The Peloponnese peninsula is located in western Greece and is one of the most famous regions in Greece due to its rich history and beautiful landscape. The Isthmus and the Gulf of Corinth are separating the peninsula from mainland Greece. The peninsula is surrounded by the Ionian Sea on the west side and by the Aegean Sea on the east side.
It is home to much of Greek mythology and history. This is the place where ancient Greek Gods walked among mortals and meddled into their everyday life. This is the place where Hercules fought the Nemean Lion, where Paris of Troy eloped with Helen and Jason started his search for Golden Fleece with the Argonauts.
Over the years it was influenced by many different cultures that contributed to the unique look of the peninsula. It shouldn’t be surprising to find Venetian balconies, Mycenaean palaces, Ottoman and Frankish buildings and fortresses and of course, ancient Greek temples.
What to do
The Peloponnese region is so beautiful and magical that you wouldn’t know where to start exploring. Thankfully, we have a list of things that you might like to do in Peloponnese. Our first suggestion is to go and explore the astonishing cities of Nafplio and Patras. There are several ways you can explore these incredible cities and we recommend getting to know them through our food and cultural tours as we find it to be the best way to mingle with locals.
The second thing you surely have to scratch off of your ‘to do’ list is visiting the ancient monuments. Like we mentioned, the Peloponnese is the cradle of ancient Greek history and there are many mesmerising monuments that are here to tell you the story of the past times. One of them is Epidaurus Theatre that is considered to be the “perfect amphitheatre” due to its incredible acoustics. Even today the theatre is used during the famous and the oldest Athens and Epidaurus Festival of performing arts that takes place every summer. Another must-see historical monument, is the ancient town of Olympia, the location of where the Olympic Games originated. Stroll through this original setting, where ancient Greeks competed for olive wreath.
Also, on our list of things to do in the Peloponnese is to enjoy the long and sandy beaches of this peninsula. Your stay in Greece is not complete if you don’t spend a day among golden beaches and crystal clear waters. The most popular beaches of the peninsula are: Simos Beach, Megaro Paralia, Panagia and Romanos Beach.
The city of Nafplio is one of the most popular destinations in Peloponnese. This city has a rich history, beautiful architecture and incredible hospitality. This former capital of Greece has something to offer to everyone. You can enjoy different adventurous activities like hiking, horse riding or bicycle riding through the town. Otherwise, you can enjoy slow walks across picturesque squares or have a drink in one of the charming little cafes. With different influences of various cultures, Nafplio is quite a sight to see.
The city of Patras is the third largest city in Greece and the capital of the Peloponnese region. It is built in the foothill of the Pannachaikon Mountain and is overlooking the Patras Gulf. Much like Nafplio, Patras also has a bit of everything to offer in order to satisfy different tastes. You can take a walk along the famous Agiou Nikolaou pedestrian street that leads to the old town. For romantic souls, we recommend going to the city’s lighthouse to admire the splendid view of the port. Between the ancient monuments, pedestrian streets and squares to walk, picturesque taverns and cafes, you will not know which place to visit and enjoy first.
As everywhere in Greece, the Peloponnese have some incredibly tasty food to offer. The olives of this region – Nafplio specifically – are considered the best in all of Greece and the olive oil made from them is of the highest quality.
If there is one vegetable that can represent the cuisine of Peloponnese it is the eggplant. This vegetable is so prized to the point that in the town of Leonidio there is a festival that celebrates the harvest of the eggplant. The Greeks can prepare it in many ways such as stuffed with minced meat or as a main ingredient in traditional moussaka.
Another dish to look for is Lalangia, which is a thin fried dough stuffed with cheese and then covered in honey. This combination of sweet and sour will win you over for sure.
Finally, we have to mention the high quality of different ingredients that are being produced in Peloponnese that make every feast amazingly delicious. Those products are wine from the local vineyards, honey, olive oil and fresh fish that is served the same day when it is caught.