Peloponnese: Greece beyond the obvious
World-renowned cultural monuments and archaeological sites, modern cities and picturesque villages, traditional settlements and castle towns, beautiful coasts and impressive mountains, forests, rivers, lakes and caves, monasteries, tasty local products, long lasting traditions and authentic people make up the unique puzzle of the Peloponnese region. A place that has everything, an ideal destination for all seasons, for vacation, activities, relaxation and meeting with Greek history and culture.
The Peloponnese Region is in southern Greece. It borders western Greece to the north and Attica to the north-east. It is a large, mountainous body of land jutting southward into the Mediterranean that since antiquity has been a major area of Greece, joined to the rest of mainland by the Isthmus of Corinth. Major cities are Kalamata, Tripoli, Korinthos, Argos, Sparta.
Step into the History
The region of Peloponnese is home to some of the most famous archaeological and historical monuments all over the world, offering unforgettable experiences through a unique journey in time. Visit the archaeological site of Mycenae, the kingdom of mythical Agamemnon. You will enter the acropolis through the legendary gate of the Lions and following the footsteps of Atreides, you will admire the Cyclopean Walls, the famous Treasure of Atreus, the vaulted tomb of Clytemnestra of around 1200 B.C. and many other monuments of that era when myth met history.
You should also visit the archaeological site of Ancient Messene and the temple of Apollo Epicurius that rises majestically within the sanctuary of Bassae in the mountains of Arkadia. It is one of the best-preserved monuments of antiquity and a fine example of classical Greek architecture.
Spectacular sites are also the ancient Corinth which was first inhabited in the Neolithic period (6500-3250 B.C.), ancient Mantineia in Arcadia, ancient Nemea and the acropolis of Tiryns in Argolis, a Mycenaean archaeological site with massive walls.
Of course, the top monuments include Ancient Olympia, the cradle of the Olympic Games and the ancient Theater of Epidaurus, famous for its architectural symmetry and the great acoustics, that even today offers unique cultural experiences.
Live the fairytale in magical Castle Towns
Travel back in time and enjoy unique walks in the enchanting Castle Towns of the region of Peloponnese, which stand still through the years. Visit Mystras, a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and be transported back to the glorious era of the Byzantine Empire. Its districts, the Castle, Mesochora and Exo Chora, include magnificent monuments, such as palaces, residences, churches, monasteries and a museum – they all compose beautiful setting and atmosphere.
In another enchanting Byzantine castle town, in Monemvasia, carved like a sculpture on the rock, time seems to have stood still for centuries. Stone houses, narrow cobbled streets and alleys create the ultimate live medieval picture. Here, you will also find boutique hotels and fine restaurants. You should taste the famous Malvasia wine and don't miss going up to Goula, a spot above the Castle, to enjoy the breathtaking view of the town. Visit also the impressive temple of Hagia Sophia which seems like floating between the rocks.
The whole region of Peloponnese is full with great castles. It is worth admiring Akrokorinthos in Corinth, one of the largest castles, as well as the castles of Koroni, Methoni and Pylos in Messenia and of course, the famous Palamidi in Nafplio.
Enjoy the Nature
With impressive mountains, beautiful forests, gorges, lakes and rivers, as well as beautiful coasts, the region of Peloponnese offers unique natural beauties, which you can experience either through sightseeing routes or through various activities in nature. Discover the peaks of mountainous Peloponnese by following the paths on Taygetos, the highest mountain range of the peninsula, and reach the peak of Prophet Elias with the church at 2,407 meters. Visit Mount Ziria or Kyllini, Lake Doxa with its alpine landscape and Lake Stymfalia, the mythical Mount Mainalo and the paths of Parnon following its gorges with the waterfalls, small lakes and caves amidst lush vegetation. Admire the rare beauty of the Greek fjord at Gerakas in Laconia, the lagoon of Gialova, a protected wetland with rare flora and fauna near the famous beach of Voidokolia in Messenia, walk the paths in the gorge of Lousios river, as well as the beautiful gorge of Neda with the impressive waterfalls that form natural lakes. Enjoy cycling routes in the exotic Elafonissos, explore the majestic cave of Diros, feel your adrenaline at the Leonidio Climbing Park, Kavo Malias and Lagada. It is also worth visiting Polylimnio, the "Blue Lake" of Messenia which surprises with its colors and beauty, as it is a complex of 15 small lakes and waterfalls along a total of 3 kilometers, creating a magical landscape.
Gastronomy & Local Products
Peloponnese is famous for its tasty food and high-quality local products. The unique wine, the virgin olive oil, the delicious cheeses, the citrus fruits are world famous. The olive oil of Messenia, wines of Nemea and Mantinea, olives Kalamon, Corinthian raisins, graviera cheese of Tripoli, syglino meat of Mani and the many festivals of gastronomy and products are strong reasons to travel to the land of olives.
VISIT IN PELOPONNESE REGION:
The famous and impressive Mani
The special beauty of Mani has made it one of the most popular destinations in Greece, for every season of the year. Its picturesque villages, its high-standard gastronomy, its crystal waters make up the ideal place for an escape. The much-photographed settlements of both Laconian and Messinian Mani are the jewels of Peloponnese. Paved alleys, stone-built mansions, flowery courtyards make up the unique aura of the area. The village of Limeni, picturesque Oitylo, impressive Kardamili, Areopolis, charming Gerolimenas, Gythio, the cave of Diros and a number of other attractions keep their beauty unspoiled, offering unique moments of relaxation.
The ultimate tour through traditional and historical Greek villages of endless beauty. Visit Dimitsana, Stemnitsa, Elati, Vytina, Karytaina, Limbovisi, learn their long history and admire the traditional architecture and the unique natural environment.
Porto Heli, in the prefecture of Argolida, is a popular haven for boat owners in the Peloponnese along with its neighbouring Ermioni village and Spetses Island. It offers a large number of lovely beaches, stately villas, luxury resorts, vivid nightlife and delicious fresh seafood. The natural harbor and the marina in Porto Heli have become a beloved summer destination for the rich and famous. Enjoy the green scenery along with the charming shores and turquoise waters.
At the southeastern spot of Peloponnese, Elafonissos welcomes you to paradise! It is an exotic island of only 19 sq km, with beaches of incomparable beauty, emerald waters and white sand. Here, you will find the famous beach of Simos, one of the best and most photographed in Greece.
Voidokoilia is another beach-symbol in Peloponnese. You will find it near Pylos town in Messenia, and it impresses with its round shape, golden sand and turquoise waters.
The Corinth Canal is one of the oldest such canals in the world and a very important navigational route in the Greek archipelago connecting the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf. The idea of building a canal through the Isthmus of Corinth (which connects the Peloponnese to the rest of Greece) was conceived in the sixth century BC to link the Ionian and Aegean Seas. Today, the Canal, approximately 6km long and 23m wide with its vertical sides rising 90m above the water, is an impressive sight. You can enjoy the view from above or sail it down with one of the small cruise ships. For adventurous travelers... there is also the option of bungee jumping!
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