The Peloponnese

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Peloponnese - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

Sort by: 67 Recommendations {{numTotalPoiResults}} {{ (numTotalPoiResults===1)?'Recommendation':'Recommendations' }} 0 Recommendations
CLEAR ALL Area Search CLEAR ALL
Loading...
Loading...
  • 1. Ancient Corinth

    Ruins

    Excavations of one of the great cities of classical and Roman Greece have gone on since 1896, exposing ruins on the slopes of Acrocorinth and...

    Excavations of one of the great cities of classical and Roman Greece have gone on since 1896, exposing ruins on the slopes of Acrocorinth and northward toward the coast. In ancient times, goods and often entire ships were hauled across the isthmus on a paved road between Corinth's two ports—Lechaion on the Gulf of Corinth and Kenchreai on the Saronic Gulf—ensuring a lively trade with colonies and empires throughout Europe and the Middle East. Most of the buildings that have been excavated are from the Roman era; only a few from before the sack of Corinth in 146 BC were rehabilitated when the city was refounded under orders of Julius Caesar. The Glauke Fountain is past the parking lot on the left. According to the Greek traveler Pausanias, Glauke, Jason's second wife, also known as Creusa, threw herself into the water to obtain relief from a poisoned dress sent to her by the vengeful Medea. Beyond the fountain is the museum, which displays examples of the black-figure pottery—decorated with friezes of panthers, sphinxes, bulls, and warriors—for which Corinth was famous. Seven of the original 38 columns of the Temple of Apollo (just above the museum) are still standing, and the structure is by far the most striking of Corinth's ancient buildings—as well as one of the oldest stone temples in Greece (mid-6th century BC). Beyond the temple are the remains of the North Market, a colonnaded square once surrounded by many small shops, and south of the temple is the main forum of Ancient Corinth. A row of shops bounds the forum at the far western end. East of the market is a series of small temples, and beyond is the forum's main plaza. A long line of shops runs lengthwise through the forum, dividing it into an upper (southern) and lower (northern) terrace, in the center of which is the bema (large podium), perhaps the very one where in AD 52 St. Paul delivered his defense of Christianity before the Roman proconsul Gallio. The southern boundary of the forum was the South Stoa, a 4th-century-BC building, perhaps erected by Philip II of Macedonia to house delegates to his Hellenic confederacy. There were originally 33 shops across the front, and the back was altered in Roman times to accommodate such civic offices as the council hall, or bouleuterion, in the center. The road to Kenchreai began next to the bouleuterion and headed south. Farther along the South Stoa were the entrance to the South Basilica and, at the far end, the Southeast Building, which probably was the city archive. In the lower forum, below the Southeast Building, was the Julian Basilica, a former law court. Continuing to the northeast corner of the forum, you approach the facade of the Fountain of Peirene. Water from a spring was gathered into four reservoirs before flowing out through the arcadelike facade into a drawing basin in front. Frescoes of swimming fish from a 2nd-century Roman refurbishment can still be seen. The Lechaion road heads out of the forum to the north. A colonnaded courtyard, the Peribolos of Apollo, is directly to the east of the Lechaion road, and beyond it lies a public latrine, with toilets in place, and the remains of a Roman-era bath, probably the Baths of Eurykles described by Pausanias as Corinth's best known. Along the west side of the Lechaion road is a large basilica entered from the forum through the Captives' Facade, named for its sculptures of captive barbarians. West of the Captives' Facade the row of northwest shops completes the circuit. Northwest of the parking lot is the odeon (a roofed theater), cut into a natural slope, which was built during the 1st century AD, but burned around 175. Around 225 the theater was renovated and used as an arena for combats between gladiators and wild beasts. North of the odeon is the theater (5th century BC), one of the few Greek buildings reused by the Romans, who filled in the original seats and set in new ones at a steeper angle. By the 3rd century they had adapted it for gladiatorial contests and finally for mock naval battles. North of the theater, inside the city wall, are the Fountain of Lerna and the Asklepieion, the sanctuary of the god of healing with a small temple (4th century BC) set in a colonnaded courtyard and a series of dining rooms in a second courtyard. Terra-cotta votive offerings representing afflicted body parts (hands, legs, breasts, genitals, and so on) were found in the excavation of the Asklepieion, and many of them are displayed at the museum.

