Discover all Greece : Best places to visit in Peloponnese penisula are many but I suggest you go and see the most beautiful sites, among other sites, Epidaurus, Nafplio, Monemvasia, Mystras, Mani, Nestor, Koroni, Kyparissia and Olympia. Let me describe my Peloponese Greece itinerary I tested for you!
Where is Peloponnese peninsula ? It’s actually a geographic region in southern Greece. It is separated from the northern part of Greece by the Isthmus of Corinth town
How to go to Peloponnese ? You won’t find any international airports in Peloponnese peninsula but there are national ones in Kalamata, Tripoli and Sparta with departures from Athens and Thessaloniki. Anyway, better is to rent a car from Athens and travel at least two weeks in Peloponnese because you will make many stops on your way to go round Peloponnese.
Peloponnese map detailed
1. Epidaurus. Let’s go ! Drive near Corinth town stopping at the Isthmus (constructed in 1893, after 11 years of works, it is 6,35 klm in length and only 21,3 meters wide at its base. Our first main stop is at the Ancient Epidaurus, 60 kms from Corinth town on the northwest coast of the Peloponnese . Being the birthplace of god Apollo’s son Asclepius the healer, Epidaurus had a sanctuary and a healing center. Prosperity brought by the Asklepieion allowed Epidaurus in the 4th cent.BC to construct civic monuments as the huge ancient theatre we can see almost intact today (see photo below). You will see 55 rows were extended in Roman times by another 21 rows for 13.000 people. This theatre has wonderful acoustics, symmetry and beauty. It’s really worth the journey !
2. Naflio. Before arriving at Nafplio town, you can drive along Argolida coast seeing the nice town of Porto Heli. Here you are now in one of the most beautiful towns of Greece : Nafplio in the Argolic Gulf nearby the rocky historical promontory of Akrónafplia with the Castle of Palamídi (constructed in the 17th cent.by the Venetians on 250 mt hill). Nafplio played an important role in the Independance of Greece and it was the capital of liberated Greece from Ottomans between 1828-1833. The entrance in the port is watched over by the Bourtzi castle (constructed in the 15th century). I stayed at Perivoli Hotel set upon Pirgiotika hill and overlooking Tolo Beach. This hotel is a real gem arrounded by typical Peloponnesian nature
a. The fortress of Palamidi b. The Caste of Bourtzi
3. Monemvasia. We drive 180 kms nearby the Argolic the ulf coast 180 kms towards Monemvasia, in the south of the Peloponnese, in Laconia region. Monemvasia is an amazing historical town at the foot of a large plateau, site of a medieval fortress with many churches. The wonderful Monemvasia Rock or the Gibraltar of the East is about 2 kms from the modern port of Monemvasia, about a 15 minutes walk. It was separated from the mainland by an earthquake in 337 AD and inhabited from the 6th cent. Stay at Monemvasia for one or two days : it is a marvellous place not far away from the paradisal Elafonisi island with its nice beaches. I stayed at Panorama hotel with its beautiful view on the Rock.
a. Historical Monemvasia b. Monemvasia Rock
4. Mystras. Mystras is a fortified town situated on Mont Taygetos, near ancient Sparta. After having conquered Constantinople (today Istanbul) in 1204, the Crusaders of the Western Europe divided Greece among themselves. Small states were created and one of those was Mystra. It was built as an amphitheatre around the fortress erected in 1249 by the Latin prince of Achaia, William of Villehardouin. Byzantium reconquered the city but in the 16th cent, it was occupied by the Turks and the Venetians.
5. Region of Mani. Not far away from Aeropoli town, discover Vathia village with its 20 m high towers (constructed in the 16th cent.), old churches and houses. I stayed at Gerolimenas village, 10 kms from Vathia at Kyrimai hotel This hotel was absolutely perfect, so near from the sea and nature !
6. Nestor. Near Pylos town (16 km north of Pylos), on the west coast of the Peloponnese, in the region of Messenia, Nestor palace site is dominating. It is one of the best preserved of the existing Mycenean palaces (1500 to 1100 BC). Mycenian King Nestor was one of the Achaean chiefs who, according to the Iliad of Homer went with his fleet of 90 black ships to Troy War. The palace is a complex of different buildings, 100 appartments etc, the Royal residence etc. Absolutely amazing !
a. Nestor Palace site b. Mycenaean bath tub
7. Koroni. It’s a small town 50 kms from Kalamata town. I liked this sober town where you will discover a fortress built in the 6th cent. I had a rest in that town and stayed at Xenios Zeus rooms
8. Kyparissia. It’s a nice town of 7.000 inhabitants, in the west of the Peloponnese. There are the old and modern town. In the old site, you will admire the « Kastro » built in the 13th. cent and which overlooks the town with its tower and walls. A little amphitheatre outside in right in the middle of the Caste for concerts and other town happenings. From there, you have a stunning sea view and town view. I liked very much this town but I did not stay there for long. I have been told that the best hotel in town is Apollon Resort Art Hotel.
9. Olympia. Here is our last top of our journey in Peloponnese peninsula of Greece. The Ancient Olympia is on the East coast of the Peloponnese. It ‘s a sanctuary in Elis ancient city. It’s know for the Olympic games in honor o Zeus held every 4 years from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.
The sanctuary consists of various amazing of beauty buildings as for example the temple of Zeus and the temple of Hera.
To stay 2 days at Olympia area, I suggest you stay at Fotis rooms at Skafida villager bear by the sea, not far away from Ancient Olympia. You will enjoy there a nice stay with sea view, large rooms and nice taverna downstairs!.
Beach at Skafida Sunset at Skafida.
Here above see the best places to me at Peloponnese in Greece. Do not miss your trip in the Peloponnese peninsula… You won’t regret it…
For more information about places to visit in the Peloponnese, I suggest have the Peloponnese guide book « Greece : The peloponnese » written by