Peloponnese, Greece

Situated 90 minutes away from Athens, Peloponesse is a region at the southern point of Greece. As a peninsula it is barely attached to the mainland, but is often called an island as well. Travelers can drive to Peloponnese from Athens by traversing the Corinth Canal, or connect via the Rio Bridge from the eastern mainland.

The landscape of Peloponnese is dotted with Venetian castles, Byzantine citadels, Golden Age temples, Greek Orthodox churches, and Mycenaean domes. The region also has plenty of pristine beaches and sparkling waters, but offers seclusion and more serenity with fewer crowds than the well-known Greek tourist spots. Peloponnese’s ancient sites and natural beauty allow for tranquil explorations away from sightseeing tours. This makes this magical region a welcome destination for vacationers looking for an alternative to the hustle and bustle of Athens and the popular Greek Isles.Koroni Castle, Peloponnese, GreeceOne of the most recognizable and historically significant places is Olympia. Visiting this site of the first Olympic Games is an important part of the itinerary. Olympia also houses a museum that includes regional findings and exhibits. In addition, Epidaurus, Mystra, Mycenae, Nafplio, Mani, and Messinia all offer different vacation experiences with visually stunning scenes of Greece’s glorious history.The Ancient Theater of Epidaurus is still one of the most recognized open-air marvels. If traveling here during spring, you can experience re-enactments of classic Greek theatre performances during the annual Epidaurus Festival.

Originally constructed as a secular shelter, the well-preserved ruins of Mystra with its unassailable castle and inspiring churches are a viable reminder of the Byzantine Empire’s architectural and artistic marvels. Mycenae is another historically significant relic dating back to the Byzantine era. You will need to dress in sturdy hiking gear, but following ancient footsteps through the Lion Gate on the way to the Mycenaean Acropolis and the Tomb of Agamemnon are worth it.

Nafplio, once regarded as the center of ancient Greece, is a cheerful city with pictorial streets winding among neoclassic buildings, Venetian castles, mosques, Turkish fountains, and outdoor cafes. Highlights include Constitution Square, the Venetian fortress of Palamidi, and the fortified islet of Bourtzi.

The centrally located region of Mani has lots of Frankish castles, Byzantine churches, and buildings reminiscent of the Ottoman occupational period. Since Mani has an independent and isolated aspect, even by Peloponnese standards, this distinct society developed its own traditions and architectural style.

Situated at the extreme southwest of Peloponnese, the Messinia region is a beach lover’s paradise. You can take your pick from sandy, pebbly, and rocky beaches. The most popular areas in Messinia are Kalamata, Koroni, Methoni, Pylos, Filiatra, and Kiparissia. However, anyone can discover hidden areas for swimming, diving, and sunbathing pleasures.

Peloponnese, like the rest of Greece, is sparsely populated with a well-developed road system. This makes car or bus travel uncomplicated. Renting a car is a favorite travel method and allows for effortless exploration of Peloponnese’s natural beauty.


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