    Corinth, Peloponnese, 20100, Greece
    27410-31207

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €8
  • 2. Ancient Olympia

    Ruins

    One of the most celebrated archaeological sites in Greece is located at the foot of the pine-covered Kronion Hill and set in a valley where...

    One of the most celebrated archaeological sites in Greece is located at the foot of the pine-covered Kronion Hill and set in a valley where the Kladeos and Alpheios rivers join. Just as athletes from city-states throughout ancient Greece made the journey to compete in the ancient Olympics—the first sports competition—visitors from all over the world today make their way to the small modern Arcadian town. The Olympic Games, first staged around the 8th century BC, were played here in the stadium, hippodrome, and other venues for some 1,100 years. Today, the venerable ruins of these structures attest to the majesty and importance of the first Olympiads. Modern Olympia, an attractive mountain town surrounded by pleasant hilly countryside, has hotels and tavernas, convenient for visitors to the ancient site. As famous as the Olympic Games were—and still are—Olympia was first and foremost a sacred place, a sanctuary honoring Zeus, king of the gods, and Hera, his wife and older sister. The sacred quarter was known as the Altis, or the Sacred Grove of Zeus, and was enclosed by a wall on three sides and the Kronion hill on the other. Inside the Altis were temples, altars, and 12 treasuries of various city-states. To honor the cult of Zeus, established at Olympia as early as the 10th century BC, altars were first constructed outdoors, among the pine forests that encroach upon the site. Around the turn of the 6th century BC, the earliest building at Olympia was constructed, the Temple of Hera, which originally honored Zeus and Hera jointly, until the Temple of Zeus was constructed around 470 BC. The latter was one of the finest temples in all of Greece: thirteen columns flanked the sides, and its interior housed the most famous work of the era—a gold and ivory statue of Zeus. Earthquakes in 551 and 552 finished off the temple. After the Treasuries, the Bouleuterion, and the Pelopeion were built and the 5th and 4th centuries BC—the golden age of the ancient games—saw a virtual building boom. The monumental Temple of Zeus, the Prytaneion, and the Metroon went up at this time. The enormous Leonidaion was built around 300 BC, and as the games continued to thrive, the Palaestra and Gymnasion were added to the complex. The history of the Olympic Games is long and fabled. For almost 11 centuries, free-born Greeks from the various city-states gathered to participate in the games, held every four years in August or September. These games became so much a part of the culture that the four-year interval between the games became a standard unit of time, an Olympiad. An Olympic truce—the Ekecheiria—allowed safe passage for athletes from the different city-states traveling to the games, and participation in them meant allegiance to a "Panhellenic" ideal of a united Greece. The exact date of the first games is not known, but the first recorded event is a footrace, a stade, run in 776 BC. A longer race, a diaulos, was added in 724 BC, and wrestling and a pentathlon—consisting of the long jump, the javelin throw, the discus throw, a foot race, and wrestling—in 708 BC. Boxing and chariot racing were 7th-century BC additions, as was the pankration, a no-holds-barred match (broken limbs were frequent and strangulation sometimes the end)—Plato, the great philosopher, was a big wrestling fan. By the 5th century BC, the games featured nine events, held over four days, with the fifth day reserved for the ceremonies. Most of the participants were professional athletes, for whom winning a laurel wreath at Olympia ensured wealth and glory from the city-states that sponsored them. Today's tranquil pine-forested valley at Olympia, set with weathered stones of peaceful dignity, belies the sweaty drama of the first sporting festivals. Stadium foot races run in the nude; pankration wrestling was so violent that today's Ultimate Fighting matches look tame; weeklong bacchanals—serviced by an army of prostitutes—were held in the Olympic Village: little wonder this ancient event is now called the "Woodstock of its day" by modern scholars (wrestlers, boxers, and discus throwers being the rock stars of ancient Greece). For today's sightseer, the ruins of many of Olympia's main structures are still visible. The Altis was the sacred quarter, also known as the Sacred Grove of Zeus. In the Bouleuterion, the seat of the organizers of the games, the Elean senate, athletes swore an oath of fair play. In the Gymnasion, athletes practiced for track and field events in an open field surrounded by porticoes. In the Hippodrome, horse and chariot races were run on a vast racecourse. The House of Nero was a lavish villa built for the emperor's visit to the games of AD 67, in which he competed. The Leonidaion was a luxurious hostel for distinguished visitors to the games; it later housed Roman governors. The Metroon was a small Doric temple dedicated to Rhea (also known as Cybele), mother of the Gods. The Nymphaion, a semicircular reservoir, stored water from a spring to the east that was distributed throughout the site by a network of pipes. The Palaestra was a section of the gymnasium complex used for athletic training; athletes bathed and socialized in rooms around the square field. The Pelopeion, a shrine to Pelops, legendary king of the region now known as the Peloponnese, housed an altar in a sacred grove. Pheidias's Workshop was the studio of the great ancient sculptor famed for his enormous statue of Zeus, sculpted for the site's Temple of Zeus. The Prytaneion was a banquet room where magistrates feted the winners and a perpetual flame burned in the hearth. The Stadium held as many as 50,000 spectators, who crowded onto earthen embankments to watch running events. The starting and finishing lines are still in place. The Temple of Hera, one of the earliest monumental Greek temples, was built in the 7th century BC. The Temple of Zeus, a great temple and fine example of Doric architecture, housed Pheidias's enormous statue of the god, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The famous Treasuries were templelike buildings that housed valuables and equipment of 12 of the most powerful of the city-states competing in the games. You'll need at least two hours to fully see the ruins and the Archaeological Museum of Olympia (to the north of the ancient site), though three or four hours would be better.

    Off Ethnikos Odos 74, Olympia, West Greece, 27065, Greece
    26240-22517

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €12, combined ticket with Museums, €6 Nov.–Mar.
  • 3. Archaeological Museum of Olympia

    Museum/Gallery

    Of all the sights in ancient Olympia, some say the modern archaeological museum gets the gold medal. Housed in a handsome glass and marble pavilion...

    Of all the sights in ancient Olympia, some say the modern archaeological museum gets the gold medal. Housed in a handsome glass and marble pavilion at the edge of the ancient site, the magnificent collections include the sculptures from the Temple of Zeus and Hermes Carrying the Infant Dionysus, sculpted by the great Praxiteles, which was discovered in the Temple of Hera in the place noted by Pausanias. The central gallery of the museum holds one of the greatest sculptural achievements of classical antiquity: the pedimental sculptures and metopes from the Temple of Zeus, depicting Hercules's Twelve Labors. The Hermes was buried under the fallen clay of the temple's upper walls and is one of the best-preserved classical statues. Also on display is the famous Nike of Paionios. Other treasures include notable terra-cottas of Zeus and Ganymede; the head of the cult statue of Hera; sculptures of the family and imperial patrons of Herodes Atticus; and bronzes found at the site, including votive figurines, cauldrons, and armor. Of great historical interest are a helmet dedicated by Miltiades, the Athenian general who defeated the Persians at Marathon, and a cup owned by the sculptor Pheidias, which was found in his workshop on the Olympia grounds.

    Off Ethnikos Odos 74, Olympia, West Greece, 27065, Greece
    26240-22742

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €12, combined ticket with Ancient Olympia Site, €6 Nov.–Mar.
  • 4. Arvanitia Promenade

    Promenade

    A kilometer-long seaside promenade skirts the Nafplion Peninsula, paved with flagstones and opening every so often to terraces planted with...

    A kilometer-long seaside promenade skirts the Nafplion Peninsula, paved with flagstones and opening every so often to terraces planted with a few rosebushes and olive and cedar trees. Along the south side of the peninsula, the promenade runs midway along a cliff—it's 100 feet up to Acronafplia, 50 feet down to the sea—and leads to Arvanitia Beach, a lovely place for a dip. Here and there a flight of steps goes down to the rocky shore below. Be careful if you go swimming here, because the rocks are covered with sea urchins, which can inflict a painful wound. Directly above the beach, starting at the car park, a forested path wraps its way for 4 km (2½ miles) around the coast to the sands of Karathona, passing umpteen stretches of wild rocky shore along the way; it makes a wonderfully shaded and scenic stroll.

    Nafplion, Peloponnese, 21100, Greece
  • 5. Methoni Fortress

    Castle/Palace

    Methoni's principal attraction is its kastro , an imposing, well-kept citadel that the Venetians built when they took control of the town in...

    Methoni's principal attraction is its kastro, an imposing, well-kept citadel that the Venetians built when they took control of the town in 1209. The town already had a long history: after the Second Messenian War in the 7th century BC, the victorious Spartans gave Methoni to the Nafplions, who had been exiled from their homeland for their Spartan alliance. With its natural harbor, the town was an important stop on trade routes between Europe and the East during the Middle Ages. A stone bridge leads over the dry moat to the citadel; various coats of arms mark the walls, including those of Genoa and Venice's Lion of St. Mark. A second bridge joins the kastro with the Bourtzi, an octagonal tower built above the crashing surf on a tiny islet during the Turkish occupation (shortly after 1500).

    South end of town, Methoni, Peloponnese, 24006, Greece

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €3, Closed Tues.
  • Recommended Fodor’s Video

  • 6. Mycenae

    Ruins

    The gloomy, gray ruins are hardly distinguishable from the rock beneath; it's hard to believe that this kingdom was once so powerful that it...

    The gloomy, gray ruins are hardly distinguishable from the rock beneath; it's hard to believe that this kingdom was once so powerful that it ruled a large portion of the Mediterranean world, from 1500 BC to 1100 BC. The major archaeological artifacts from the dig are now in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, so seeing those first will add to your appreciation of the ruined city. The most famous object from the treasure found here is the so-called Death Mask of Agamemnon, a golden mask that 19th-century archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann found in the last grave he excavated at Mycenae. He was ecstatic, convinced this was the mask of the king of Homeric legend who launched the Trojan War with his brother, Menelaus—but it is now known that this is impossible, since the mask dates from an earlier period. The Archaeological Museum in Nafplion also houses artifacts from this once-great city. In 1841, soon after the establishment of the Greek state, the Archaeological Society began excavations of the ancient citadel, and in 1874 Heinrich Schliemann began to work at the site. Today the citadel is entered from the northwest through the famous Lion Gate. The triangle above the lintel depicts in relief two lions, whose heads, probably of steatite, are now missing. They stand facing each other, their forepaws resting on a high pedestal representing an altar, above which stands a pillar ending in a uniquely shaped capital and abacus. Above the abacus are four sculptured discs, interpreted as representing the ends of beams that supported a roof. The gate was closed by a double wooden door sheathed in bronze. The two halves were secured by a wooden bar, which rested in cuttings in the jambs, still visible. The holes for the pivots on which it swung can still be seen in both sill and lintel. Inside on the right stands the Granary, so named for the many pithoi (clay storage vessels) that were found inside the building, holding carbonized wheat grains. Beyond the granary is the grave circle, made up of six stone slabs, encircled by a row of upright stone slabs interrupted on the northern side by the entrance. Above each grave stood a vertical stone stele. The "grave goods" buried with the dead were personal belongings including gold face masks, gold cups and jewelry, bronze swords with ivory hilts, and daggers with gold inlay, now in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. South of the stone slabs lie the remains of the House of the Warrior Vase, the Ramp House, the Cult Center, and others; farther south is the House of Tsountas of Mycenae. The palace complex covers the summit of the hill and occupies a series of terraces; people entered through a monumental gateway in the northwest side and, proceeding to the right, beyond it, came to the Great Courtyard of the palace. The ground was originally covered by a plaster coating above which was a layer of painted and decorated stucco. East of the Great Courtyard is the throne room, which had four columns supporting the roof (the bases are still visible) and a circular hearth in the center. Remains of an Archaic temple and a Hellenistic temple can be seen north of the palace, and to the east on the right, on a lower level, are the workshops of the artists and craftsmen employed by the king. On the same level, adjoining the workshops to the east, is the House of the Columns, with a row of columns surrounding its central court. The remaining section of the east wall consists of an addition made in around 1250 BC to ensure free communication from the citadel with the subterranean reservoir cut at the same time.

    Mycenae, Peloponnese, 27065, Greece
    27510-76585

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Combined ticket with Treasury of Atreus and Mycenae Archaeological Museum €12
    View Tours and Activities
  • 7. Mystras Archaeological Site

    Ruins

    In this Byzantine city, abandoned gold-and-stone palaces, churches, and monasteries line serpentine paths; the scent of herbs and wildflowers...

