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things to do in Peloponnese
Written by Siddhi on July 23, 2020 Share on

8 Best Things To Do In Peloponnese On Your Greece Vacation in 2023

Attached to the rest of Greece by the Corinthian Isthmus, the Peloponnese is a peninsula with ancient towns and natural wonders rooted in the common history of the world. The site has one UNESCO World Heritage Site after another. From the tombs of the Bronze Age of Ancient Mycenae to the Great Theater of Epidaurus, at 2,300 years of age in immaculate condition. This is a symbol of the multitude of ancient wonders in Peloponnese. You will walk through the footsteps of the explorer and writer Pausanias, who nearly visited many of the sites. Medieval heritage is still present in the Peloponnese, at locations where natural and man-made beauty combine. An example: the Byzantine city of Mystras, the fortified island of Monemvasia and rock-hewn monasteries in the Louisa Gorge. Check out the top things to do in Peloponnese on your Greece vacation!

8 Best Things to Do in Peloponnese

  • Great Theatre of Epidaurus
  • Mycenae
  • Mystras
  • Ancient Corinth
  • Corinth Canal
  • Bassae
  • Nafplio
  • Diros Caves

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1. Great Theatre of Epidaurus

Great Theatre of Epidaurus in Peloponnese
Image Credits: Google Images

This tops the list of things to do in Peloponnese! The monument you must see in the theatre, built in the 4th century BC and modelled by architect and sculptor Polykleitos the Younger, is in the ancient city of Epidaurus. The Epidaurus Theater frequently cited as one of, if not the best, ancient theatres, and Pausanias praised it for its elegance and simplicity in the 2nd century AD. It could accommodate up to 16,000 spectators at the moment. In comparison to the knee, it looks close to how it would have looked in the 1950s-60s, due to restorations. The acoustics are so strong. You can hear a person in the orchestra talk at regular volume from the top row of the theatre.

Also Read: Things to do in Crete

2. Mycenae

Mycenae was one of the principal centres of Greek civilization in the 2nd-century BC. It holds control over much of southern Greece and parts of Anatolia. The town on a hilltop in a mountainous area close to present-day Mikines had a population of 30,000 at its apogee between the 17th and 12th centuries BC. The Venetian Proveditor General Francesco Grimani was able to find Mycenae at the beginning of the 18th century, using Pausanias’ explanation of the Lion Gate in the 2nd century A.D. That portrait, with a couple of lionesses flanking a column, is the only piece of a monumental sculpture from Bronze Age Greece to survive and visiting which is one of the best things to do in Peloponnese.

Also Read: Things to do in Alonissos

3. Mystras

Mystras in Pelopponese
Image Credits: Google Images

A UNESCO site, Mystras is a fortified Byzantine town located on Mount Taygetos, above the valley of the Evrotas river near ancient Sparta. William II of Villehardouin, the Prince of Achaea, founded this town in 1249 and visiting this town is one of the best things to do in Peloponnese. Mystras would become the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of Morea in the 1300s and 1400s, before it became the birthplace of the Palaeologian Renaissance as a base for arts and philosophy. It’s the most complete example of a medieval walled town in Greece as an archaeological site and also has a palace complex, fortress, large private residences.

4. Ancient Corinth

Corinth ‘s ancient city was founded in the 8th century BC at a strategic position on the famed Isthmus. It was home to 90,000 people by the 5th century BC. In the Classical and Hellenistic Periods, the city possessed considerable influence and prosperity on the major east-west trading road. In the 2nd century BC, the Romans destroyed Corinth and rebuilt it as the regional seat of Greece. After the end of the 19th century, the site has been continually excavated. You’ll see the Apollo Temple and the magnificent Peirene Fountain, the agora, the vestiges of ancient streets and the theatre foundations, all well numbered. Don’t miss out to visit this place as its one of the best things to do in Peloponnese!

Also Read: Things to do in Lefkada

5. Corinth Canal

Corinth Canal in Peloponnese
Image Credits: Google Images

In ancient times the Corinth Canal mooted as a long, straight fissure in the isthmus. In the 7th century BC, the Tyrant Perlander was the first to draw up a scheme, but the project was discarded. Hence, the canal did not commence until 1881. The channel is 6.4 kilometres long, but it became easily impractical for heavy cargo shipping. It is only over 20 meters deep at water level. The Corinth Canal is a masterpiece as a tourist destination, its pure limestone walls rising to 90 feet. At the halfway point is a footbridge where you can see to the end of the man-made canyon. It’s another way to gauge the scale of this project is by a boat ride.Make sure that you cover the Corinth Canal when you are covering the top things to do in Peloponnes.

6. Bassae

Bassae is frequently overlooked as a tourist destination in a remote location amid the forbidding mountains and ravines. Yet if you make the trip, you will find The Apollo Epicurius, a remarkably well-preserved temple, built between 450 BC and 400 BC. The far-flung place of Bassae is what helped to keep this memorial alive which is one of the best things to do in Peloponnese. And, the stone was too far from any town to quarry. The temple has been under a tent for renovation for the past two years. So, you can’t get a view of it from outside.

7. Nafplio

Nafplio in Peloponnese
Image Credits: Pixabay

In the northern corner of the Argolic Golf is Nafplio’s endearing port city, in the shadow of its fortress Palamidi, which we’ll explore next. Nafplio dates back to ancient times and was a busy port. Especially for the Byzantines, Franks, Venetians and eventually the Ottomans following a fallow period in the Roman era. Nafplio became the nation’s capital, shortly following Greek independence in the 1820s. Several things to take in are the Acronafplia. It’s the oldest part of the town on a fortified spur on the southern side of the peninsula of Nafplio. There’s an elegant palm-edged promenade down on the water. Here you can look out into the Bourtzi, the 15th century Venetian sea fort of the region. These are the few reasons why Nafplio is considered to be one the top things to do in Peloponnese.

Also Read: Hiking in Thessaloniki

8. Diros Caves

It’s one of three caves at Diros in the southern Laconia province. A visit to the Vlychada Cave is like a journey to Hell, in the best way imaginable. The journey starts on a 1,600-metre-long slow-moving subterranean river where stalactites built over hundreds of thousands of years collapse down to only a meter or so above the surface making it one of the best things to do in Peloponnese. During a guided ride in a rowboat, you can give a lifejacket and cross the river for half an hour needing to dive sometimes to escape the pink and red shapes. The second half of the tour is on foot, set with even more otherworldly concretions across 300 meters of chambers.


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