Although not as touristy as the rest of Greece, the Peloponnese region abounds in history, culture, and gastronomy. For over 3,000 years, this jagged peninsula was the heart of Ancient Greece. Visit some of the country's most historic spots, like Ancient Olympia where the Olympic Games started, the impressive theater of Epidavros, and the fortified stone village of Monemvasia. Relax on the scenic Mani Peninsula, explore the popular coastlines, and climb the castle of Nafplio, all while noshing on local cuisine like the country's famed Kalamata olives.

Getting Oriented

The Peloponnese Peninsula acts as mainland Greece's underbelly, with four legs reaching out into the Aegean and Ionian Seas. Cut off from Athens by the narrow Corinth Canal, many visitors bypass this region in favor of the capital, northern regions, and the Greek Islands. But the country's improved highway system now offers easy access to the historical area, where you'll find some of the most important sites of Ancient Greece.

Enjoy exploring the very heart of Greece's ancient civilizations, including the archeological ruins of Ancient Sparta, Ancient Olympia, Mycenae, and Epidaurus. You can visit picturesque towns like Nafplio with its impressive Venetian fortress, the scenic coastline of the Mani Peninsula, and the ancient fortified castle-village of Monemvasia, best viewed from the sea. Discover Byzantine castles, nibble on the famous Kalamata olive, tour organic olive farms, and more! Learn all about the top highlights of the Peloponnese Peninsula

Exploring Ancient Greece

The Peloponnese is home to some of Greece's biggest ancient names. Everyone knows Ancient Olympia and Ancient Sparta, but there are even more archaeological ruins waiting to be explored. 

Ancient Sparta & the Byzantine Castle of Mystras Tour

The impressive Despots' Palace in Mystras.

You'll find Ancient Sparta next to the scenic village of Mystras, a fortress that once stood as the capital of the Byzantine state and is currently the most important monument of its time in Greece. With a professional guide leading the way, you'll explore Mystras' three zones: the upper city with the Despot's Palace, the lower city with the Metropolis, and the outer city. Afterward, head over to Sparta and learn about this renowned military group, which adopted the infamous motto, "win or die." You can also extend your tour and visit the Olive and Olive Oil Museum in Sparta's modern town to learn about the region's popular Kalamata olive. Read More

Ancient Olympia Tour

Historic columns in Ancient Olympia, where the Olympic Games started.

You probably know Ancient Olympia as the place where the Olympic Games first started all the way back in 776 BCE. Your guide will lead you through the large complex, visiting important sites like the massive Temple of Zeus, the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, and the Temple of Hera. Stop to view the areas where athletes trained and competed for over 3,000 years! Then head to the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology in the town of Katakolo, where you'll find ancient Greek inventions and the first analog computer in human history. Read More

Mycenae & Epidaurus Tour

The ruins of the Acropolis of Mycenae. 

Discover some of the oldest ruins in Greece with a tour to the Acropolis of Mycenae. This massive monument was built before 1100 BCE and housed the Treasury of Atreus and Tholos Tomb belonging to King Agamemnon. Marvel at the Cyclopian walls (quite an architectural feat for its time) and pass through the famous Lion Gate to explore the castle ruins. Then make your way to the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus, the ruins known as the world's starting point of medicine. Your guide will take you through several monuments as you peruse this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Read More

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Tasting the Peloponnese

The Kalamata olive is the prized culinary possession of the Peloponnese Region, and no trip to the area is complete without eating a few (handfuls) of these tasty little fruits.

Olive Farm Visit & Tasting with Lunch

Explore the region's famous olives and learn how to taste and distinguish different varieties.

The olive tree is undoubtedly the symbol of Greece, and you can thank Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, for its cultivation in the country. Legend has it that she first planted the tree in Athens, meaning the Greeks were the earliest to plant the tree in the Mediterranean region.

As you tour a local olive farm and chat with the owners, learn how to extract, taste, and distinguish different varieties of the country's "liquid gold." Enjoy lunch in the groves as you listen to stories about the farm and the history of olive oil from the farmers themselves. Leave with your own bottle of olive oil to enjoy at home! Read More

Discovering Scenic Towns

The Peloponnese is not only historical, but it's also incredibly scenic. Enjoy exploring some of the most interesting and picturesque areas of Greece's mainland.

Nafplio Old Town & Palamidi Castle Walk 

Views from Nafplio's castle. 

Nafplio was modern Greece's first capital and now stands proudly as one of the country's most charming cities. Enjoy wandering the town's alleyways lined with colorful buildings, a unique mix of Venetian, Ottoman, and Greek architecture. You'll start at Palamidi Castle to take in the views over the historic center and port, listening to your guide point out important structures, including Bourtzi Fort. Pass through the city's original walls and the Gate of the Land, visit the first Greek parliament at Vouleftikon, and spend some time in the buzzy Constitution Square, also known as Syntagma Square. Read More

Sea Kayaking the Castle of Monemvasia

The incredible, walled village of Monemvasia.

Monemvasia is a fortified stone village known as the Castle of Monemvasia, one of Greece's most scenic and interesting towns. The town sits at the edge of the sea, backed up by a jarring cliffside, making its best views acquired from the sea. Join a professional guide as you kayak around the entire Rock of Monemvasia, enjoying the same views that merchant ships once did in the Middle Ages. Learn about the castle's historic walls, buildings, and monuments, as well as its fascinating history and culture. Read More

Boat Trip in Mani Peninsula

Charming towns and scenic coastline along the Mani Peninsula.

The Peloponnese has four narrow legs (or peninsulas) that stretch out into the sea. One of the most scenic and popular is Mani Peninsula, known for its stunning coastline. Step onto a traditional fishing boat and relax as you cruise along the Maniot Coast. This stretch of land features rocky cliffs, sandy beaches, turquoise coves, and quaint villages. Your captain will follow the famous Diros and Gerolimenas sea routes. Read More

How to Create the Perfect Greece Itinerary with the Peloponnese

The rest of Greece's mainland is well-connected to the Peloponnese.

The Peloponnese Peninsula is just southwest of Athens, making it a perfect area to include in any Greece itinerary. Modern highways that hug the scenic Saronic Gulf and cut through mountains connect the two in just over 1.5 hours. If you're visiting Greece for its history, then adding the archeological sites of the Peloponnese is a must. You can also easily combine the region with Corfu or the islands in the Ionian Sea or with a trip to the Cyclades Islands.

Because it's a larger region, and some of the sites require drives on smaller roads, it's best to spend at least a few days on the peninsula. If you have more or less time, learn how to allocate your schedule in the Peloponnese.  

Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following trips that include Peloponnese Peninsula: