your itinerary, while staying with us.
Photo: Epidavros, Greece. View of the archeological site. By Jean Housen, CC BY-SA 4.0
Asklepieion of Epidaurus
Visit the Archaeological site of the Asklepieion Epidaurus. After touring the site, continue following the old road to Nafplio that passes through Lygourio and you will meet the ancient Mycenaean bridge, which is worth for a short break. Then, Mycenae and then Nafplion for a relaxing walking and food. Return to the Ancient Epidaurus in the afternoon and dive into the sunken ancient city for a unique experience. A beautiful little (500m length) night walk on the enlightened path from the harbor of Ancient Epidaurus to the small Ancient Theater will be memorable.
Byzantine Monuments of Epidaurus
Continue your journey to the village of Adami to Lygourio. At the central point of the settlement stands the important Byzantine church of St. John the Eleimona (12th century AD.) Climb up to the upper neighborhood of the village and next to the Town Hall you will meet the church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, a building of Venetian domination (1685-1785 AD) with interesting frescoes. Continue the road after the square on your left and search for Agia Marina (17th century AD). A few meters before, you may see on your left hand the Pyramid of Lygourio. Only its base is preserved. Pausanias refers to it as a small fortress for military guards.
Continuing your excursion to New Epidaurus-Demina in 4km. you will meet on your right hand the holy temple of St. John the Theologian (11th century AD). Your next stop, 5km. away, is the thriving women’s Monastery of Pammegiston Taxiarchon (15th century A.D.). A little further down, 4 km on the national road to Athens, you will meet on your right the oldest monastery (of 11th century AD.) whose walls are decorated with amazing hagiographies while its iconostasis is three hundred years old. Returning to Ancient Epidaurus 800 meters before the first entrance of the village, on the national grid, turn left on the dirt road (before the AVIN Gas Station) and at 2 km you will find yourself on a deserted beach with pine trees and olive trees, called Polemarcha (the homonymous Monastery of Panagia 14th century AD.). Very famous is also the Avgou Monastery 11th century AD. in the area of Pelei. You may reach it after the Koliaki and Trahia villages.
Ancient Tiryns, Byzantine Museum of Argos, "Koronioti" &"Skoura" wineries
Visit the Ancient Tiryns, then the Byzantine Museum of Argos and the “Koronioti” or “Skoura” winery.Departure to Nafplion and visit the Palamidi Castle as well as the Archaeological museum. After having a coffee at the Syntagma Square, next to the museum, you may return to Epidaurus early in the afternoon through the Tolo-Drepano-Kantia route enjoying a swim and or a lunch in spectacular beaches in the area. Arrival at the hotel early evening. Enjoy a night swim at the hotel’s pool and dinner at the garden accompanied with outdoor candles.
Drive east with destination to Hydra. By arriving at Metochi, park your car in the public parking area or at the private one (costing around 5 euros) and take a sea taxi, which operates routes every hour or so. Travel across to Hydra at a cost of around 7 euros per person. Swim by the rocks, enjoying at the same time the wild beauty of nature and the aesthetics of modern times. Walk on the old harbor and climb to its upper neighborhoods, finding them full of plants and people. Keep in mind that the area is free of cars.
Poros - Methana
This a quick and easy trip. Arriving in Galatas, take the ferry in order to have the car (recommended) with you and go round the island and swim in one of its many beautiful beaches. On the way back, turn right for Methana, famous town for its baths. However, we would suggest that you go through the city to climb the volcano and stop a little in the village of ‘Kammeni’ to see the color of the earth: lava. Not far away, the small village Vathi is proposed for lunch early in the afternoon. From there your return to the hotel will take approximately 40 minutes.
Departing from the hotel and passing through the villages of Koliaki you may taste olive oil in the olive oil factory of ” Bekas”, cheese at Katsouli cheese factory and Trachia (croutons) in the traditional bakery called Tzanetos. Later, you will see a small label “Pelei” and you must continue for approx. 2km until you come across a chapel, the Holy Monastery of Avgou. Do not hesitate to step in and see the little church with the “stolen” columns from the Asklepieion site. Climb up to the top of the roof to admire the ascetic cave and of course the view of the Iria bay. Return to the main road and drive to ”Kosta ” where you may leave your car and use the small boats to reach ”Spetses” island. Look for the beach of Agii Anargyri and the cave of Bekiris known for its natural beauty and historical significance (impressive stalagmites with a sandy beach at the bottom of the cave).
