Welcome to the enchanting Greek Peloponnesos, a region steeped in history, myth, and natural beauty. Nestled in the southern part of Greece, this captivating peninsula offers a treasure trove of experiences for all kinds of travelers. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or a lover of picturesque landscapes, the Peloponnese has something extraordinary in store for you. Let’s inspire you not only to visit the well-known and famous Greek islandsbut also explore the more hidden gems of the Greek mainland.
Monemvasia is undeniably one of the most stunning attractions in the Peloponnese region, and even throughout Greece. This charming destination owes its picturesque character to its exceptional location and atmospheric old town. Situated on a small island off the coast, Monemvasia remained hidden from view on the backside of a rocky islet, making it less accessible to adversaries and easier to defend. It was only later that a bridge connected the island to the mainland, transforming it into a captivating peninsula.
With a rich medieval history and a remarkably well-preserved city center, taking a stroll through Monemvasia’s quaint streets feels like embarking on a voyage through time. The lower town – which is where to stay in Monemvasia –, consisting of a maze of narrow streets adorned with historical buildings, churches, restaurants, residences, hotels, souvenir shops, and ruins, beckons exploration.
Where there is a lower town, an upper town awaits. At the pinnacle of Monemvasia’s rocky plateau lies the ancient upper town. Dominated by ruins, the upper town was once home to affluent residents, although little remains of their opulence today. Nevertheless, a must-visit highlight is the Agia Sofia Church, an awe-inspiring Byzantine architectural marvel that has withstood the test of time and stands as one of Monemvasia’s most splendid attractions.
Step into the enchanting world of Monemvasia, where history comes alive, and immerse yourself in the captivating ambiance of this remarkable treasure in the Greek Peloponnese.
#2 Epidaurus Theatre
Immerse yourself in the wonders of ancient Greece by visiting the breathtaking Theater of Epidaurus, a must-see attraction nestled in the picturesque Greek Peloponnesian region. Regarded as the finest preserved theater from ancient times, this architectural marvel captivates visitors with its awe-inspiring grandeur. Built in the 4th century BC, the theater has stood the test of time, preserving its original form to this day.
Prepare to be enchanted as you step onto the theater’s stage, a perfect circular expansion spanning an impressive 20 meters in diameter. Encircling it are 55 magnificent semi-circular rows, meticulously designed to accommodate an astounding audience of 12,000 spectators. Imagine the ancient Greeks, gathered in this very space, witnessing mesmerizing performances that continue to grace the stage during the summer months. You can experience the magic of exceptional acoustics that have been celebrated for centuries, but you’ll have to book your ticket for these summer performances well in advance.
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This architectural masterpiece is not only a testament to Greece’s cultural heritage but also holds profound historical significance as part of the Sanctuary of Asklepios, the revered Greek demi-god of medicine.
While the theater steals the spotlight, we encourage you to explore captivating surroundings, including the Sanctuary itself. Often overlooked by visitors captivated by the theater’s fame, the temple complex holds its own enchantment. Let your imagination soar as you stroll through its historic grounds. Informative signage provides invaluable insights into the purpose and function of the various structures.
Nafplio is an absolute must-visit for anyone exploring the Peloponnese. As the former capital of independent Greece, Nafplio – also known as Nafplion, Nauplion, or Nauplio – exudes an undeniable charm that sets it apart from the current capital Athens. Its captivating historic center, adorned with atmospheric streets and offering stunning sea views of ancient forts and castles, is a sight to behold.
The centerpiece of Nafplio is its historic center, perched on a delightful peninsula jutting into the sea. Take a leisurely stroll from the promenade, where the imposing Bourtzi Fortress commands attention, and immerse yourself in the narrow lanes of the old town. This pedestrian-friendly quarter boasts a unique ambiance, featuring charming shops and pictureque buildings.
No visit to Nafplio is complete without exploring its remarkable fortresses. The beautifully preserved Bourtzi Castle, accessible only by boat, sits majestically on a sea island and offers a captivating experience. However, the true highlight is the Palamidi Castle, perched atop a hill with breathtaking views. While wandering through the oldest part of Nafplio, the Acronafplia Hill, you’ll encounter remnants of another castle, offering glimpses into the city’s storied past.
Immerse yourself in Nafplio’s rich history, scenic beauty, and architectural marvels. With its optimal blend of historical significance and natural splendor, Nafplio is truly a Greek paradise that should not be missed.
Nestled on the Argolis Peninsula, Methana is a captivating volcanic peninsula with a rich history and breathtaking natural wonders. Despite the closure of its renowned spa, Methana continues to attract visitors with its therapeutic hot springs and scenic hiking trails. Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring landscapes and discover the healing powers of this hidden gem in the Peloponnesos.
