Greece has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to vacation destinations. Should you go to an iconic island like Mykonos or maybe see the world famous, cliff top monasteries at Meteora? Or should you spend all your time in Athens soaking up the history and museums?
What if you could go to a place that has a little bit of everything that Greece has to offer- beaches, ancient ruins, scenic coastal beauty, delicious food, and picturesque towns? Sounds pretty perfect, right? Welcome to the stunning Peloponnese Peninsula.
Reasons To Visit The Peloponnese Peninsula
The Peloponnese has ruins and fortresses littered over its gorgeous countryside, memorials to the different civilizations found throughout Greece's history and the many invaders that have passed through here. The Myceneans, the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Ottomans, the Venetians, the Franks; it's the history of Western Civilization that you can see and touch.
Loved the tales of Hercules as a kid? Ancient Nemea is here (but without the lion). Wondered about the people the Apostle Paul was writing to in First and Second Corinthians? Walk around the Roman ruins at Ancient Corinth and get an idea.
Interested in medieval history? Tour the hilltop fortresses of Acrocorinth and Palamidi in Nafplio to follow the rise and fall of the various Mediterranean powers. Big fan of the Iliad and Greek myths in general? Visit Mycenae, the mythological home of Perseus and Agamemnon.
Its Coastal Beauty and Beaches
Greece is defined by its relationship to the sea. You'll see it in its history, its stories, and its economy. The Peloponnese is comprised of 4 small peninsulas so there is no shortage of coastline. Driving just about anywhere leads to gorgeous views of cliffs and sea (and just a little bit of anxiety about the lack of guardrails in places.)
You'll also find coastal walks that are perfect ways to get out and enjoy the scenery. This is probably my favorite way to take in the view. Or take a sailing tour for the day and fill your Instagram with spectacular pictures. This is my second favorite way to spend the day.
The beaches are not as renowned as those on Mykonos or Crete, but there are lots of them and many are quite secluded and crowd-free. The water is clear and beautiful, so find an isolated swimming hole, bring a picnic, and spend the day. You'll soon see why this is such a popular Greek pastime.
Just don't forget your water shoes as some of the small beaches can be quite rocky and there can be sea urchins. But it is a small price to pay versus sharing your beach with a million other tourists.
A vacation on a Greek island sounds amazing, right? What if you could visit several and still have a less expensive homebase on the mainland? Spetses, Poros, Hydra, Kythera, and many smaller spits of land surround the Peloponnese peninsula, and many are easily visited by ferry for a great day trip.
The larger islands are more touristy and have better beaches, but the smaller ones can give an "off-the-beaten track" feel for the "real" Greece. All are fun, it just depends what you are looking for.
Quaint Greek villages are something of a cliche, but cliches exist for a reason. The Peloponnese is full of picturesque tiny villages and small towns steeped in old world charisma.
Head to Nafplio, voted one of the prettiest towns in Greece, or try the gorgeous mountain village of Kosmas. Any drive through the Peloponnese will take you through a number of places that will make you want to get out of your car for a coffee break at the local taverna and soak up the ambience.
Want To Go? We've Made It Easy For You
Interested in visiting the Peloponnese for your next vacation but overwhelmed by all the possibilities? Too busy to read a million blogs and guidebooks to figure out what your family should do?
Everything you need to know is included, especially all the little details that can be so important when traveling with kids- how long exactly is that hike?, is that restaurant kid-friendly? (usually not a worry in family-centric Greece). We also tell you the best apartment lodgings and hotels and which museums and archaeological sites our own kids enjoyed.