Athens & Peloponnese
Athens - Acropolis - Acropolis Museum, National Archaeological Museum
Starting in the morning with your car after driving about 1:30 hrs you will arrive at a parking lot in the center of Athens close to Thisseio (easy access – ask us for details). Starting from Thisseio , walk and enjoy the path to the Acropolis, get off at the Acropolis Museum, enjoy a meal in Plaka. If you have time, take the metro for the National Archaeological Museum and return to Thisseio to drive back to Epidavros. After doing so, stop for a swim at Kalamaki beach next to the port of Epidaurus in the pine forest where the “sun sets later” than all the other parts of the area.
Relax on the balcony of your room or in the hotel’s courtyard and look out onto the horizon where the city of Athens lights!
Morning Departure to Ancient Nemea, visit to one of the famous wineries of the area (we recommend the Papaioannou one). Do not forget to taste the famous local wine and then head to the Ancient Corinth. On your return to Epidaurus enjoy a swim and try a tasty meal at the restaurant “Kavos” in Isthmia or alternatively in the picturesque Korfo village. Return to Epidavros late afternoon.
Olympia, The Temple of Epicurean Apollo
Here begins a more demanding journey in terms of duration (driving for approx. 2.5 hours) but worth it. We suggest you take the route from the mountains of Arcadia, passing through the villages of our ancestors. Stop for a Greek coffee in Lagadia and then descend to the plains of Ilia, ending up in Ancient Olympia. In case of tiredness, return from Olympia Street that connects the archaeological site with Corinth and Athens, otherwise head to Andritsaina and then to Vasson area. There you will enjoy the Temple of Epicurean Apollo, the work of Iktinos, architect of the Parthenon. Departing head towards Megalopolis and the motorway of Kalamata – Tripoli and within two hours you will be in the courtyard of our hotel enjoying an evening bath in our pool.
Mystras - Ancient Messini
An additional demanding journey (about 2.5-hour drive) but equally important and admirable. Starting in the morning drive to the Corinth –Tripolis motorway through Argos. Head to Sparta and very close to Sparta you will reach Mystras, the Byzantine capital of the Peloponnese for at least two centuries. Continuing your journey head west to the destination of Ancient Messini, built in the 4th century B.C. with public buildings, temples, theater, stadium, cemetery and the finest findings of fortification architecture. Returning you will follow the Kalamata-Tripoli motorway.
Diakofto - Kalavrita toothed railroad
The track with the Diakofto – Kalavrita toothed railroad, a dream trip. Then visit the “Great Cave”, head to Dimitsana or Stemnitsa for a beautiful walk along with a tasty meal and return early in Epidaurus.
Hiking suggestions are indicative and are being distinguished in varying level of difficulty to choose the perfect one for you. If, however, at any point along the route you feel unable to continue do not hesitate to contact us to bring you back with our car.
Photo: Ancient Epidavros. By David Gavin, CC BY-SA 2.5
Hiking & walking
Epidavros - Hiking Route 1
Ancient Epidavros (hotel) – Agios Andreas – Ancient road (path) – Agia Anna (Tithio, Kynortio).
Transportation: Combination of car-trekking.
Purpose: The route will help you to get know the nature, the wild and the tranquility of the region, the ancient and newer monuments, as well as the history and mythology that connects them.
Duration: Car approximately 30 minutes. Hiking: about 3 hours.
From the hotel we take the old road of Ancient Epidavros Lygourio and after 5 kilometers, after passing the famous, “Minotis” bridge, we reach the ravine of Agios Andreas with the towering plane trees, laurels and myrtle trees. Above the ravine there is the chapel of St. Andrew.
In this area we must place the ancient Yrnithio, according to the traveler Pausanias, an area full of wild olives in antiquity, dedicated to Yrnitho, queen and wife of Diophontis, king of Epidaurus, who was killed there. Nowadays the area is a vast olive grove, while in the whole ravine there are ruined watermills because of the abundant waters in the past.
