"An ancient land of myth and legend, it combines a plethora of fascinating sites filled with a riveting history and covered in stunningly beautiful nature to create an unbeatable holiday getaway. "
The Peloponnese is the perfect blend of history, beautiful nature and gorgeous beaches, ensuring that it appeals to everyone. Its stunning beaches look out onto the sapphire blue waters of the Aegean, Ionian and Mediterranean Seas, making it ideal for a traditional beach holiday. This dovetails with inland areas of exquisite natural beauty, replete with rolling green hills, and spectacular gorges. History comes alive in the Peloponnese, offering a vast array of historical sites, where you can explore some of the most incredible cultures to have ever existed, including the warrior culture of Sparta, their great rivals Argos, the equally seminal Corinthians and ancient Mycenae, who play a vital role in the Iliad. It is also steeped in myth, with many of Heracles’ trials taking place there, and Helen, the face that launched 1000 ships, being born in Sparta.
Other places to visit include the fortified citadel of Mycenae, the monasteries clinging to the cliff faces in Lousios Gorge, the lively islands of Spetses and Hydra, and the historic city of Nafplion. That’s just a handful of the potential day trips on offer, however, with the Greek weather being the way it is and the hotels being as beautiful as they are, you may be tempted to just lounge by the pool, enjoy the spa and day dream about Arcadia. The Peloponnese is split into regions, the regions that we offer are: Eleia, Messinia and Argolida.
This all serves to make the Peloponnese a sensational holiday destination for adults and families, which blends great food, fascinating history and beautiful nature.
Peloponnese Travel Guide
At A Glance:
The Peloponnese is a peninsula in the south of Greece that is separated from the Greek mainland by the Isthmus of Corinth. It covers an area of 21,550 kilometres and has a population of 1.1 million people. Boasting a number of incredible places, which combine both history and modernity, it was the location of iconic ancient places, like Sparta, Corinth and Argos, a place of myth, legend and beauty, making it a wonderful place to go on holiday.
The region enjoys a warm climate, with the coastal areas being slightly hotter than the more elevated places. This means that the region varies from averages of 30 degrees in the summer, to a pleasant 13 degrees in the winter. The best time to visit the region is in the spring or summer when the weather is hot, the seas are warm, and the great outdoors is the place to be.
History and Culture
Considered as one of the most important places in Greek history and myth, it hosted three of Greece’s most important city states, including Corinth, Argos and Sparta, along with other states like Messina and Mycenae. Sparta, is unquestionably the most famous of these, thanks to its unique warrior culture, where boys spent their entire lives learning to fight. They were able to do this, because they had enslaved nearby Messina and turned them into Helots. Sparta is perhaps most famous for the stand of the 300 at the Hot Gates of Thermopylae, where three hundred hoplites sacrificed their lives to galvanise the Greek cause against the Persians. They subsequently defeated Athens in the Peloponnesian war, before eventually being defeated by Thebes in 371 BC. The Peloponnese also plays a crucial role in Greek myth, with Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae and the leader of the combined Greek forces in the Iliad; Helen, the face that launched a thousand ships, being from Sparta; Jason, the man who found the golden fleece being from Argos; and where many of Heracles’ labours occurred. Quite simply it is a place where myth and history come alive!
Kalamata, a small village in the Peloponnese is famous across the world for its olive oil, and any visitor to the region, should sample it while they are there. Pork and rabbit are two of the most popular meats in the region and are usually cooked with oregano, garlic and olive oil. There are also plenty of orange and lemons grown in the region, which are regularly used in both sweet and savoury dishes. The Peloponnese is also famous for its wine, having been notorious since ancient times, suffice to say they have moved a long way from ‘Zomos’ the Ancient Spartan blood soup, which was famous for its lack of quality in antiquity.
A historical wonderland, it has potential to inspire and fascinate children. It is home to some of the most unique ancient cultures that ever existed; buy a book about Sparta, Argos, Corinth or Homer’s Iliad and then watch these incredible tales come off the page and enchant your children on their family holiday. It is also a place of spectacular nature, full of rolling green hills and beautiful beaches, making it ideal for families who love to enjoy the great outdoors.
Tours and Attractions
Its rich history ensures that there is a vast array of incredible things to do, such as visit the ruins of ancient Sparta and discover about this incredible warrior culture, which was so confident in its fighting skills that it never built walls around its city. Then go to the Isthmus of Corinth and take a canal boat ride, that defined ancient history and political power. See castles perched on hills, in remote locations like Palamidi, visit ancient theatres and see traditional plays, or simply relax on the beach amidst stunning nature.
Events and Festivities
The Epidaurus Greek Festival takes place in the ancient theatre of Epidaurus on the weekend, throughout the months of July and August. The shows include ancient Greek dramas, a variety of concerts and local dancing shows. The Festival of Argos-Mycenae runs from June to August and includes theatrical performances, concerts, dancing, lectures and thematic evenings, which generally draw on ancient culture. Finally, the Carnival of Patras, is the largest carnival in all of Greece, and lasts forty days, however, the best time to visit is the Saturday before Lent, when there is a large parade and the traditional burning of the Carnival King.
Its nightlife is described as having a peaceful and romantic nature and it is enjoyed in rustic taverns, featuring delicious local food, stunning views and a chilled-out atmosphere. There are plenty of cooler bars in the coastal areas, which usually stay open until late and provide lovely views across the sea. Pylos and Kalamata are the places to head to for a livelier scene, with bars that stay open long into the small hours.