    In this Byzantine city, abandoned gold-and-stone palaces, churches, and monasteries line serpentine paths; the scent of herbs and wildflowers permeates the air; goat bells tinkle; and silvery olive trees glisten with the slightest breeze. An intellectual and cultural center where philosophers like Chrysoloras, "the sage of Byzantium," held forth on the good and the beautiful, Mystras seems an appropriate place for the last hurrah of the Byzantine emperors in the 14th century. Today the splendid ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most impressive sights in the Peloponnese. A pleasant modern town adjoins the ruins. In 1249 William Geoffrey de Villehardouin built the castle in Mystras in an attempt to control Laconia and establish Frankish supremacy over the Peloponnese. He held court here with his Greek wife, Anna Comnena, surrounded by knights of Champagne, Burgundy, and Flanders, but in 1259 he was defeated by the Byzantines. As the Byzantines built a palace and numerous churches (whose frescoes exemplified several periods of painting), the town gradually grew down the slope. Surrender to the Turks in 1460 signaled the beginning of the end. For a while the town survived because of its silk industry, but after repeated pillaging and burning by bands of Albanians, Russians, and Ibrahim Pasha's Egyptian troops, the inhabitants gave up and moved to modern Sparta. Among the most important buildings in the lower town (Kato Chora) is Ayios Demetrios, the mitropolis (cathedral) founded in 1291. Set in its floor is a stone with the two-headed Byzantine eagle marking the spot where Constantine XII, the last emperor of Byzantium, was consecrated. The cathedral's brilliant frescoes include a vivid depiction of the Virgin and the infant Jesus on the central apse and a wall painting in the narthex of the Second Coming, its two red-and-turquoise-winged angels sorrowful as they open the records of Good and Evil. One wing of the church houses a museum that holds fragments of Byzantine sculptures, later Byzantine icons, decorative metalwork, and coins. In the Vrontokion monastery are Ayios Theodoros (AD 1295), the oldest church in Mystras, and the 14th-century Church of Panagia Odegetria, or Afendiko, which is decorated with remarkable murals. These include, in the narthex, scenes of the miracles of Christ: The Healing of the Blind Man, The Samaritan at the Well, and The Marriage of Cana. The fluidity of the brushstrokes, the subtle but complicated coloring, and the resonant expressions suggest the work of extremely skilled hands. The Pantanassa monastery is a visual feast of intricate tiling, rosette-festooned loops, and myriad arches. It is the only inhabited building in Mystras; the hospitable nuns still produce embroidery that you can purchase. Step out onto the east portico for a view of the Eurotas River valley below. Every inch of the tiny Perivleptos monastery, meaning "attracting attention from all sides," is covered with exceptional 14th-century illustrations from the New Testament, including The Birth of the Virgin, in a lush palette of reds, yellows, and oranges; The Dormition of the Virgin above the entrance (with Christ holding his mother's soul represented as a baby); and, immediately to the left of the entrance, the famous fresco the Divine Liturgy. In the upper town (Ano Chora), where most aristocrats lived, stands a rare Byzantine civic building, the Palace of Despots, home of the last emperor. The older, northeastern wing contains a guardroom, a kitchen, and the residence. The three-story northwest wing contains an immense reception hall on its top floor, lighted by eight Gothic windows and heated by eight huge chimneys; the throne probably stood in the shallow alcove that's in the center of a wall. In the palace's Ayia Sofia chapel, the Italian wives of emperors Constantine and Theodore Palaiologos are buried. Note the polychromatic marble floor and the frescoes that were preserved for years under whitewash, applied by the Turks when they transformed this into a mosque. Climb to the castle and look down into the gullies of Mt. Taygettus, where it's said the Spartans, who hated weakness, hurled their malformed babies.

    Ano Chora, Mystras, Peloponnese, 23100, Greece
    27310-23315

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €12
  • 8. Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    This exemplary collection focuses on textiles and displays outstanding costumes, handicrafts, and household furnishings. Many of the exhibits...

    This exemplary collection focuses on textiles and displays outstanding costumes, handicrafts, and household furnishings. Many of the exhibits are precious heirlooms that have been donated by Peloponnesian families, and several rooms are painstaking re-creations of 19th-century Nafplion homes. Top hats from the 1950s and contemporary fashion sandals are among items that bring the overview into the present day. The gift shop has some fascinating books and a good selection of high-quality jewelry and handicrafts, such as weavings, kilims, and collector's items such as roka (spindles) and wooden koboloi (worry beads).

    Vasileos Alexandrou 1, Nafplion, Peloponnese, 21100, Greece
    27520-28947

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €4
  • 9. Pirgos Dirou Caves

    Carved out of the limestone by the slow-moving underground river Vlychada on its way to the sea, the vast Pirgos Dirou caves—actually two main caves,...

    Carved out of the limestone by the slow-moving underground river Vlychada on its way to the sea, the vast Pirgos Dirou caves—actually two main caves, Glyfada and Alepotrypa—are one of Greece's more popular natural attractions, and a visit is an entertaining and surreal experience. The eerie caverns, places of worship in Paleolithic and Neolithic times, were believed to be entrances to the underworld by the ancient Greeks, and served as hiding places millennia later for Resistance fighters during World War II. Today you climb aboard a boat for a 25-minute tour of Glyfada's grottoes—with formations of luminous pink, white, yellow, and red stalagmites and stalactites that resemble buildings and mythical beasts. The cave system is believed to be at least 70 km (43 miles) long, with more than 2,800 waterways, perhaps extending as far as Sparta, though visitors explore just 1½ km (1 mile). At the end of the tour you walk for several hundred yards before emerging on a path above the crashing surf. The close quarters in the passageways are not for the claustrophobic, and even in summer the caves are chilly. During high season you may wait up to two hours for a boat, so plan to arrive early. In low season you may have to wait until enough people arrive to fill up a boat. Opening hours vary according to season.

    Pirgos Dirou, Peloponnese, 23062, Greece
    27330-52222

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €15 (€10 if booked online)
  • 10. Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus

    Ruins

    What was once the most famous healing center in the ancient world is today best known for the Theater at Epidaurus, remarkably well preserved...

    What was once the most famous healing center in the ancient world is today best known for the Theater at Epidaurus, remarkably well preserved because it was buried at some time in antiquity and remained untouched until it was uncovered in the late 19th century. Built in the 4th century BC by the architect Polykleitos the Younger, the 14,000-seat theater was never remodeled in antiquity, and because it was rather remote, the stones were never quarried for secondary building use. The extraordinary qualities of the theater were recognized even in the 2nd century AD. Pausanias of Lydia, the 2nd-century AD traveler and geographer, wrote, "The Epidaurians have a theater in their sanctuary that seems to me particularly worth a visit. The Roman theaters have gone far beyond all the others in the world...but who can begin to rival Polykleitos for the beauty and composition of his architecture?" In addition, the acoustics are so perfect that even from the last of the 55 tiers every word can be heard. It's the setting for a highly acclaimed summer drama festival, with outstanding productions. The Sanctuary of Asklepios is dedicated to the god of healing, the son of Apollo who was allegedly born here. The most important healing center in the ancient world drew visitors in search of a cure from throughout Greece and the colonies. The sanctuary is in the midst of a decades-long restoration project, but you can see the ruins of the Sleeping Hall, where clients slept in order to be visited by the gods in their dreams and told which cure to follow, as well as the enormous Guest House, with 160 rooms, and the Tholos, where serpents that were said to cure with a flick of the tongue were housed in a maze of labyrinths. Some copies of sculptures found among the ruins are in the site museum (the originals are in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens) along with ancient medical instruments, votives, and inscriptions expressing the gratitude of the cured. Heading south from the isthmus on Highway 70, don't take the turnoffs for Nea Epidaurus or Palaio Epidaurus; follow the signs that say "Ancient Theater of Epidaurus."

    Epidaurus, Peloponnese, 21059, Greece
    27530-23009

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €12
  • 11. The Leigh Fermor House

    Historic Home

    Celebrated travel writer Patrick "Paddy" Leigh Fermor settled in the Mani in 1964, building a beautiful house from scratch just down the road...

    Celebrated travel writer Patrick "Paddy" Leigh Fermor settled in the Mani in 1964, building a beautiful house from scratch just down the road from Kardamyli, in the tiny village of Kalamitsi. Locals knew him by the name "Michalis," a nom de guerre Fermor adopted when, during the Second World War, he disguised himself as a shepherd in the mountains of Crete to help capture a German general. As a travel writer, his writings were no less courageous, and his book on the Mani is still well-thumbed by travelers to the area. His old home was donated to the Benaki Museum upon his death in 2012, and has been sensitively restored—they used old photos to place furniture and antiques in their original spots. Tours are by appointment only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Visits are limited during summer, when rooms are available to rent for 90 days a year (Jun.–Aug.), to help with the upkeep and restoration of the property. There is a three-night minimum stay.