Here we leave the cars and take a smooth uphill path that follows the ancient road connecting the harbor and the city of Epidaurus with its Sanctuary, the Sanctuary of Asclepius. The path for about 3 kilometers, following the ravine, crosses an area of exceptional natural beauty and tranquility. Pine trees alternate with olive groves, and rich wild vegetation. The sun’s rays play with the foliage leaf’s, the birds welcome you with their chirping and the fragrances of nature sweep all the senses. Somewhere here in these coppices he set his traps for passers the mythological robber named Perifitis, who was exterminated by the hero Theseus.
Stepping out of the path, you walk about 800 meters on the asphalt to find the ravine of the ancient road, follow it and reach the Propylaia of the Sanctuary of Asclepius. On your right You will leave the archaeological site and you will follow the rural road that leads to Tithio (the mountain of breastfeeding) in the middle of which is the temple of Agia Anna and opposite the Sanctuary of Apollo of Maleata (not visitable).
As you ascend to the olive groves, you will see on your right on the Kynortio mountain the most preserved Ancient Theater in Greece, a little further up and left you will meet Heracle’s “Twist Olive” in the olive groves, while all the way to the right you will find traces of the ancient aqueduct that carried the medicinal water of Agia Anna to the baths of the Sanctuary, as well as a large open ancient reservoir. In a while, you will reach one of the hills of Tithius where the temple from which you will look to the west of the valley of the sanctuary, while on your left you will have the sanctuary of Apollo of Maleata, which flourished before the sanctuary of Asclepius.
The return will be just the counter router until the place you park the car in Agios Andreas unless someone parks the car to Agia Anna and returns to the hotel by the national road.
Epidavros - Hiking Route 2
Ancient Epidavros (hotel) – Top of Tithiou Mountain.
Transportation: Combination of car–trekking (climbing) Purpose: Getting to know the natural environment, the monuments and the relief of Epidaurus and the Εastern Αrgolida.
Duration: Car approximately 1 Hour. Hiking: about 3 hours
We depart by car from Ancient Epidavros (hotel) and follow the new road to Lygourio – Nafplio. At a distance of 8 km from the hotel and about 4 km from the theater of Epidaurus after an animal farm we turn left on a country road and continue for another 5 km until we reach the forest observatory. There we leave the car and take the path that opens to the east and we follow it to the top of Ai-Lia mountain, Tithius mountain in antiquity. Before we start climbing, we have at northeast an amazing view of the Epidaurus valley, with its vast vineyards in the past, and nowadays extensive olive groves and orange groves.
Straight the road leads to the thriving women’s monastery of Kalamion after passing through the “drakospili” which was the dragon’s cave with the “sphonteli”. The ascent to the mountain is moderately difficult but compensates for the excellent view that offers it to all the signs of the horizon. From the top the view is amazing. Surrounding you can see the whole of the Eastern Argolida with the plains, the mountains, the ravines, the crops, the villages. To the west lies the valley of Ligouri, overgrown with olive groves, with the sanctuaries of Apollo and Asclepius dominating and emphasizing with their presence, the greatness and the history of the area.
Your gaze stops in the waters of the Argolic Gulf and the castles of Nafplion. To the north, from Argolik gulf to Saroniko gulf stands the Arachneo mountain, “Sapiselaton” its ancient name, with its two peaks “Pano Tsuga” and “Ai-Lia”. This is where the last “beacon” ignited to bring to Mycenae the message of the victory of the Greeks in Troy. Here there were altars of Zeus and Hera, where the inhabitants sacrificed during periods of aridness. To the east, your gaze reaches the blue waters of the Saronic Gulf and plays hide and seek with the waves behind the islands that nature naturally sowed, Kyra,Phsili, Agistri, Aegina.
South the mountains, Ortholithi and Didimo complete the backbone of Ermionida. It is hard to leave the top, as the spectacle enchants you, the cool air brings you the sounds of the mountains, mixed with the scents of the shrubs and the ringing of the goats that graze freely, while the look is not soaked by the proud flying of the hawks!
