The account at Acts 18:18 relates that in Cenchreae Paul had his hair clipped because he had made a vow, and afterward he apparently sailed from Cenchreae to Ephesus accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila (in c. 52 C.E.). Writing to Rome about four years later, the apostle referred to “the congregation that is in Cenchreae.” Paul’s letter to the Romans may have been carried to its destination by Phoebe of the city of Cenchreae.
Cenchreae lay on the Saronic Gulf side of a narrow isthmus about 11 km (7 mi) E of Corinth, and was linked to that city by a chain of military fortifications. Cenchreae was Corinth’s port for points E of Greece, while Lechaeum, on the opposite side of the isthmus, served as Corinth’s port for Italy and the west. Ruins in the area today include buildings and breakwaters near the present village of Kechriais.