With Historic and glorious past, balmy climate, delicious cuisine and perfect beaches, Greece beckon tourists and travelers who fancy a vacation out of the ordinary. Man-made wonder vies with natural beauty in one sun-gilded province of Peloponnese which is blessed with glorious mountain peaks, pristine sandy beaches, vineyards, olive groves and so much more.
In this province, one can choose to relax at the seaside, partake in some of Greece’s compelling and vivacious culture or explore some mysterious ruins. Whatever quenches your adventure’s desires, here is an overview of some of the best places you can visit in Peloponnese.
1. Ancient Corinth
In your trip to Peloponnese, it would be inexcusable to miss a visit to Ancient Corinth. It’s located on a narrow strip of the land which connects Peloponnese to the mainland of Greece and it’s only a 15 minutes’ drive from the town center, a strategic position that allowed the ancient Corinthians to become masters in trade.
It was one of the major and famous cities of antiquity now, a beautiful piece of Greek history which is a bit off the path- the museum is simple yet presents plenty of interesting statues and didactical exhibition. It was so relaxing and thought provoking to stroll through this site especially when I saw the Bema (judgement seat) where the Proconsul Gallio sat as he threw out the case against Paul over 2000 years ago!
2. Corinth Canal
This canal separates Peloponnese from rest of the Greek mainland and it creates a spectacular view with its enormous sheer rock walls which plugs into a chasm of turquoise blue water. It acted as a passage for ships which played a big role in making the city a bustling port.
You really can’t tell much from the canal itself though. Yes, it’s stunning and an architectural wonder but there’re no artifacts or information nearby relating to its past. I recommend a short stop along the way as you head to other places rather than its own designated trip.
3. Ancient Olympia
Olympia takes you back in the time and allows you to walk on the ground where the first Olympics were held and though the ravage of time and earthquakes have taken troll there’s still enough left to appreciate the past. After every four years, the history is brought to present by lighting the Olympic flames. The feeling of walking through the ruins on the way to the stadium was breathtaking.
I would urge you to get a guide or a good guide book to learn about the history otherwise all you’ll see is scattered old rocks.
4. Epidaurus Theatre
I spared some time to visit this ancient amphitheatre which is famed for its unique and classic Greek construction plus astounding acoustics and to say I was amazed is an understatement. Surrounded by lush scenery this UNESCO monument is a perfect blend of remarkable architecture and nature.
It’s well preserved and explained archeological site showing a place of prayer and healing in the ancient time. It’s absolutely fascinating to see the engineering genius of the past generation. I climbed up to the 55th row to enjoy panoramic views and some picturesque spots.
In Greece, you look forward to seeing monuments and ruins from the ancient time but that’s a little different with Mystras which is a treasure from the Middle Ages and it’s believed the last person to live in the village died in the 50s after which it was forbidden to live here.
If you do appreciate the unrivaled beauty of Byzantine arts then you can find them here in abundance. Most churches are in good shape and the ones that are not are under renovation which creates a great combination of natural and built beauty.
If you’re visiting by car, it is best to go all the way up first and start the visit from the top entrance, that way you’ll enjoy not only the center of Byzantine’s power remains but also the spectacular views of the countryside.
6. Museum of Kalavryta Holocaust
Though the museum is quite small, it somehow manages to capture the horrors through photos and poignant stories to create a picture of what the locals went through during the Second World War.
The entire village was attacked and reduced to nothing and all males above 12 years were gunned down, an attempt which was meant to destroy resistance movement in the city of Peloponnese. It’s a sad experience but a must visit if you really want to grasp an idea of the scale of enormity of the massacre.
The most moving part to me was the Nazi flag being quite entombed to serve as a reminder of the tyranny they inflicted upon their own countries as well as the statue of a woman dragging her husband away from the killing field.
7. Voidokilia Beach
The beach is surrounded by cliffs and seems to be in a sort of lagoon this makes the water super calm and shallow. Even if you’re an amateur swimmer you can take a dip with no fear of being swept away. Clear visibility underwater fares out perfectly for snorkeling. You need to bring everything you need though as there’re no vendors or any commercial activities within.
Nestor’s mythical palace ruins are visible from the beach- a brisk 45 minutes uphill climb and you can have an opportunity to explore both the ruins and the beach.
8. Simos Beach
If you love a sandy beach and an ocean with turquoise water spreading as far as your eyes can see, Simos beach is the right place for you. You can choose between small Simos or Big Simos beach, this is a water lover’s paradise so it can get a little bit crowded depending on when you visit.
9. Palamidi Castle
If you can bring your car, you can park right outside the entrance and avoid the 999 steps to the top. Either way, you’ll be treated to breath-taking views that wait at the top, an overview of the local history one that comes in many layers of fortification telling overlapping stories of the castles and its defenders.
Cool! So now that you have got the list for your Peloponnese trip, you must set the dates and book your ticket