Epidavros - Nearby walk
Enjoy the view, turn a candle on ‘Panagitsa’ and go back to the theater. Continue right on the small path to the harbor, pass by the fishing boats, in front of the restaurants and under Agios Nikolaos and before reaching Vagonia Beach turn left and walk along with the locals in the back of the village’s neighborhoods, observing their everyday life. The return to Yialasi will pass in front of the Laskaras bakeshop with the delicious candies and sweets while the stairs next to you will lead you to the Mycenaean tombs. Going down the ladder and 100 meters on the right, you walk up the tavern the “Klimata” with the exquisite stuffed vine leafs and the famous Greek cuisine and after 200 meters uphill you reach the church of Agios Theodoros.
Behind the church, the road uphill will take you to the temple of Artemis. Going down the main road to Yialassi and walking alongside the orange groves, you will meet the restaurant “Kalogerikon” shortly before the hotel. The wider area of Yialassi belonged during the Ottoman domination to the Holy Monastery of Taxiarches. This building was used as a warehouse and resting place for monks. It is worthwhile to taste their honest dishes from pure ingredients in an area with respect to its history. Of course, do not forget that the last part of the route is ‘uphill’. If you have difficulty, here we are!
Epidavros - Hiking & Swimming
In the first part of the route (1.5 km) from Kalamaki you will walk by the sea, discovering the area and the beach of Sarandakoupi. Then for another 3.5 km, passing through short vegetation, pine trees and listening to bells of sheep and goats you will find the beach of Polemarcha with its two distinct shores in the olive groves and pines and always with the discreet in the presence of the Holy Monastery of the Theotokos. Following an uphill route to Mount Akros and return to our starting point or to main road.
Epidavros - Paths of culture
Tour the selecting and signposting paths of Epidaurus and the surrounding areas following the maps.
More information there.
Hiking on Mount Arna
Starting with your car from the hotel, head to Ligourio from the old road (under the bridge continue straight) and in about 9 km on your left hand you will find the Byzantine chapel of Agios Ioannis theologos 15 century. There you will turn right and an asphalt road for about 2.5 km will lead you to Panagia Chrysospiliotissa, a chapel in the rock.
From there start an uphill course of about 1.5 km for the “Arna” mountain, which offers you nice alternate flat paths from 1 to 25 km with a low difficulty index. You can hike to the village of Arachnaio with the famous “Rozi” creamery or walk down at the village “Demina” and the historic monastery of Taxiarches.
Hiking on Mount Akros
The total route can be from 5 to 35 km. Alternatively, the destination may be the villages of Demina, New Epidaurus or Ano Epidavros.
At the port of Epidaurus there are two of the most organized diving centers in the Peloponnese, Epidive center & Scuba Blue Dream Epidavros. Contact them or ask us to organize a diving trip for you.
The possibility of renting a speedboat and exploring the opposite islands or remote beaches is also a great experience.
Ask us to organize an approximately three-hour boat trip with fishing boat, admire the view of Epidaurus from the sea, swim above the sunken city, reach Kokkinovrachos, take a dive in the deep dark green water of Pikiza, ‘and look for the wild boar on the rocks that are looking for greens. Alternatively try watching the nets fishing procedure.
If you have your own bicycles or use our own explore the wider area as shown for example as a walk. If you are more courageous cyclists starting from the hotel and heading to the old road of Ancient Epidaurus – Lygouriou you can ride about 26 km.
First stop in Ioannis Theologos church (11th century) continue for another 5 km and make your second stop at the ruins of Pyramid and the Sanctuary of Agia Marina (17th century). Descending for about 800m. until you reach the upper square of the old settlement make your third stop at Panagitsa (17th century) and continue downhill for another 800m. through the old neighborhoods of Lygourio, reaching the main road leading to the Ancient Theater and taking your fourth stop at Ag. John the Merciful (12th century). Return to the hotel from the new Theater-Arch. Epidaurus.
One such beach is that of Yιalasi which is 300 meters from the hotel. downhill from the hotel and reaching the beach (if you choose to do it by car, there is free parking) on its left side and for about 400 meters you will find an organized beach with cafeterias – restaurants, sun loungers. Then follow a piece of free beach with sand suitable for young children and at the end of this piece next to a small café-restaurant you will meet “Kalymnios” beach. There in front of the third mole you can simply admire a part of the sunken state of Epidaurus. Get masks (ask us at the front desk if you do not have yours) and live the experience. It is something to see!
