Top Five Peleponnese

The Peleponnese with its eventful history, is home to some of Greece’s great archeological sites from the ancient world and Byzantine churches and monasteries.

It is home to the Sparta which was a powerful city state in Ancient Greece.

The region is large and mountainous dominated by forests and farmland with some spectacular and isolated beaches along its its peculiarly shaped four fingered coastline.

The key sites here include ancient Olympia, Epidaurus, Mycenae and Tiryns.


1. Olympia

In western Peloponnese, in the so-called “valley of the gods”, Ancient Olympia grew to be the most celebrated sacred site of Ancient Greece, and the birthplace of the Olympic Games, the most important sports events in all antiquity: starting from 776 B.C.

All Greeks – across the then known world – would be united every four years and all hostilities would be suspended so that everyone could take part in these games in the true spirit of sportsmanship. Olympia is now, as it used to be in the past, a famed destination, a powerful landmark known the world over.


2. Corinth
Corinth was a Greek, Hellenistic and Roman city located on the isthmus which connects mainland Greece with the Peloponnese.

Surrounded by fertile plains and blessed with natural springs, ancient Corinth was a centre of trade, had a naval fleet and participated in various Greek wars.

In the Roman period, Corinth was a major colony and for over a millennium, it was rarely out of the limelight. The city was famously visited by the Apostle Paulc. 51 CE. Today, the ancient city lies in ruins but there still stands an impressive temple dedicated to Apollo.

The Corinth Canal connects the Gulf of Corinth in the Ionian Sea with the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnese from the Greekmainland, making the peninsula an island. The canal was dug through the Isthmus at sea level and has no locks. It is 6.4 kilometres in length and only 24 metres wide at sea level, making it impassable for many modern ships. It is currently of little economic importance and is mainly a tourist attraction.Construction was begun by Roman Emperor Nero in the first century AD and only completed in 1881.


3. Epidaurus

Epidaurus brings to mind the town’s Ancient Theatre (c. 340-330 B.C.), a renowned monument included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list as part of the Sanctuary of Asclepius, the god of medicine for the ancient Greeks. The dramatic performances staged in this theatre were watched by the god’s patients, during their stay at the healing centre.


4. Mycenae and Tiyrns

Mycenae – the city of the legendary Agamemnon is home to the Mycenaean civilisation.

The earliest archaeological fragments indicate that the site of Mycenae was inhabited since the 7th millennium BC, from prehistoric times.

In a dominant, naturally fortified position between the tranquil sloping hills of Profitis Ilias, and Sara, with a plentiful water supply, it was an ideal place for man to settle and live a protected life.The peak for the Mycenaeans with their majestic architecture, inscribed monuments and sophisticated civilisation, occurred in the Late Bronze Age, between 1350 and 1200 BC.

Around this same time construction began on the first monumental tombs. After this, expansion developed at a dizzying speed. Palatial complexes, Cyclopean masonry which is awe-inspiring even today, the famous “Tomb of Agamemnon” (also known as the “Treasury of Atreus”), huge arches, fountains and ramparts comprise one of the greatest architectural complexes known to the ancient world.

The decline of Mycenae occurred around 1100 BC, possibly due to repeated damage from earthquakes and fires.The archaeological site of Mycenae is 140km from Athens and 24km from Nafplio

The fortification of the hill of Tiryns (8km from Argos) which protects the palace complex, is such an impressive construction that the ancient Greeks could not believe that it was built by human hands. Thus, the architects of Tiryns were said to be the Cyclopes, who came to the city with Proetus, its legendary founder, from distant Lycia.

One stands in awe in front of the perfect assembly of these huge boulders, unable to understand either how or who could have performed such a great feat of engineering.From archaeological findings we know that the gently sloping hill of Tiryns was continuously inhabited from Neolithic times to Late Antiquity.

It was already flourishing in the Early Bronze Age. Between 2700 and 2200 BC, there was a populous and prosperous city here. The circular building, 27 metres in diameter which dominates the hilltop, bears witness to the undeniable power of the city. The fortifications of Tiryns were completed in stages, to protect the palace complex, their places of worship and burial sites. Warehouses, workshops and housescomplete the picture of a city which flourished for almost 2000 years, until the 5th century BC.




5. Napfio

One of the most beautiful towns in in eastern Peloponnese as well as one of the most romantic cities all over Greece, Nafplio was the first capital of the newly born Greek state between 1823 and 1834.

According to mythology, the town was founded by Nafplios, the son of god Poseidon and the daughter of Danaus (Danaida) Anymone. The town’s history traces back to the prehistoric era when soldiers from here participated in the Argonautic expedition and the Trojan War alike.

The town declined during the Roman times and flourished again during the Byzantine times. Frankish, Venetian and Turkish conquerors left their mark in the town and strongly influenced its culture, architecture and traditions during the centuries. Ancient walls, medieval castles, monuments and statues, Ottoman fountains and Venetian or neoclassical buildings are among the attractions.


Destination – Greece