Peloponnese is the southern region of Greece’s mainland, in Peloponnese there are hundreds of villages, cities, museums, archaeological places, beaches, mountains which worth a visit. It is the place to see authentic Greek cities and villages and explore famous archaeological sites of Greece, including Olympia, Epidaurus and Mycenae. In the region you can find all kind of activities and accommodation for any budget. From sports and partying to relaxation and cultural activities, perhaps it is ideal for family holidays.
Peloponnese played a very important role in ancient Greek history. Sparta and Corinth, two very important ancient Greek cities are located in the region.
Ancient Messene is not a well-known archaeological city, but yet very interesting to visit. As it has just been recently brought to light, the visitor can still see the archaeologists working on the spot, ask questions and learn more about Ancient Messene. Various events take place there each year such as tedx events, theatre and other performances.
Ancient Olympia is the place, where Olympic games were born and took place in ancient Greece. This place has so much symbolism not only for Greece but also for all the globe, as from there the Olympic flame starts the journey each four years to reach the Olympic game’s host country. Various festivals take place in Ancient Olympia, so consult the website before visiting, as you might find something interesting.
Epidaurus theatre is the home Ancient Athenians is worth travelling to see drama and comedy performances. It is the place where some of the world’s most important playwrights such as Sophocles or Euripides first presented their plays. The acoustic of the theatre is unique and still impressive. If you are visiting during the days of Epidaurus festival, do not miss this once in a lifetime experience to see an ancient Greek play in the most important ancient Greek theatre.
Local towns of Peloponnese
Nauplio is the picturesque small city that is located in the northeast of Peloponnese. The narrow streets and colourful buildings give the visitor the impression of being in an island, but it is still in the mainland. Nauplio used to be the capital of Greece before Athens and has held an important role in recent Greek history. Above the city lays the medieval castle called Palamidi and just few meters far from the port the small island of Bourgi with a castle (which can be visited), makes the scenery unique.
Patras an active and vivid city with many cafes, bars and clubs. Don't miss the impressive bridge of Rio-Antirio which is located few kilometres away from the city centre and can be seen from locations. The city is well-known for the Carnival, which is the most most popular and loved in Greece, with a huge parade, countless parties and happenings until the morning Patra’s carnival is a great experience. The local sweet wine called “Mavrodafni” is delicious and if you are a wine lover do not miss it.
Kalamata is located in southern Peloponnese on the centre of Messinean gulf. Now it is one of the most visited places in Greece. There are a number of attractions and day trips to tourists to enjoy! The beach of Kalamata is one of the best beaches you can find in a city, and the night bars on the hill just next to Kalamata offer great ambiance, cocktails and view in the city. Well known is the International dance festival of Kalamata that takes place each July. Lastly, extreme sports enthusiasts will love to learn that Kalamata is ideal for Parapont and kite surfing activities.
Explore local beaches
It is very close to the village of Pylos, Voidokoilia beach is a magical landscape, unique for each shape, the white sand and the clean waters. Recognised from many guides as the one of the worlds best beaches Voidokilia is a must visit spot in Peloponnese . Climbing to the castle located next to the beach might be challenging with the heat, but the view from it is so breathtaking that you will not believe in your eyes.
Simos Beach, Elafonisos Island
This tiny island is located at the south of Laconia region in Peloponnese, just few minutes from the coast. The virgin beaches and landscapes of Elafonisos will leave you speechless. The most famous of all is certainly Simos beach.
Discover your paradise
It is impossible to name few more beaches because there are hundreds equally beautiful beaches - Kalogria, Kourouta, Lagouvardos, Kylini, Tyrou, Romanos. Just find your way to one of them and enjoy the little paradise you’ve discovered.
In the middle of the olive trees and vegetation you will not believe the natural gem hidden. Located in the middle of Messinia region, Polylimnio (meaning many lakes) is a paradisiac location with great blue waters that you can swim (warning, the water is very cold).
Taygetus is the highest mountain of Peloponnese, offering great hiking routes, superb landscapes and camping sites for nature lovers. Each 20th of August there are many hikers reaching the top of the mountain (around 2300 meters) and camp there until the morning. All hikers agree that the dawn from this mountain is magical and the Pyramid shaped on the sea from the peak of the mountain is a strange but very impressive phenomenon.
Corinth canal is not exactly a natural beauty as it is manmade, but it is an impressive site around 100 above water. There is also the possibility to try bungee jumping from the bridge above the canal; extreme sport’s fans say that is one of the best spots to try this crazy experience. This canal is separating Peloponnese from the rest of Greece, making it technically an island.
Local Greek villages
Monemvasia is built within the walls Monemvasia city is on an island very close to the coast and connected with it with a bridge. This village is a medieval beauty that will make you believe you are living in a different period or that you are at the sets of a movie. Hotels, houses and restaurants are located within the city’s walls. Monemvasia was also the home of one of Greece’s most famous writers named Yannis Ritsos.
Mani villages: located in the roots of Mt Taygetus these villages are unique for their beauty and stone made houses. Each one of them has it’s own charm and beauty; some are located in the mountain and some next to the beach offering a wide variety of landscapes. Kardamyli is a favourite destination as it is very cozy village, just next to the sea. The lifestyle there is relaxing and it is an ideal place for couples and families. In Kardamyli were the settings of the movie “Before midnight”.
Pick the time right
Tourists visit Peloponnese from May to September
Getting there and around
There are two International airports in Peloponnese (Kalamata and Patras), with many flights from all over Europe; Athens airport is also considerably close. Many busses also run through the region from all over Greece.
Renting a car will definitely allow you to see the most out of this huge region. The distances are quite big in some cases and having your own car will facilitate you in many ways. Of course there is reliable public transport, but in this way you will loose much more time travelling/ waiting for buses and more importantly you will not be able to reach every beach/site of the region you may want to.
- Be organized, the places worth seeing are too many, so choose the ones you prefer and get there on time. The distances are big and it will be a pity to miss a resort you would love to see just due to bad organization.