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20 must-see attractions in the Peloponnese

The Peloponnese, the largest peninsula in Greece and the birthplace of the Olympic spirit, awaits for you to explore it end-to-end. From the mountainous Arcadia to the majestic Messinia and from the Laconian land to the historic Ilea, Morias will captivate you with its attractions and hidden beauties. Large cities and small villages, seas and lakes with crystal waters, mountains and picturesque ports, as well as world-renowned monuments are only some of the reasons to visit it.

Discover the most important attractions in the Peloponnese

Nafplio

Anapli, as Nafplio is otherwise called, is the town where you would like to stay forever! Quiet but lively, coastal with high hills, modern with very long history, beautiful…like no other! It will win you over from the very first minutes. It could not be any other way, since the combination of red (rooftops) and grey (walls) on a blue-green background (sea) prevails on your every look! Walking around the neighborhoods of the old town, you will get lost in the beauty of the venetian and neo-classic buildings, while the bougainvilleas and cordial residents will be filling your photographic canvas.

Learn everything about Nafplio through the Complete Guide

 
Suggested visit time: 2 days

 The know-it-all says: The famous 999 steps of Palamedi are only 913!

Mani

Mani, Doused in Light, Dressed in Stone! This blessed land hides inside it the beauty of the whole Greece. The visitor’s eye cannot move away from the wild beauty of the Maniot land, the stone-built Maniot towers and its clean, deep-blue waters. Mani also has a unique architecture, with stone having the first and last words. As for the sun, do not mind. It is “smiling” most days of the year, filling with light every stone-built mansion and making the arid land ever-thirstier!

Learn everything about Mani through the Complete Guide

 
Suggested visit time: 3 days

 The know-it-all says: Mani has never been conquered by enemies, this is why on its flag it bears the motto “Victory or Death” and not “Freedom or Death”!

Monemvasia

Monemvasia is a castle-town in Peloponnese taken out of a fairytale! A small piece of land with unsophisticated beauty that calls you to get to know it, any season of the year. But is it an island or part of the mainland? Probably something in-between, as it used to be a part of mainland Greece, until it got detached after a powerful earthquake. It is now accessible through only one road, and specifically through a bridge, to which fact it owes its name. We are talking about the most romantic excursion, the most beautiful castle-town of Greece, and maybe even of Europe, Monemvasia!

Suggested visit time: 2 days

 The know-it-all says: It is called “Gibraltar of the east”, as it resembles the well-known rock of Gibraltar!

Elafonissos

Elafonissos, a piece of paradise colored turquoise! This unknown island of the Mediterranean calls you to get lost in its magical waters, explore its rich flora, as well as its full-of-history seabeds. Elafonissos will win you over with its simplicity, quiet and, of course, its magical beaches. The much-awarded Simos beach takes the lead, as it is on the list with the 10 best beaches in the world! Do not miss out on snorkeling at Pavlopetri, swimming at Lefki Beach, taking a walk at the natural sand-dunes and exploring the hidden caves!

Learn everything about Elafonissos through the Complete Guide

 
Suggested visit time: 2 days

 The know-it-all says: Before the bridge to the chapel of Ayios Spyridon was built, people would visit it by passing through the rocks!

Odontotos

The legendary train of Odontotos maintains its engines running for 120 years, conducting the route Kalavryta-Diakopto. It needs one hour to take passengers, tooth(!) and nail, from Diakopto up to Kalavryta, through the Greek Grand Canyon, the Vouraikos Gorge. The 22km-long trail offers unique images, having as allies the river, the beautiful tunnels and a big part of the area’s flora and fauna. Nowadays, new roads to Kalavryta might have opened, but the ride with the Odontotos train will always hold a place in our hearts.

Suggested visit time: 30 minutes–1 hour
Open: From Kalavryta: Every day 10:17, 12:43 & 15:28 / Weekends & Holidays 14:03 & 17:23. From Diakopto: Every day 09:05, 11:30 & 14:05 / Weekends & Holidays 12:49 & 15:30
Cost: 9.5€ one-way & 19€ round-trip. Children 4-12 y.o. get a 50% discount.

 The know-it-all says: The maximum gradient of the line at spots with buttress is 17.5%!

Wine-tasting Nemea

Welcome to the Peloponnese’s Tuscany. Endless vineyards and many varieties of grapes produce unique wine labels. The experience of wine-tasting is something that you should not miss when you are in the Peloponnese. The information and flavors around the world of wine will leave you with the best of impressions. For a complete wine-tasting experience, BOOK a tour at Mr. Bairaktaris’ winery in Nemea.

Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours
Open: Every day 09:00-18:00

 The know-it-all says: The vineyards of Nemea stretch across about 27,000 acres!

Kalamata Horse-riding

The Kalamata Horse-riding Club offers a unique life experience that nobody visiting or passing by this city should miss. This experience is none other than horse-riding in the sea! Yes, you read that right…after a meet-and-greet and ride with the horse, you will end up at the sea where you will be asked to ride it while it swims! At the club, you also have the chance to take a horse-riding lesson, free horse-riding (for the experienced), as well as therapeutic horse-riding, which helps to treat chronic problems and conditions.

Learn more about how to perform horse-riding in the sea.

 
Suggested visit time: 3 hours
Open: Always
Cost: Upon agreement

 The know-it-all says: For a horse, 5 minutes of swimming are equivalent to 2 hours of training!

Ancient Epidaurus

The archaeological site of Ancient Epidaurus is located just 30 minutes away from Nafplio and it is an interesting excursion to the country’s art history. The highlight is of course its famous theater, which still impresses visitors with its architecture and incredible acoustics! You simply have to stand at the center of the stage and let a coin drop to the ground or, if you are daring, you can also sing.

Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours
Open: November-March 08:00-17:00 / Rest of the months 08:00-18:30
Cost: April-October: Adults 12€, Reduced 6€ / November-March: 6€

 The know-it-all says: The theater fits up to 13,000 spectators!

Ayia Fotini of Mantinea

The orthodox church of Ayia Fotini of Mantinea is among the oddest churches in the world. It is built atop the ruins of an ancient temple, opposite the archaeological site of Mantinea. It is the most “anarchic” church in Greece, as it is constructed (without cement) with pieces of stone, wood, tiles and marble, seemingly just thrown together! For some a piece of art, for others a dissonance, but everyone agrees on one thing; that it is the most extraordinary church in Greece that you must visit.

Suggested visit time: 30 minutes–1 hour

 The know-it-all says: It is constructed in such a way that there is not even one right angle in the whole building!

Zachlorou

Zachlorou, a small village of just 38 residents, has managed to steal the hearts and impressions of everyone visiting the Peloponnese. The reason is none other than the cinematic scenery with the legendary Odontotos train that passes through the village, and in fact making a stop at the homonymous station. The fallen leaves (in autumn), the stone buildings and rich vegetation of Vouraikos are accompanied by the sounds of the river and create a romantic atmosphere. So, who would not fall in love with a village like this?

Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours

 The know-it-all says: The name is of Slavic origin and means behind the mountains!

Demetsana

Demetsana is one of the villages of central Peloponnese that you are going to love a little more. Pinned on mountainous Arcadia, at an altitude of over 1,000m, Demetsana will win you over with its rich history, cobbled streets, alleys, tall stone-built mansions, churches and beautiful squares. A destination with increasingly upward course in tourism, while it has excellent tourism infrastructure. A bit outside Demetsana you will also find the outdoor hydropower museum, which presents tasks of older times, performed with the assistance of water (do not miss it).

Suggested visit time: 1 day

 The know-it-all says: Kolokotronis characterized it as the powder keg of the Revolution, as it produced immense volumes of gunpowder!

Cape Tenaro

Welcome to the southernmost (mainland) point of Europe, Cape Tenaro. Here where the ancient Greeks believed to be the gates of Hades, or the passage to the underworld. A 30-minute route (of medium difficulty) will lead you to the lighthouse that stands proud and lights the Sea for over 100 years. The Cape offers to the bold wanderer a unique life experience, with images of the endless blue, the lighthouse and the waves that crash on the rocks with immense force.

Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours

 The know-it-all says: With a clear atmosphere, the eye can “run” as far as Crete!

Polylimnio of Messinia

Polylimnio of Messinia is the place that you should NOT miss when visiting the Peloponnese. It is a small, verdant paradise, surrounded by 15 ponds and small waterfalls! “Unknown” and unchanged even by tourist crowds, Polylimnio offers the chance for a dive in the cold waters of the ponds. It is a unique experience that you must have, especially if you visit the Peloponnese in mid-spring, summer or early autumn.

Suggested visit time: 2 hours

 The know-it-all says: The tallest waterfall is the one of Kadi, with the water falling from 25 meters high!

