The whole Greek region is famous for its tourism activities, however among them Peloponnese is a popular one among visitors and tourists. Due to its archaeological importance, it’s always been one of the most visited places by tourists and history lovers. Many imperative archaeological sites are held in this region, such as Epidaurus, Mycenae and Olympia. It has some striking worth seeing sites and beautiful resorts that attract the tourists towards them.
When you look from the sky, the region geographically seems like a shape of a plane tree leaf and the most catching part of this region is that it’s all of the sides are surrounded by water, so it has beaches at its every corner. The relaxing beaches, the calm environment with the exotic spas makes it one of the favorite holiday destinations.
Historical Background of Peloponnese
The region’s name Peloponnese is based on Pelopas or Pelops and it means the “Island of Pelops”. Pelops from whom descended the King Agamemnon himself and the kings of Mycenae was Atreus family’s ancestor. Peloponnese has always been a region of attention for everyone since the prehistoric times. Many villages were established by the tribes migrated from the North in the territory. Due to the strong geographical location of Peloponnese, these villages started developing and soon turned into strong towns, such as Sparta, Pylos and Mycenae.
Peloponnese had been a part of the Byzantine Empire in the medieval times. After Constantinople, Mystras, a town of Peloponnese ranked second as the Byzantine Empire’s most powerful region. Even the family of Paleologos, who was the last family of the emperors, came from Mystras as well. Later on, when the Byzantine Empire collapsed, the Venetians occupied Peloponnese.
Venetians were strong contenders; they protected the region by building castles in major areas from the enemies, such as the Castle of Monemvasia and the Fortress of Niokastro in Pylos, and the Palamidi Fortress in Nafplion. However, they faced defeat by the hands of the Ottomans in the fifteenth century. After they conquered, they ruled the place till 1821, as then the Greek Independence Revolution broke out. For the next 6 years many decisive battles were fought during the war and finally the mainland, Peloponnese, and the islands of the Cyclades and Saronic constituted the modern state of Greece.
Many holy places were hosted in Peloponnese during its long historical period, such as the Epidaurus, where people used to visit Asklepieion of Epidaurus for the cure of different diseases. Once they recovered, they used to celebrate at the Theatre of Epidaurus in the Epidaurian Games for their God of medicine called Asclepius. Olympia was also one of the holy places, where after every four years the Olympic Games were celebrated.
Beaches of Peloponnese
Diversified landscape, traditional beautiful villages, and sandy beaches are only some of the great attraction for tourists. Both winter and summer are ideal seasons to visit Peloponnese as most of the area is covered by mountains but also hosts some of the most exotic and stunning beaches of Greece. Long, clean beaches, seaside villages and natural coastline beauty make a unique combination that can be found only in Peloponnese.
Many towns in Peloponnese are equipped with modern tourism facilities close to the beaches. The town of Porto Heli, Ermioni town and the Tolo resort are famous attractions. Eastern Peloponnese region, Argolida is also one of the popular tourist spots. If you want to swim at exotic beaches, visit Elafonissos, situated at the south of Laconia region. The island is famous for its crystal clear waters and its warm sandy beaches. Gythio’s Mavrovouni beach is another option thanks to its beautiful stretched shore line. Koroni and Methoni in Messenia, Voidokilia in Pylos and their homonymous beaches at the south of Peloponnese are also tourist hot spots.
Nightlife Fun in Peloponnese
The nightlife is all fun in Peloponnese. Specially, if you are on your honeymoon trip, there is no place more beautiful, romantic and peaceful than Peloponnese in Greece. Peloponnese’s most places are not that much crowded, everyone can enjoy their activities with privacy. Along the stretched shore, many taverns are set up, serving delicious cuisines and local wine to their visitors. The taverns on the hills provide a spectacular view to their tenants. You will find a number of options to spend your night out. The lounge bars offering tasty drinks stay open till two to three am in the morning, so you can have maximum fun.
In case you are looking for all night parties, you still have many options. Certain regions are open for all night fun parties, such as Kalamata and Pylos night clubs remain open till dawn. Patra’s beaches, Nafplio, Killini and Katakolon are also popular for their night club fun. The place above Kalamata, Vigla and the beach resort of Tolo offer the vibrant colours of nightlife to the thousands of visitors who come every year.
|List of Destinations in Peloponnese|
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Beautiful and special locations in Peloponnese
With the collection of fabulous beaches, exotic resorts, traditional villages and most of all interesting archaeological sites, Peloponnese is a wonderful region to visit once. There are numerous sites spread in Peloponnese that holds great attraction for the tourists. From Athens many tour groups depart for Peloponnese on a daily basis. You can even visit Kythira and Elafonissos, the beautiful islands situated on the Peloponnese southern side.
