The Peloponnese (pel-o-pon-ih-sos) is the stuff that legends are made of. Numerous myths were born and borne out here – it is where many a Greek god or hero strutted their stuff (and aired their bodies). Today this region is far from a fable. It boasts historical sites, with classical temples, Mycenaean palaces, Byzantine cities, and Frankish and Venetian fortresses. You can rub shoulders with the ghost of Agamemnon at Mycenae, mighty redoubt of a once great civilisation, or flex your muscles at ancient Olympia, spiritual home of the Olympics. You can cite Oedipus in the Theatre of Epidavros or be entranced by Mystras, where the Byzantine civilisation died in the 14th century. Greece’s first capital, Nafplio, is today a cosmopolitan and romantic city; captivating, too, is the Venetian stronghold of Monemvasia.
The region’s natural playground truly mesmerises, with lofty, snowcapped mountains, lush gorges, valleys of citrus groves and vineyards, cypress trees, streams and sun-specked beaches. Spring is the perfect time for DIY explorations. Hike in the wildflower-covered mountains of Arkadia, or in the rugged Mani, which bristle with fortified tower houses. Summer is a beach bum’s delight: the beaches of Messinia are among Greece’s finest. Winter brings snow to the higher ground and a chance to launch yourself down Mt Helmos on skis.
For centuries Greeks have fought hard against invaders of their Peloponnese paradise; today foreigners are far from repelled (ask the permanent influx of Brits). Filoxenia (hospitality) is as strong here as anywhere in the country. The locals claim to have the best of everything to give. And that’s no myth.
Need to know
Peloponnese destination guides
3-Day Classical Greece Tour: Epidaurus, Mycenae, Nafplion, Olympia, Delphi
Visit the three most important archaeological sites from the Classical Greece period on this 3-day tour of Greece from Athens! Traveling with a knowledgeable local guide, passionate about Greek history, your tour includes excursions to Epidaurus, Olympia and Delphi, with overnight accommodation in your choice of 3- or 4-star hotels.
Mycenae and Epidaurus Day Trip from Athens
Explore the remains of the ancient city of Mycenae a major centre of Greek civilization from 1600BC to 1100BC and visit the small village of Epidaurus famous in ancient times for being a place of healing. After taking a scenic drive along the coastal road of the Saronic Gulf, you will come to the ancient city of Mycenae home to the kingdom of mythical Agamemnon.