Mythical Peloponnese – Road.Travel

Mythical Peloponnese

Road Trip Route. Antique temples and Orthodox monasteries, Venetian fortresses and authentic wineries, Magnificent beaches and clean sea.

The Peloponnese is a land where ancient Greek myths come alive. Here the heroes Perseus, Hercules, the kings Agamemnon, Leonidas and Pelopus, after whom the peninsula is named, immortalised themselves for centuries. The most important ancient theatres, stadiums and temples, Venetian fortresses and Orthodox sanctuaries can be found here. Then, there are sandy beaches, idyllic coves, olive groves, orange groves, and of course, the gentlest sea. You can see the Corinth Canal, Acrokorinth, Ancient Corinth, Ancient Nemea, Epidaurus, Mycenae, Nafplion, Sparta, Mistra, Monemvassia, Pavlopetri, Elafonissos, Hifio, Mani Limeni, Dira Cave, Cape Matapan, Areoupolis, Kalamata, Pilos, Voidokilia, Cypressia, Ancient Messina, Apollo's Temple of Epicurea, the Church of St. Theodora, the ancient Temple of Apollo. Theodora, ancient Olympia, Patras, the Monastery of Mega Spileo, Loutraki, and much, much more. The Peloponnese peninsula has been divided into 7 regions since antiquity, and they have all kept their names and borders until now. You must have heard many of these names and I mention them in the itinerary. This may not be your first trip to Greece, but I'd like to give a few tips before you set off on your journey. **Traveling around the country** ✔ In order to rent a car, you must have an international driving licence and a credit card. In addition, the driver must be over 21 years old and with more than 1 year of driving experience. ✔ Bear in mind that the Peloponnese terrain is mountainous, so you should not expect to drive at high speed. Where possible, use the toll roads. You will save time and nerves in the end, the old side roads may take 3-4 times longer. **Communication and language** Greeks are very hospitable and will help you if you're in a pinch. Many speak English well and some speak German. Few learn Russian unless you come across a compatriot. In a restaurant, menus are often bilingual - Greek and English. If the establishment is aimed at tourists, also with pictures of the dishes. And if you learn a few Greek words, the locals will be overjoyed. You can not imagine how respectfully Greeks treat even the most timid attempts to speak their native language, it causes their sincere and benign desire to help. **Food and Drink** Food lovers are in for a treat in the Peloponnese. Every region boasts something special. The northern Peloponnese, particularly the region of Nemea, is known for its wines, which have won well-deserved awards in international competitions. In the small, family-run cheese dairies of Achaea you can sample the unique local cheeses. The Arcadia Mountains are known for their beautiful honey. Jams and marmalades are made from everything up to olives everywhere. A separate topic is olives and olive oil, each region has its own varieties. The most famous variety, one of the best in the world, are the large black olives Kalamon (Kalamata) from the Messinia region. *Some tips when visiting a tavern:* ✔ Everywhere choose dishes from the products for which the area is known. In coastal areas it's a variety of fish and seafood (octopus, squid, prawns, mussels). The mountains also offer some of the tastiest local meats (lamb, goat meat, beef, chicken), grilled or prepared according to local recipes. There are also trout and salmon farming in some places in the mountains. ✔ If you order fresh fish and seafood, always ask what is fresh today - "fresco". Bear in mind, big fish can be quite expensive, 50-70 euros per kg or even more. ✔ Don't be afraid to try new dishes, you can ask the host or the waiter for advice. They will often take you into the kitchen and show you around. ✔ Many taverns prepare their specialties in the morning, in Greek "magerevta", often based on old family recipes. You can choose your favourite dish and salad, for example, and have a quick and homemade lunch, while getting a taste of the local cuisine. ✔ Take seasonality into account. Good food comes from tasty ingredients. The portions are usually large, so meze and salads are often taken for everyone and placed in the middle of the table. Lunch or dinner is often finished with seasonal fruit or a dessert from the restaurant. *Drinks are the same as in other Mediterranean countries:* ✔ Light table wine, red and white, usually available on tap in all taverns ✔ Beer - there are many local varieties ✔ Ouzo - aniseed vodka ✔ Raki - grape vodka. **What to bring as a gift from Greece** ✔ Local products - olive oil and olives, honey, sultanas, spices, mountain herbs and tea, wine, ouzo. ✔ Gifts for skin care - in local shops and pharmacies you can find Greek cosmetics based on natural products: donkey milk, olive oil, mountain herbs. ✔ The Peloponnese is home to many craftsmen and designers. In Olympia they sell beautiful silver jewellery, in Nafplio they make comfortable and beautiful sandals

Relaxing Leisure, History and Culture. From: Athens

Svetlana Kozlova. Travel Expert.

Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: Athens - Corinth Canal - Acrocorinth - Ancient Corinth - Ancient Nemea - Winery - Tolo

Rent a car at the airport of Athens or in the centre of Athens. On this day you will discover the Corinthian region - the Corinthian Canal, the Acro Corinthian Fortress, the Antique Corinthian Nemea and one of the wineries of Nemea. Overnight in the resort town of Tolo.

