The vast southern peninsula of the Peloponnese has been inhabited for thousands of years. Best known as a setting for the Greek myths, this historically-rich region also boasts gorgeous beach resorts and staggering natural scenery. Take a luxury Peloponnese holiday and you’ll swim in azure waters, traverse dramatic gorges, marvel at snow-capped mountains, and immerse yourself in history.
Divided into five regions and shaped by four large peninsulas, the Peloponnese is a land of great variety – which means no two destinations here offer the same holiday experience. In the eastern region of Argolis, you’ll find plenty of gorgeous coastal resorts, but it’s the history that dominates.
Explore ancient Mycenaean sites, stroll along the Venetian seafront at Nafplio, and visit Argos, the oldest inhabited city in the world. In the region of Laconia, which spans two large peninsulas, you’ll find the city of Sparta and the atmospheric ruins of Mystras, a former stronghold of the Byzantine Empire. Two large mountain ranges and a rugged coastline have shaped the landscape here – exploring the secluded olive groves and hilltop villages is a must.
For the best beaches the Peloponnese has to offer, head for the western region of Messenia. Here you’ll discover golden stretches of sand, sparkling turquoise waters and plenty of opportunities for scuba diving and water sports. In the Messenian city of Kalamata, you can brush up on your dance skills, tour the excellent museums and - of course - sample the olives.
The Peloponnese enjoys its warmest weather during the summer when the average highs break into the 30s. June, July and August are also the most popular months to travel, although there’s plenty to recommend this region at other times.
Outside of Athens, many resorts in Greece close between November and March, but a late spring or early autumn holiday to the Peloponnese can be fantastic. In April, May, September and October the temperatures are slightly lower, which allows for activities such as hill-walking and mountain biking.
In the cities of the Peloponnese, you’ll find a number of international restaurants serving food from around the world. In the luxury beach resorts, even more variety is promised – restaurants here offer everything from staple Greek dishes to modern Asian trends.
Pay a visit to a local village taverna and you can sample some traditional fare. In the Peloponnese, staple ingredients include olive oil, feta, lemon, honey, aubergine, lamb, and fresh seafood. This region is also home to thriving vineyards and produces some world-class wines.