The Peloponnese, not an hour away from Athens, offers many options either for a short excursion or for a multi-day vacation. Winter or summer has to present all kinds of activities and attractions. Summers, however, are the ones where we have the time and the appetite to explore a new place and discover its beauties. Starting the tour of the Peloponnese, we will see the places worth visiting and the activities you can do in each of them.
Corinth – Kalavryta – Lucios River
The beach in Xylokastro, one of the closest in Athens, offers exploration in the coastal pine forest “Peykia” and composes a landscape with more than 80 species of plants. In the Baths of Nice Eleni, a place that many Athenians do not know and is quieter, you can enjoy the thermal springs but also the beach with taverns, cafes and pine paths on your way there. The area took its name, of course, from Nice Eleni, the queen of Sparta who according to legend, took her baths in the fresh water springs of the area.
The Isthmus of Corinth for Bungee Jumping, is one of the few places in Greece where you can jump from a height of 78 meters and enjoy the view of the canal differently! Then, on the edge of the prefecture of Korinthia and towards Kalavryta, you will meet Lake Doxa in Ancient Feneos. An artificial lake that pronounces beautiful images throughout the year. Images created in the mirroring of the mountains that frame it. You can visit it on August 27th when Agios Fanourios, the chapel in the middle of the lake, celebrates.
In Kalavryta, the serrated railway of Diakopto-Kalavrita that descends Helmos drags you to images of a special landscape along Vouraikos and through the gorge. As if he were always there, fully integrated with the landscape around him, the serrated – created over 120 years ago – is something unique that you don’t want to lose. Finally, another experience in this beautiful area is rafting on the Lusios River with your friends or family. Starting from the Lusios River you can end up in Alfeios through images full of vegetation and water.
Continuing our journey to Nafplio, on the eastern side of the Peloponnese, we will meet busier places interwoven with excursions, summer holidays and ancient culture.
Nafplio – Tolo
One of the most famous beaches in the prefecture of Argolidos and only 8 km from Nafplio, to Tolo, you have at your disposal a completely clean and organized beach to enjoy a swim. During the summer daytrips by boat to Hydra, Spetses and Monemvasia are offered. Near Old Epidaurus lies a treasure beach. Waraarcha, although difficult to access after 10 minutes of dirt road by car, is one of the beaches that not many people know and you can enjoy the quietness and beauty of the place, on a coast with stones and blue waters. But prepare in front of you for what you will need, as the beach is not organized.
Nafplio is the most famous “station” of the Peloponnese with historical significance and intimate beauty. It has retained its glamour with its castles and picturesque streets. You can walk in the old town or enjoy a coffee on the coastal road overlooking the well-known Bourtzi. Kayaking in the bay of Nafplio you will see from close by Bourtzi and Palamedi which stands at the top and is worth visiting on foot to learn its history.
Continuing by kayak or car to the beach next door Karathina you can try more popular water sports with your family or friends.
During the summer, you have the opportunity to visit the ancient theatre of Epidaurus for a performance beyond all expectations. With a capacity of 13,000 spectators but also as a characteristic theatre structure of ancient Greece with its hollow, orchestra and setting, it is one of the most well-preserved ancient theatres in Greece. Each summer, Greeks and foreigners flock from every corner to enjoy a wonderful acoustics, a unique space that awes you just being there.
Of course you can visit it outside the show, but also find yourself in the small theatre of Epidaurus which is built in the shadow of the large and imposing “brother” theater.
Perhaps one of the most important archaeological monuments in the area of Argolida, Mycenae was at the heart of Greek culture during the Mycenaean period 1600-1100 BC.
Further south of Argolida, on the eastern side of the Peloponnese, you will find beautiful beaches of Arcadia and Laconia as well as beautiful settlements.
Let’s see some of them and what you can do there.
Leonidio – Monemvasia – Taygetos
Paralio Astros, is a seaside resort of the classics you will find all over Greece, for summer dives, afternoon walks and cool coffees. With many beaches around it has to yield everything you need in a hot Greek summer for your family vacation. Then the road from Leonidio, after Polithra, a beach of the Myrtoos Sea, Agios Fokianos, has a serenity and an unparalleled beauty. A well-hidden paradise is there for those who seek it. With white pebbles and a couple of taverns for the hungry, it’s a beach you won’t regret visiting.
One of the most interesting activities is climbing in Leonidio which offers over 1000 routes and varying degrees of difficulty. With the international festivals that used to take place in the region there has also been discussion in international magazines about the place where you can get a taste of climbing in the Peloponnese, something you should not miss if you are fond of such explorations.
One of the most hidden treasures of Laconia, the village of Kyparissi in the “legs” of Parnonia asks for some of your time to visit it and believe us, you will fall in love with it. Away from prying views and passing through gorges and steep ravines awaits you a landscape you did not expect to see. You can taste a walk in the port of Agios Georgios, hiking on the nearby routes and a full-fir excursion by car to nearby Kremasti for food.
Continuing the descent to the eastern part of the Peloponnese, you will find Monemvasia, better known for the medieval fortress located in the “Rock of Monemvasia”, with its vaulted alleys, mansions and local food such as shuttles and pasta gogs. It’s worth a dip in Portello, which will be unforgettable just as an image.
Taygetos, the highest mountain range in the Peloponnese, has incredible hiking routes to give. Aiming for the top of Prophet Elias at 2,405 meters, many locals start the summers guided by the moon in order to enjoy a different sunrise at the top. With clear skies, especially in summer, your eye can gaze up to Crete.
Completing our first tribute to the Peloponnese, we covered the north and east side with the places, beaches and activities that will give a different, more pleasant and adventurous note to your summer holidays.
Don’t forget to come back for the second part!