If you love history and enjoy the mysteries of the ancient world, then you should put the Peloponnese Region in the south of Greece on your bucket list. From Antic temples and Mycenean palaces to Ottoman and Venetian fortresses, wherever you look, you’ll find tangible traces of history in Peloponnese. But not only that. In Peloponnese, you’ll discover timeless, postcard-perfect villages, astonishing natural beauty, and beautiful Mediterranean beaches. To help you plan your Greece itinerary, here are the best places to visit in Peloponnese.
This picturesque seaside town was a capital of Greece before Athens. Located only two hours’ drive from Athens, Nafplion still bathes in a Medieval atmosphere. Walk around the narrow alleys of the Old Town lined with elegant houses and charming taverns. Visit the city’s medieval forests. Go to see Bourtzi Castle at the entrance of the port that was built to protect the town from marine attacks. Wrap up your excursion to Nafplion with a stroll to Arvanitia, a lovely pebble beach 15-minute walk from the town.
While in Nafplion, don’t miss to climb 875 steps to Palamidi Fortress on the hill above the village and admire breathtaking views of the gulf and coast. Settled on the top of a steep hill, Palamidi Fortress and castle dominate the skyline of Nafplion. Palamidi was built in the 18th century as the last fortress constructed by the Venetians outside their own country. Starting in 1840 and for the next hundred years, the Fortress served as a prison.
Entrance to Palamidi Fortress is 8 Euros.
Mycenae is a world-famous archeological site near Mykines in Argolis in north-eastern Peloponnese. Known as one of the most important centers of Greek civilization, this fortified citadel and lower town of Mycenae are believed to be at their peak 1500-1100 BC, during the late Bronze Age. In his Iliad, Homer described Mycenae, the kingdom of Agamemnon as “rich in gold”. One of the main centers of the Mycenaean civilization, Mycenae played a crucial role in the development of classical Greek culture.
Today, imposing ruins of Mycenae attract a great number of visitors each year. Walk through the Lion Gate, a symbol Mycenae. The main entrance dates from around 1250 BC. Visit the Tomb of the House of Atreus, one of the largest and best-preserved tombs in Mycenae. The Mask of Agamemnon from Mycenae, discovered by famous archeologist Heinrich Schliemann, (who excavated the citadel in 1840) is now kept in the National Archeological Museum of Athens.
The Great Theatre of Epidaurus
Don’t miss The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, one of the most visited sites in Peloponnese. It is also the best-preserved ancient theatre in Greece. Built in the late 4th century BC, the theatre is known for its perfect acoustics and harmonious structure. It could accommodate 15,000 thousand spectators who would be able to perfectly hear the actors, due to outstanding acoustics.
However, this remarkable monument remained hidden by a slope of trees for centuries. It was discovered in 1881 when several excavations took place. As of 1938, modern dramas began to be presented in the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus. If you happen to visit Greece from May to October, make sure to book your tickets for Epidaurus Festival. This amazing annual arts festival that takes place in the splendid settings of The Great Theatre of Epidaurus includes theatrical, musical and other cultural events and it is one of the most famous festivals in the country.