Introducing Peloponnese holidays
The Peloponnese peninsula of southern Greece is home to striking mountain ranges, dramatic coastlines and some of the richest history in the country. The cities of Sparta, Tripoli and Corinth are all found on the peninsula, with plenty of opportunity to soak up the delights of the Mediterranean.
Peloponnesian history is as legendary as they come. Home to both the Spartans and the site of ancient Olympia, where the Olympic Games began, the region is full of stunning ancient ruins, nestled among forests, rivers and mountains, while never being too far from the nearest sandy beach!
Explore or relax – the choice is yours. For holidays in Peloponnese, look no further than our great deals, or keep reading below to learn more about the many wonderful destinations on the peninsula.
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Greek
- Time Zone: GMT +2
- Average flight time: 3h 25m
When to go
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Between the ancient history and the beautiful natural surroundings, there’s a lot to see and do during a holiday in the Peloponnese. Take a trip to the Asklepeion Temple, the amphitheatre and the Fountain House to get a real feel for the heritage of your holiday destination. Head to the beauty spot of Polylimnia to find the waterfall and series of pools where you can swim among nature to your heart’s content. Take a day trip to Kalamata’s bustling marina, where you’ll find markets and cafés, as well as an archaeological museum and lots of local churches to explore. In the evening, Kalamata has live performances in its stunning amphitheatre, and there are bars and restaurants with outdoor terraces to sit in and relax. If you visit the Taygetos Mountains you’ll find gorges to walk alongside, exploring villages as you go. View the shipwrecked MV Dimitrios on Glyfada Beach, swim to the submerged city of Pavlopetri, climb to the ruins of Mystras, and see the wildlife in the wetlands of Gialova, all in a single holiday to the Peloponnese.
Wine and Dine
Being in the middle of such rich natural beauty - between the greenery of the land and the clear blue sea - Peloponnese food is just as varied and locally sourced as you might expect. The olives and olive oil are a particular local speciality, and you should definitely take some home with you either as a gift or for your own kitchen supplies. Fruit and vegetables are widely available and grown all around you, and the fresh fish is caught straight from the ocean beside you. Cabbages, tomatoes, aubergines, carrots, melons, lemons and apricots are all grown in abundance, and you’ll find them on the menus wherever you go. Of course you’ll find some excellent wine on your holiday in the Peloponnese, with vineyards being just one of the inventive uses of this fertile soil, so stock up on some bottles for family and friends when you’ve found your favourite.
The beaches of the Peloponnese are the secret to having a harmonious family holiday, because kids will love splashing around in the clear sea and playing in the sand, while grown-ups sunbathe on the beach, reading or just enjoying a long, relaxing nap in the sunshine. Kids can also be persuaded to enjoy some of the historic elements of a holiday to the Peloponnese because there are lots of exciting ruins, including the Castle of Niokastro and the site of the Olympic Games with the original Olympic Stadium to explore. If you’re visiting in winter, skiing on Mount Helmos can be fun for all the family. And no matter what time of year you visit, there’s always the chance to hike the trails through some beautiful wilderness, including the mountains of Arcadia where you can pick wild flowers and look out for wildlife.
Action and Adventure
Whatever way you prefer to get your daily adrenaline rush; you’ll find a way to do it during a holiday in the Pelopponese. The Corinth Canal is one of the best places to bungee jump you’ll ever find, and you can take the 80m plunge into the fresh waters below - perfect if you’re having trouble waking up properly. Cycling enthusiasts will love the Arcadia region, with its trails between wine producers. Even if you’re not a big wine fan, the scenery is stunning and you’ll find lots of small villages and historical sites to marvel at as you go. Instead of following the wine trail, you could also try following the Neda Gorge through the region of Messinia. It’s a two-day walk in its entirety, and goes through beautiful countryside, with pools and waterfalls. Explore a real sea cave with a visit to Diros Bay, Lakonia. This 10,000 square metre natural wonder is accessible by boat or on foot, and is one of the most fascinating things you’ll see during your holiday.
Life's a Beach
The Peloponnese is surrounded by beaches, with clear blue water and soft sands. The small island of Elefonissos has some of the most attractive stretches of seafront, with sheltered coves everywhere, and there are also some lovely beaches at Tolo, Mavrovouni and Pylos too. Tolo is the most tourist friendly beach which is well equipped to deal with the expectations of lots of international visitors, but most beaches are very basic in terms of facilities. Instead, their charm is that they’re largely unspoiled and natural, with a laid back and relaxing atmosphere. You’ll find a few places to eat and drink directly behind or on the beaches, but for more choice there are seaside villages around the coast with added bars, cafés, restaurants and shops. Porto Heli and Ermioni are just two such seafront areas, where you can spend the whole day by the sea with access to everything you might need nearby.
There really is something for everyone as soon as it starts to get dark, whether you want to dance all night or enjoy the peace and quiet. You won’t find an overwhelming number of nightclubs around the Peloponnese area, but if you head out to Pylos, Katakolon, Killini, Nafplion, Tolo or Kalamata - as well as some of the other beachside holiday resorts - you’ll be able to dance all night with other holidaymakers and locals. Vigla has great views and a choice of popular clubs, making it a favourite spot for party animals. For the most part, though, the region is a place for relaxing evenings spent outside bars and restaurants, enjoying the night air and watching the world go by. Find a traditional old tavern, try the local wine, and marvel at views over the sea or the hillsides as you relax in this natural paradise.
As well as laying around in the sand, there are plenty of other things couples can do to make a break in the Peloponnese as memorable as possible. Take a trip to the rocky island of Monemvasia, where you can walk the cobbled streets of Kastro - the walled city - and look at its 12th Century houses and churches. With sea views, lots of places to eat and drink, and no cars at all, it’s a peaceful and romantic pace to visit. Meanwhile, Kitries harbour is the perfect place to watch the sunset, with unspoilt views of the ocean with lots of fishing boats; it’s both romantic and photogenic. There are walks galore to enjoy during a couples’ holiday to the Peloponnese, including a stroll along the old mule paths called kalderimis. Follow these paths along a popular route from Sotirianika to Kambos, stopping for a break at the old stone bridge.
With all its historical significance, and the remains of its ancient past all around, a holiday in the Peloponnese means you can’t help but take in the rich culture and heritage while you’re here. To make the best of your visit, you should take a trip out to beautiful ruins like Epidaurus, with its theatre and backdrop of dense greenery. Uncovered just a century ago, it’s now used once again for live performances. The village of Kardhamyli is very picturesque, and mixes old and new incredibly well. It’s nestled between lush green hills and sparkling blue sea, and is so pretty it has to be seen to be believed. The Mani is a famous region which was secluded until around the 1950s, so you’ll find the culture here is still very authentic even though it’s recently become accessible to visitors. Allegedly the home of Agamemnon, the site of Mycenae is on top of a hill and is very atmospheric, with huge gates and paths through the old palace. For a more soothing day out, the abandoned city of Mystra is a fascinating place to visit, with its faded palaces and small contingent of nuns.