Peloponnese: a fascinating journey in mainland Greece

Written on : 23 March 2018

The blessed land of the gods of Southern Greece with its ancient monuments and landscapes shaped by the past, the Peloponnese is a true ode to beauty. Discover a whole new side of the country, far from the idyllic Cyclades postcard image with its heavenly beaches and turquoise waters. This Southern peninsula is full of treasures hidden in picturesque villages that you will have the honour to explore during your journey in this authentic continental Greece.

Cities with ancient stories

With their medieval fortresses and mythical archaeological sites, the picturesque villages alone are architectural masterpieces. In an azure bay of the Gulf of Argolis, Nafplio contains buildings from the Venetian period to contemplate from the top of the Palamidi Fort with the long walls that surround the top of the hill. This fortress requires a great effort to be rewarded with a seductive view of the city and the sea on the horizon. And, the port city of the East is also home to the cultural centre, Fougaro, installed in a beautifully renovated former factory where exhibitions and shows parade.
Listening to the myths of Apollo, Homer and the Kingdom of Agamemnon, roam the legendary cities of Mycenae and the "wonder of Morea" Mystra to the abandoned palaces, medieval ruins and churches decorated with frescoes. And, further South, Hydra Island will be your little haven of white houses and bohemian chic lifestyle. For a luxurious atmosphere at the heart of a social life with discrete beaches and crystal clear waters, Porto Heli is the place to go. With large villas and luxury homes facing the olive groves under the Mediterranean sun, this marina is the perfect spot for beautiful moments in small taverns and for the clubbers.
Last and not least, the citadel of Monemvasia is the castle town that transports you out of time in the heart of fortifications, Venetian mansions and stone houses. You will enjoy losing yourself in the labyrinth of cobbled streets of this fortified village carved on a rock, admire the beautiful Byzantine Haghia Sophia church or enjoy traditional flavours in the taverns of the castle.

Remnants of a legendary past

A true open-air book, the Peloponnese is a jewel of the past that contains prodigious buildings and magnificently reflects the legends of yesteryear.
In the West, in the valley of the river Alpheus, in the footsteps of chariot races, fights and javelins, you will survey the remains of the baths, the palestra and the Phidias workshop in the cradle of the Olympic Games in Olympia. Just at the foot of Mount Kronion, these ruins of Olympic buildings with its huge stadium, archaeological museum and monumental sculptures, including the 13.5-metre-high gold and ivory statue of Zeus, majestically carved by Phidias, are truly impressive. .
Moreover, enjoy the unforgettable experience of an outdoor theatrical performance in the circular building of Epidaurus in the middle of pine forests and hills. World Heritage listed, this huge ancient theatre originally built to entertain patients treated at Asclepion by Aesculapius, son of Apollo and god of medicine who had established his office, offers a remarkable and captivating serenity. A painting not to be missed!
On land or in the deep sea, the region continues to seduce and impress travellers from all over the world with its traces of the monumental past. And even in the heart of the underwater flora and fauna, it contains breathtaking archaeological beauties. In the Bay of Navarin, wrecks of boats and tankers inhabit the blue expanses with one of the largest in the world, that of the Irenes Serenade which sank in 1978. The followers of scuba diving will undoubtedly be seduced!

Wild and unknown nature

In addition to its rich cultural and historical heritage, the Peloponnese is also a wild and mountainous land in which snow-capped peaks, vineyards and olive groves face each other in perfect harmony. At the rhythm of the local festivals "panighyri", take a walk in the gorges and surrounding mountains to discover the rich Greek cuisine. Hypolites, wine, Moustokouloura, these are flavours from terroir products that you have never tasted!
On the coast, explore the small fishing ports and sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters and picturesque coves, not forgetting to pass through the Corinth Canal, one of the largest cities in ancient Greece but also to stroll in the wild and unknown region of Mani. This desert land is home to beautiful villages of medieval type and many stone sentinels. And, it also offers typical architecture with houses with square towers and Byzantine churches made of ash and rose stone. A decor that you can only appreciate!