Leonidio

Leonidio is the (informal) capital of the historical Tsakonia. It is beneath the shadow of the imposing red rock and offers the visitor hospitality that befits the area. Unknown to the general tourist population, Leonidio is one of the most pristine destinations in the Peloponnese. Explore the ancient settlement, swim in Plaka, Poulithra and the pebbled beach of Ayios Georgios, and follow the trail for the Monastery of Eloni and Kosmas. Finally, do not forget that you are in the homeland of the tsakonian eggplant, so try it in all versions.

Suggested visit time: 1 day

 The know-it-all says: The Tsakonian dialect is considered the most ancient in the world!

Methoni

Methoni is a tourist force that keeps rising, while it is the best springboard for visits to Pylos, Koroni and Finikounda. The thousands of tourists visit it in order to see the coastal castle with Bourtzi that is built on top of a skerry. Next to the castle you will find one of the best spots in the Peloponnese to enjoy the sunset (See Tips, Link)! Apart from the castle, you will have the chance to walk on the village’s central street and sit at one of the quaint cafés.

Suggested visit time: 3 hours

 The know-it-all says: The castle-town stretches across an area of 93 acres!

Ancient Olympia

Ancient Olympia, where the Olympic idea was born, the place that gave birth to the biggest sports events of all times…the Olympic Games! Ancient Olympia is one of the most important historical sites, not only in Greece, but in the entire world. It is divided in the outdoor archaeological park, the Olympia archaeological museum, in which the central figure is Hermes of Praxiteles, the museum of history of the Ancient Olympic Games and the museum of the history of the excavations of Olympia.

Suggested visit time: 3-4 hours
Open: Every day 08:00-20:00 (except for holidays and National holidays)
Cost: April-October: Adults 12€, Reduced 6€ & November-March: 6€

 The know-it-all says: In August 2004, after 1611 years it hosted the sport of shot put for men and women, during the modern Olympic Games of Athens!

Lagkadia

Lagkadia is one of the most tourist-attracting winter destinations of mountainous Arcadia. The village of the just 400 residents is literally pinned on a steep, verdant slope of Menalo. There are houses built at a 500m altitude (Kato Machalas) and others at 1,000m altitude (Pano Machalas) that affirm the slope’s incline, which is up to 70 degrees! At the amphitheatrical Lagkadia you will find stone-built mansions, narrow cobbled alleys, water fountains, stone trails and old churches, while you can rest at the squares under the shade of the plane trees.

Suggested visit time: Half a day

 The know-it-all says: In the village there were the best stone builders of the entire Peloponnese!

Neda Waterfalls

The Neda Waterfalls are yet another pristine treasure of the Peloponnesian land. The Neda gorge with the homonymous river, every summer becomes a big draw for nature-lovers everywhere, as the pristine nature offers images of rare beauty. The journey might be long and somewhat tiring, but the ponds, bridges, natural pools and famous waterfalls of Neda will compensate you for all the trouble. Do not miss out on taking a dive in its cold, crystal waters, especially in the summer months.

Read the Tips to find out which is the best route, as well as other useful information.

Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours

 The know-it-all says: Neda is the only river in Greece with a feminine name!

Vytina (Forest and Love Road)

Vytina is located in the center of the Peloponnese and it is the best and most trustworthy option for holidays in mountainous Arcadia. A main destination for the Menalo Ski Center, offering quality accommodation. It is also known for the Love Road, which is suitable for romantic walks, as well as for the Vytina Forest that is located a bit outside the village. In its center you will find stone-built mansions, the central square with the old church and many shops to rest and do your shopping.

Mini Tip: The Love Road is the 2nd entrance to Vytina.

Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours

 The know-it-all says: On the love road, young men used to meet their future wives!

Voidokilia Beach

It is characterized as one of the most beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean. It stands out due to its unique shape, while it is registered in the Natura 2000 network. We are of course talking about the beach of Voidokilia, this peculiar piece of land in the shape of a (perfect) Ω! It impresses the visitor with its natural beauty, golden sand and crystal-clear, bule-green waters. A thin strip of land separates it from the equally impressive Yalova lagoon! If you think you can, climb up (20 minutes) to the Navarino Castle, which will offer you images of unique beauty.

Suggested visit time: 3-4 hours

 The know-it-all says: The most possible explanation is that it got its name due to the curvature of the bay, which resembles a bull’s belly!


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