The right side of the Yalasi beach, with its calm waters, drowned in the green and ideal for everyone, ends after about 500 meters on the rocks that formerly enjoyed in the in front of her countryhouse, Melina Mercouri and Zil Dassen. If you try to walk for about 400 meters the small path on the rocks will end up on the picturesque beach “Panagitsa”. The little church, dedicated to the Birth of the Virgin Mary, we all the few locals we live here for the past 160 years honored with our care and the our respect.This special house above the church was built in 1965 for behalf of the great pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy. The road to the rocks has its own story made by the architect Nikolaos Pitidis, which creates the first tourist complex on the rocks of the 1960s decate, which combined with the opening of the Greek festival, attracted various artistic personalities, some of which assigned him the construction of their own cottage.
To “Panagitsa” beach you can easily go by car too. Walking down the road you turn right and at the end of the route (about 800 meters) you are in the small parking of the church. Swim until “Kokkinovraho” and relax in the very small creeks. Also downhill from the hotel right away, visit our own small forest of various trees and plants of our family, which has been operating since 1976 as ” Camping Bekas ” and where you can enjoy the facilities. A small grocery store as well as a Greek restaurant can meet your needs.
Also, on the other side of the bay of the harbor, near the path leading to the Ancient Small Theater of Epidaurus, lies the “little island”, a small quiet beach that many locals choose late in the afternoon.
Starting from the hotel and heading to Athens, you just reach the Epidaurus-Korinthos motorway, approximately 2km away. passing in front of a gas station at 200 meters to the right there is an indication of ”Polemarcha Monastery” country road, but do not hesitate, continue for about 1.5 km. You will find the church and in front of it the right the beach of Polemarcha. The left (which we suggest) is not visible from the street. You should continue a little left after the church. Park and walk a bit to explore the place. It will reward you!
The village of Nea Epidavros, forgotten on the mountain, deserves some attention. Climbing through the narrow alleys of the village, you will meet the Byzantine and later Venetian castle (1205 century). Right beside the ruins, pray at the chapel of Ag. John the theologian (1710 century).
Candia -Condili - Tolo
The ”Kondili”, however, which is located in the intersection of the coastal route of Candia – Tolo (35 minutes from the hotel – Ligurio – Candia – kondili – Tolo) will perfectly cover your needs by combining the natural environment and amenities of an organized beach.
Go for food in Bathi of Methana (30 minutes) and go up to see the ”Kammeni ” next to the Methana Volcano. The daily recommended program can also be done in reverse.
South in 2 miles lit candle in “Krasopanagia”, a small chapel built with wine in the Methana cave. Follow the sunset late in the afternoon and reach safely at Yialassi. If you are lucky, watch the Dolphin dance in open sea.
What a Place!
❝It's a triumph. We can't recommend it highly enough.❞
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Perfect in every way
❝I would highly recommend this hotel to everyone.❞
Excellence in adverse times
❝The property is magnificent, the views stunning, rooms and amenities perfect, but what was most striking was the "extra mile", and rigor, the hotel management and staff did to address the situation by constantly cleaning stuff, behind the scene. ❞
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What a gem
❝We had the pleasure of staying two nights at the Yialasi hotel and it is nothing less than a WOW.❞
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We look forward to returning!
❝Charming and helpful owners and team. Lavish breakfast - more than we could eat. Breathtaking views from most places on the property Infinity pool. Excellent evening meals❞
❝We have just returned from spending 15 nights at the wonderful Yialasi. From arrival to departure, Kostas and all of his staff were just superb. ❞
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Absolutely gorgeous in every way.
❝We stayed here for 4 x nights at the start of our Peloponnese holiday & it was just beautiful. Lovely large room & bathroom & a large comfy bed. Sea view balcony overlooking the beautiful gardens. Perfect location, so peaceful & all the staff are lovely.❞
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There are hotels and hotels, but there is Yialasi hotel
❝Nature sounds, birds, wave sounds, flowers, swimming pool, breathtaking views from balconies and the stuff always there. ❞
Greek hospitality at its best!
❝Fantastic family operated Hotel, with great respect to the environment. The rooms are spacious and modern but with a touch of tradition. great view from all balconies. Thank you for the wonderful experience.❞
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❝We stayed at Hotel Yialasi on the recommendation of friends, and in turn cannot recommend this too highly.❞