Whatever your interests, the Peloponnese offers huge scope for a holiday. You cannot do more than scratch the surface of this vast peninsula on one visit, which is why so many return.
The southernmost part of mainland Greece, the Peloponnese is technically an island itself, separated from the mainland by the Corinth Canal. Surrounded by exceptionally clean, shimmering seas, the heavily indented and twisting coast contains glorious beaches that match those on any of the islands – and mostly without the accompanying crowds.
Inhabited since pre-history and rich in Mycenean, Classical and Byzantine sites, the Peloponnese is the birthplace of Greek mythology. The north of the peninsula contains the greatest concentration of ancient sites anywhere in Greece – Corinth, Epidavros, Mycenae, Olympia and Tyrins, amidst a host of smaller sites that seem to be just part of the landscape. In the north-east, the excellent beach at Tolon provides the perfect base from which to explore these historic glories.
Holidays In Peloponnese
The south has fewer sites – notably Byzantine Mystras and the impressive remains at ancient Messini – but also has fewer visitors, and so its gentle rolling hills, seaside hamlets and uncrowded beaches have retained much of their traditional qualities. Called “the Garden of the Peloponnese”, the south west remains devoted primarily to agriculture and fishing, with tourism having an impact in only a few areas, and this primarily limited to high season weeks. Otherwise, resort villages like Chrani and Finikounda go about their daily business in a friendly, unhurried manner.
Down the spine of the central peninsula of the Mani rises the north-south mountain range of Taygetus. It towers over coastal Kalamata to the west and central Sparti to the east. Halfway down Mani’s rugged western coastline, pretty Kardamili and family-friendly Stoupa are ideally located for further exploration. Gradually, the lush greenery of the north is taken over by a harsh, arid, almost lunar landscape. Here you find a traditional, virtually untouched region know by the haunting title of “deep Mani” that offers spectacular views to the hiker and those who prefer “off the beaten track”.
The peninsula is large and varied enough to cater for multiple interests: a quiet, relaxing time by superlative beaches; an exploration of the mass of ancient sites that are concentrated in the Peloponnese; Byzantine churches, hidden painted chapels and Frankish castles; hiking trails with stunning views; an island rock fortress at Monemvasia, edging against the sea; even a cave system at Dirou that is navigated by means of gondola-like craft.
Similarly you can relax entirely by a beach and take excursions, or hire a car and really get to grips with the rich diversity of the peninsula – there just seems so much to see that it feels almost neglectful to miss the opportunity. A twin-centre holiday makes the diversity even more accessible.
The Peloponnese is ideal for touring - see our Hidden Greece fly-drives - or a twin-centre holiday, either north with south (with Tolon first) or any village in the south with any other.
Sunday flight Gatwick, Birmingham or Manchester to Kalamata. Then by coach or taxi – see resort description pages. For flight details see page 253. We can arrange tailor-made holidays via Kalamata or Athens - please enquire
Any resort with any other. A week in the north (Tolon or Nafplion) combined with a week in the outh is always popular – please book the north first. For multi-centre information see page 8.
We can arrange car and motorboat hire for you in the Peloponnese.