    Kalamitsi, Kardamyli, Peloponnese, Greece
    21036-71090

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €10, By appointment only
  • 12. Achaia Clauss

    Winery/Brewery/Distillery

    The oldest winery in Greece was founded by the Bavarian Gustav Clauss in 1861 and continues to produce a distinctive line of wines. Mavrodaphne...

    The oldest winery in Greece was founded by the Bavarian Gustav Clauss in 1861 and continues to produce a distinctive line of wines. Mavrodaphne, a rich dessert wine, is the house specialty, and oak barrels still store vintages from Gustav's day. The winery is set on a hilltop amid fragrant pines.

    Patras, West Greece, 26500, Greece
    2610-325051
  • 13. Acrocorinth

    Military Sight

    Looming some 540 meters (1,772 feet) above Ancient Corinth, the Acrocorinth is one of the best naturally fortified citadels in Europe. Citizens...

    Looming some 540 meters (1,772 feet) above Ancient Corinth, the Acrocorinth is one of the best naturally fortified citadels in Europe. Citizens retreated in times of invasions and earthquakes, and armies could keep an eye out for approaches by land over the isthmus and by sea from the Saronic Gulf and the Gulf of Corinth. The moat and three rings of wall are largely Byzantine, Frankish, Venetian, and Turkish—but the right-hand tower of the innermost of the three gates is apparently a 4th-century BC original. Corinth's famous Temple of Aphrodite, which had 1,000 prostitutes in attendance, stood here at the summit, too. On the slope of the mountain is the Sanctuary of Demeter, which you can view but not enter. Take the road next to the ticket office in Ancient Corinth; if you don't have your own car, you can hire one of the taxis that often wait for visitors for the trip up to the tourist pavilion and café (about €5 round-trip), from which it's a 10-minute walk to Acrocorinth gate.

    Corinth, Peloponnese, 20100, Greece
    27410-31207

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €8 combined ticket with Ancient Corinth and Archaeological Museum
  • 14. Acronafplia

    Castle/Palace

    The Turks called this imposing hilltop of ruined fortifications Its Kale (Inner Citadel). The heights are crowned with a series of castles:...

    The Turks called this imposing hilltop of ruined fortifications Its Kale (Inner Citadel). The heights are crowned with a series of castles: a Frankish one on the eastern end of the hill, a Byzantine one on the west, and a massive Castello del Torrione (or Toro for short), also at the eastern end, built by the Venetians around 1480. During the second Venetian occupation, the gates were strengthened and the huge Grimani bastion was added (1706) below the Toro. The Acronafplia is accessible from the west side via the elevator next to the Nafplia Palace hotel, which sits on the ruins of the Frankish fort, and from the east via Potamianou Street, whose flights of steps ascend the hillside from St. Spyridon Square. The remains of the fortifications can be explored free of charge on overgrown sections that provide stupendous views over Nafplion and the sea.

    Nafplion, Peloponnese, 21100, Greece
  • 15. Agia Panagitsa

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    While following the seaside promenade, before you reach the very tip of the peninsula (marked by a ship's beacon), there is a little shrine...

    While following the seaside promenade, before you reach the very tip of the peninsula (marked by a ship's beacon), there is a little shrine at the foot of a path leading up toward the Acronafplia walls above. The tiny church of the Virgin Mary, or Agia Panagitsa, hugs the cliff on a small terrace and is decorated with icons. During the Turkish occupation the church hid one of Greece's secret schools.

    Nafplion, Peloponnese, 21100, Greece
  • 16. Agioi Apostoli

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The oldest church in Kalamata is the small 13th-century Agioi Apostoli ("Holy Apostles"), dedicated to the Virgin of Kalamata ("of the good...

    The oldest church in Kalamata is the small 13th-century Agioi Apostoli ("Holy Apostles"), dedicated to the Virgin of Kalamata ("of the good eye"), from whom the town may get its name. The Greek War of Independence was formally declared here on March 23, 1821, and a celebration is held at the church on that date every year. Even the square on which it lies, Martiou 23 (March 23rd), is named after this historic moment.

    Martiou 23 Sq., Kalamata, Peloponnese, 24100, Greece
  • 17. Ancient Gortys

    Ruins

    Another way to approach the gorge walk is to start among the ruins of Ancient Gortys, 1.5 km south of Timou Prodromou Monastery. Little is known...

