The holidays in Greece are almost always associated with its many islands. The continental part of the country however is equally beautiful and interesting. The Peloponnese is a peninsula of southern Greece situated between the Ionian and Aegean Sea, the land where once reigned the fearsome Spartans. Peloponnese is the ideal destination for those who want a holiday full of different activities. This region, in fact, offers a wide variety of landscapes and possibilities. You can choose to relax on the beautiful beaches or go trekking on its green mountains, visit the fascinating archaeological sites or play in modern nightclubs. A complete tour of the Peloponnese would require a long time so it is best to decide in advance the type of holiday you want to go for, therefore choosing the best area to explore.
Those who seek a holiday in Greece in the name of the ancient history should stop at Nafplio, one of the major cities of the region which you can reach in a few hours and is nearby where all the main archaeological sites can be found, such as the remains of the city of Argos, Tiryns, Mycenae, Epidaurus. While visiting the city you can discover the neo-classical Greece, strolling among the elegant buildings and beautiful gardens and pleasant promenade. Of note, the central square, the Bourtzi and the Byzantine fortress of Palamedes. A highly recommended stop for any tour of the Peloponnese is Mistra, the town nearest to the ruins of Sparta. The beautiful Byzantine city of Mystras in the Middle Ages was one of the key centres for art and culture of the Peloponnese and still offers visitors splendid palaces, monuments, monasteries and churches to see. Unfortunately not much is left of the glorious Sparta: the remains of a sanctuary dedicated to Artemis Orthia dating from the early ninth century BC, the Acropolis with the temple to Athena Chalkoikos and Hellenistic-Roman theater. Regardless of that going to places filled with history is always exciting.
If you want to visit the other great side of the Peloponnesian War, Athens is only two hours away from Nafplio. The climate of Greece is warm and dry and it is ideal for a holiday of sun and sea in the Peloponnese and should certainly not be disappointing. The richest area with sandy beaches is the west coast. Particularly the countries of Kalogria, Killini, Pyrgos and Kyparissia are less crowded with tourists. Those who search for tranquillity and wonderful views should take a trip to Elafonissos, a small island at the south-east of the Peloponnese. With the exception of the period between June and August, the few tourists have to share the beaches with only about 400 inhabitants of the island.
The area south-east from Kalamata in Mani, which is the favourite destination for those who prefer the pebble beaches, sunbathe on the rocks or to explore the magnificent sea and the caves.
By Elsi H