Peloponnese

Peloponnese juts out into the ocean, joined to the mainland at Corinth. It encompasses some of the greatest city states known in ancient Greek civilization including Sparta and Olympia. Surrounded by water and a serene, rugged, and natural coastline, Peloponnese has also quickly become known for its attractive beach settings and resort areas. The Mani Peninsula tower villages, peaceful Ionian Islands, the pretty and interesting seaside town of Porto Cheli are a few of the scores of attractions within this revered region.

History

History

History

Also known as Pelops Island and in medieval times the Morea, Peloponnese is an expansive peninsula on the southernmost point of Greece’s mainland. More than 3500 years of history have been uncovered, beginning with the Mycenaean people. Peloponnese was a major center during the height of civilization in ancient Greece and home to the city-states of Argos, Sparta, and Corinth. As ancient Greece went into decline, the Romans overtook in 146 BC. This period of Peloponnese evolved into the Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire following 336 AD. After the downfall of Constantinople in the 13th century and the rise of Mystra’s, to Sparta’s west, the Ottoman Turks took the city in the 1460s, maintaining power through to the 19th century. Declared in 1821, Greek independence sparked war in Peloponnese, fought within the Pylos port on the west shoreline in 1826. After WWII and the Civil War in Greece, economic hardship fell over the city but eventually lifted strengthening the economy.

Archeological Sites

Archeological Sites

Archeological Sites

While classicists head straight for popular historic sites like Mycenae, ancient Olympia, and Corinth, the abandoned Venetian-Byzantine towns of Koroni and Mystras and dissolving castles attract dedicated medievalists. Southern Greece features such variety in archeological sites, from controlling city-states like Sparta and Olympia, where tours offer insight to the storied, ancient world. The Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus is a UNESCO World Heritage site, along with many others in Greece. Dating from the 4th century, Epidaurus boasts exceptional models of ancient Greek architecture. Southwest of Athens is Mycenae, a military stronghold and important center in ancient Greek civilization. Rich history, intact architecture, ruins, and debris here date back throughout periods of the Late Helladic, Middle, Early, and Late Bronze Age, and the Neolithic period.

Beaches

Beaches

Beaches

The beaches of Peloponnese are magnificent. With a varying, and greatly indented coastline, many beach settings arc into crescents. Dual, crescent-shaped beaches comprise Stoupa Beach, an area with a quaint, village-like atmosphere free from towering condos and all-night noisy discos. The all-sand beach is a gem: most area beaches feature rocky outcroppings.  Next door, Kardamyli is a quaint village spread out behind the scenic waterfront with a beach of the same name in the southern Peloponesse region. The main road is aligned with the rugged coast (backed by verdant greenery) and the beaches are sandy and peaceful.  Krani & Pilos beaches are also notable beach destination. Pilos is beautifully undeveloped and yet untouched by crowds. On the west side, it is best for total relaxation and a slowed pace. Krani is found west of Kalamata and the regional airport. Small pockets of development have created a quiet, mid-priced resort with options in small hotels and apartments along the coast.

Hotels & Lodging

Hotels & Lodging

Hotels & Lodging

Accommodation options across Peloponnese are quite diverse which is just one reason so many different types of travelers tend to enjoy extended stays rather than sweep through on tours. Several beach resorts, both big and small, provide traditional resort-style lodging along with small hotels and beach houses for rent. Both beach villas and villas small and large throughout the mountainous interior are available for rent, offering great freedom for independent travelers. Apartment hotels are another choice found dotted around the region. This type of accommodation varies; it can provide visitors with all the comforts of home and many hotel-like amenities in a more independent environment or function more as a hotel with additional services.

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