    Another way to approach the gorge walk is to start among the ruins of Ancient Gortys, 1.5 km south of Timou Prodromou Monastery. Little is known about when this city was built, but by the 4th century BC it was in its pomp, and its name was acclaimed across Arcadia. Many of the fragments of its defensive enclosures, baths, public buildings, and its temple to Asklepios date from this era.

    Stemnitsa, Peloponnese, 22022 , Greece
  • 18. Ancient Messene

    Ruins

    In terms of footprints, this is one of the most awe-inspiring sites of ancient Greece, thanks to its impressive walls, famed entry gates, vast...

    In terms of footprints, this is one of the most awe-inspiring sites of ancient Greece, thanks to its impressive walls, famed entry gates, vast theater arenas, and temples. One temple alone, the Asklepion, was thought to be an entire town by archaeologists until recently (see www.ancientmessene.gr for an excellent scholarly take on the site). The most striking aspect of the ruins is the city's circuit wall, a feat of defensive architecture that rises and dips across the hillsides for an astonishing 9 km (5½ miles). Four gates remain; the best preserved is the north or Arcadian Gate, a double set of gates separated by a round courtyard. On the ancient paving stone below the arch, grooves worn by chariot wheels are still visible. In the main site, excavations have uncovered the most important public buildings, including a theater, whose seats have now been restored; the Synedrion, a meeting hall for representatives of independent Messene; the Sebasteion, dedicated to worship of a Roman emperor; the sanctuary to the god Asklepios; and a temple to Artemis Orthia. One of the more unusual finds is the "treasury," a rather grim crypt-like hole where the captured general Philopoemen, of the Achaean Confederacy, a collection of states that banded together against Roman control, was imprisoned and later poisoned in 183 BC. The most impressive sights are the large stadium, wrapped by a collar of Doric columns, and the gymnasium where the Messinian youth were schooled in both fighting and the arts. The site is a bit confusing, as the ruins are spread over the hillside and approached from different paths; follow the signposts indicating the theater, gates, and other major excavations. Guides hang around the entrance offering their services, though these don't come cheap and bargaining starts at around €50 for an hour, so it's better to arrange a tour beforehand. Some of the finds are held in Mavromati's's small museum, which is included in the ticket price.

    Mavromati, Peloponnese, 24002, Greece
    27240-51201

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €10
  • 19. Ancient Nemea

    Ruins

    The ancient storytellers proclaimed that it was here Hercules performed the first of the Twelve Labors set by the king of Argos in penance for...

    The ancient storytellers proclaimed that it was here Hercules performed the first of the Twelve Labors set by the king of Argos in penance for killing his own children—he slew the ferocious Nemean lion living in a nearby cave. Historians are interested in Ancient Nemea as the site of a sanctuary of Zeus and the home of the biennial Nemean games, a Panhellenic competition like those at Isthmia, Delphi, and Olympia (today there is a society dedicated to reviving the games). The main monuments at the site are the Temple of Zeus (built about 330 BC to replace a 6th-century BC structure), the stadium, and an early Christian basilica of the 5th to 6th century AD. Several columns of the temple still stand. An extraordinary feature of the stadium, which dates to the last quarter of the 4th century BC, is its vaulted tunnel and entranceway. The evidence indicates that the use of the arch in building may have been brought back from India with Alexander (arches were previously believed to be a Roman invention). A spacious museum displays finds from the site, including pieces of athletic gear and coins of various city-states and rulers. Around Nemea, keep an eye out for roadside stands where local growers sell the famous red Nemean wine of this region.

    Nemea, Peloponnese, 20500, Greece
    27460-22739

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Site and museum €4
  • 20. Archaeological Museum of Messina

    Museum/Gallery

    This small, well-organized collection is shown to advantage in the city's rebuilt 18th-century market hall. On display are local stone tools...

    This small, well-organized collection is shown to advantage in the city's rebuilt 18th-century market hall. On display are local stone tools, proto-Geometric and Geometric pottery, and a 1st-century AD Roman mosaic floor depicting Dionysus with a panther and a satyr.

    Benaki and Papazoglou, near Martiou 23 Sq., Kalamata, Peloponnese, 24100, Greece
    27210-26209

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €4

No sights Results

Please try a broader search, or expore these popular suggestions:

There are no results for {{ strDestName }} Sights in the searched map area with the above filters. Please try a different area on the map, or broaden your search with these popular suggestions:

Recommended Fodor’s Video