Yes, the most famous site of Olympia is also located in Peloponnese on its western side. It is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Greece as it used to host the first ever Olympic games of history. All Greek city states took part in these Olympic games by sending their athlete representatives. The winner used to get a branch of olive tree leaves as a prize.
During the excavations, many impressive ornaments and remains were found and nowadays kept in the Archaeological Museum, so visiting that place is must. Some worth Interesting places in Olympia are the temples of Zeus and Hera, the sites in the Ancient Stadium, the workshop of Phedias and the palaestra.
One of the most visited towns in Greece in the winter is Kalavryta. Occupied with mountains and located on the Peloponnese’s northern side, it is a place worth to visit. It has a beautiful landscape and tourists love to enjoy the skiing activities on Mount Helmos’ slopes at the ski centre. There is also a Holocaust Monument situated on the hilltop for the commemoration of the calamity where the whole village and male citizens were killed and set on fire in December of 1943. If you go for a drive in Kalavryta, you will find many appealing sights, such as the incredible Cave of the Lakes, the historically important Monastery of Agia Lavra which is carved on the slopes of a mountain and the beautiful Monastery of Mega Spileo where the Greek Revolution was first declared in 1821.
On Peloponnese’s eastern side lies Epidaurus, which is one of the most famous Greek archaeological sites. You can reach Epidaurus from Athens with tourism groups. Epidaurus in Greece was mostly famous for the healing centre of the god Asclepius, where people visit to get cured of their diseases. There is a worldwide famous for its acoustics theatre in Epidaurus, built in late fourth century BC which was used to host the ceremonial religious events for god Ascepius. Due to its intelligent acoustics and its beautiful symmetrical design, the ancient theatre presents a striking view of the downside valley. You can even watch dramas of the ancient times in this theatre during the summer.
Patra is located on the northern side of Peloponnese. It is the regional capital and it is ranked as the third largest city of Greece. The city ports are all the year busy as people travel to Italy and Ionian Islands from there via the scheduled ferry services. So, this city receives thousands of visitors round the year. The best Carnival of Greece is also held in Patra. One can enjoy a number of events in the carnival as well as the costume parade.
Patra has a long history to explore with many archaeological sites. You can see the church of St. Andrew, famous as the protector of the town, the Roman Odeon and the Medieval Castle. You can even go for a road trip from Patra to Delphi, Nafpaktos, Mesolongi and Olympia. It also has many stunning beach resorts, so the tourists can enjoy their holidays wherever they want.
With two hours driving from Athens, in the mainland of Greece is situated the attractive town called Nafplion. All year round, the town is ready to welcome a large number of tourists who love to spend their weekends in Nafplion. The atmosphere of the town is intensely medieval and the view from the top of the hill fortress is stunning. The strong fortress is famous with the name Palamidi and gives a spectacular view of the sea to the visitors. It has a lovely beach resort that invites the tourists towards to it; the village of Tolo. Tolo is the most stunning beach resort located near the town which has a stretched sandy beach full of sunbathers. It is a quite crowded resort, well equipped with high quality tourist facilities.
Sited in the region of Argolis, between Argos and Nafplion, the site of Mycenae is one of the most eminent archaeological sites in Greece. In the ancient times, the town was very prosperous and affluent. Gigantic walls were built around the prehistoric town for its protection. Its prominent spot is the Lion Gate, with two female stone lions above it which served as the entrance to the town. The name Mycenae was given to the whole civilization, which prosper during 1600 to 1000 BC. In the entire country, the civilization was extended, however, Mycenae remained as the most authoritative town.
The Spartans were the bravest men in the Greek history, coming from the famous city of Ancient Sparta. It was basically the military city-state where the only passion of the men was to become stronger, unbeatable soldiers. They all believe to shed blood for the love and protection of their homeland. Now, Sparta is a small city located on Peloponnese’s south eastern side. The place is much visited by the tourists who want to explore the secrets of the ancient town. The town also is used as a bypass to visit other beautiful regions of the southern part of Peloponnese such as Gythio, Mani and many more.
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