Methana’s geological marvel is a testament to its volcanic origins. Formed by powerful volcanic eruptions, this peninsula offers a unique and enchanting landscape. The remnants of this ancient activity are evident in the soothing hot springs that still exist today, providing a glimpse into Methana’s fascinating past. Explore Methana’s picturesque hiking trails, which offer unparalleled views of majestic mountains and lush greenery. Each step immerses you in nature’s beauty, creating unforgettable memories along the way.
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For many years, Methana was celebrated as a top-notch spa destination renowned for its medicinal hot springs. Although the main spa facility has unfortunately fallen into disrepair, visitors can still indulge in the therapeutic benefits of Methana’s hot springs. Adjacent to the abandoned spa, a staircase leads to the sea, where the volcanic activity beneath Methana gently warms the seawater.
For a more rejuvenating experience, the “Radon Thermal Spring” awaits a short distance away. Although not scalding hot, the warm waters provide a soothing and revitalizing soak for both body and soul.
Additionally, on the opposite side of the island, a well-built bathing facility houses the most beautiful hot spring. During our visit, the pump was out of order, preventing us from enjoying a warm bath unfortunately. The best part is that all three locations offer free admission, allowing you to embrace the therapeutic allure of Methana’s natural hot springs without any financial burden.
#5 The Didyma twin churches
Hidden within the unassuming village of Didyma lies an enchanting secret: a captivating spectacle of two majestic craters, adorned with two charming churches. These remarkable dolines, or sinkholes, offer a sense of intrigue, heightened by the mysterious descent down a staircase that leads to the very walls of one of these natural wonders. Nestled within the rocky facade, the presence of two petite twin churches adds an air of mystery, completing this extraordinary destination.
While the locals are well-acquainted with the allure of Didyma’s dolines, this hidden gem remains undiscovered by most tourists. It’s easy to overlook this village, but the Small and Great Doline are truly worth a stop. Even the entrance appears unassuming. Yet, a white-washed staircase descending into an underground tunnel behind the curious, leading them to discover the marvels that await within the crater.
Didyma’s Dolines are a sight to behold. As you stand on the edge of the lushly vegetated crater, a well-marked footpath guides you to the minuscule twin churches embedded in the rock face. One church stands adjacent to the staircase, while its counterpart sits opposite. During our visit, one of the church doors remained closed, but we had the privilege of exploring the other. Inside, the pristine white walls are served as a canvas for an array of intricate miniatures, a hallmark of Greek Orthodox traditions. These artifacts harken back to the Byzantine era, when spiritual seekers sought solitude in remote locations, much like the revered monasteries of Meteora.
For a truly captivating experience, plan your visit to Didyma in spring, when the surrounding fields burst to life with a vibrant tapestry of wild tulips in shades of fiery orange and rich red.
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In a country renowned for its Greek monuments and ancient ruins, the extraordinarily ruined city of Mystras stands out as a captivating anomaly. Unlike its ancient Greek counterparts, Mystras emerged during the Byzantine era, several centuries later. Nestled amidst the picturesque mountains at the heart of the Peloponnesos, Mystras boasts a unique charm that sets it apart from the coastal attractions. Despite its slightly off-the-beaten-path location, a visit to this remarkable place is an absolute must!
Mystras is a captivating sight, perched gracefully on a scenic slope. At its highest point, an ancient castle proudly stands, believed to be one of the oldest sections of the city, dating back to the 7th century. This predates Mystras’ golden age, which occurred during the 13th and 14th centuries when it served as the fortified stronghold of a prominent Byzantine general overseeing the region. During tumultuous and uncertain times, the town drew in a multitude of newcomers seeking refuge and security within its walls.
The affluence and prosperity of Mystras are beautifully reflected in the awe-inspiring structures that still adorn its landscape. Among the city’s standout attractions are the majestic mountaintop castle, the remnants of an ancient palace complex, and, above all, the multitude of Byzantine churches and monasteries. These architectural marvels, constructed in the distinctive Byzantine style, are scattered throughout the city, offering glimpses into a bygone era. Thanks to diligent restoration efforts, many of these historic buildings have been preserved, allowing visitors to marvel at their grandeur and immerse themselves in Mystras’ rich heritage.
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Get Travel Insurance
Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can go wrong on any trip. Be prepared for the worst with travel insurance. We use Travelex.
I use Skyscanner to find flights. I use it so much, I wrote an entire guide to finding cheap flights with Skyscanner! Momondo is also a great site for finding cheap flights.
Book a Place to Stay
I recommend using Expedia.com or Hotels.com for most hotel bookings. I prefer to book directly with Marriott when I stay there because of their excellent military discount.
If you prefer staying in a vacation rental instead, I recommend VRBO.
Choose Activities and Tours
To find great activities in any area I use Get Your Guide and Viator. If we are visiting a city with lots of popular attractions I always check CityPass and GoCard to see if they have discount cards available.
When I want to book a full-on multi-day tour I use TourRadar. They’ve got fantastic weekly deals.
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