Corinth Canal (Διώρυγα Κορίνθου)

Stop for pictures at the impressive Corinthian Canal connecting the Aegean and Ionian Seas. The length of the canal is 6 km and the walls are almost 80 meters high. Extreme lovers can even jump off one of the bridges, there is bungee jumping (must be ordered in advance).

Ακροκόρινθος

A majestic fortress with a spectacular panoramic view at an altitude of 575 meters. Acro Corinth is a unique architectural ensemble, which absorbed the culture of different historical epochs, from ancient times to the beginning of XIX century. There are churches, mosques, residential buildings, fortress walls and loopholes built by Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Franco-Crusaders, Venetians and Turks.

Ancient Corinth (Αρχαία Κόρινθος)

There are many myths associated with Ancient Corinth. It was founded by Corinth, son of the god Helios. The dynasty of the ancient kings of Corinth begins with Sisyphus himself. Jason and Medea arrived here after all the adventures, and here the leader of the Argonauts abandoned her, deciding to marry another. Later, in the Classical period, the city became rich thanks to its strategic location and control of transportation through the Corinthian Isthmus. In the middle of the 1st century AD, Apostle Paul arrived here. The podium from which he addressed the Corinthians has been preserved. Be sure to visit the archaeological museum, which is located on the territory of the complex.

Marinos Restaurant

Lunch at a local tavern overlooking Ancient Corinth.

Nemea Ancient Stadium (Αρχαίο Στάδιο Νεμέας)

Nemea is known first of all for the fact that Hercules made his first feat here, killing the Nemea Lion. In Ancient Nemea there is a stadium where the Nemea Games, similar to the Olympic ones, were held. By the way, according to legend, the stage is a distance of 600 feet of Hercules. The area is also interesting for the ruins of the temple of Zeus, which gradually returns to its previous form.

Palivos estate (Κτήμα Παλυβού)

The Nemey region has inherited one of the world's oldest winemaking cultures. Since ancient times, vines have been cultivated here exclusively for the purpose of making wine. In ancient times German wine was called "lion's blood", in memory of the first feat of Hercules. Now it is the most interesting wine-growing region in Greece with many vineyards, wineries and famous [wine roads](https://peloponnesewineroads.com/corinthia/?lang=en). Visit one of the wineries, learn about the process and taste the wines that are produced from the local Agiorgitiko (St. George) vine variety.

Day 2: Tolo - Epidaurus - Olive Oil Factory - Mycenae - Nafplion - Tolo

Today is dedicated to getting to know Argolida, the edge of orange groves. You'll see the ancient Epidaurus with its famous theater, the Golden Mycenae and the almost Italian town of Nafplion. A sleepover in Tolo.

Epidaurus Ancient Theatre (Αρχαίο Θέατρο Επιδαύρου)

The cult of god-healer Asklepius was formed here in VI-V century B.C. and Epidaurus became a pilgrimage place for many patients. Here have appeared remarkable buildings - the Temple of Artemis, the Temple of Asclepius, swimming pools with thermal waters, stadium. A theatre was also built here, where performances also helped with treatment. The theatre is famous for its unique acoustics and theatrical performances and concerts are still held here.

Melas Olive Oil Factory

Only 3 km from the ancient Epidaurus is the MELAS olive oil factory. In MELAS you can walk through the organic olive grove and learn how trees grow, how olives are harvested and how olive oil is made. Taste the local olive oil and olives and buy what you like. It also sells very good olive oil-based bio-cosmetics and other natural ingredients. The visit lasts about an hour and is in Greek, English, French and German. I strongly recommend contacting Mrs Anastasia, who is conducting the tour, by email or phone in advance and agree on the time.

Archaeological Site of Mycenae (Αρχαιολογικός Χώρος Μυκηνών)

Ancient Mycenae, where the Mycenae civilization arose. From here, from a palace of tsar Agamemnon the army in the Trojan campaign went, and the ancient myths which have appeared a reality, have led on these hills at the end of XIX century Henry Schliman who has found here gold of Mycenae. Before climbing through the Lion's Gate to the ruins of the palace, take a look at the local archaeological museum.

Treasury of Atreus (Θησαυρός Ατρέως)

Be sure to stop at the impressive domed tomb, the so-called Treasury of Atrey (entrance ticket to Mycenae and the tomb shared). The taverns in Mycenae are quite touristy, so either choose something to your taste or wait with lunch until Nafplion.

Palamidi Fortress (Παλαμήδι)

The charming town of Nafplion, the first capital of independent Greece, is reminiscent of the elegance of Italian cities. Start with the fortress of Palamidi, which towers above the city. From here you can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view.

Parking Λιμανιού Ναυπλίου

Nafplion is a pedestrian city, so it is better to leave your car in a large parking lot near the port.

Syntagma Square (Πλατεία Συντάγματος)

Take a walk around the city and feel its special atmosphere. History lovers can visit the Archaeological Museum, where findings from the whole Argolide region (from Mycenae, Epidaurus, Lerna) are collected. And those who want to get acquainted with the traditional Greek drink ouzo can visit the shop of [Karonis](http://www.karoniswineshop.gr/about_en.html), one of the oldest Greek producers of ouzo and other drinks. Don't forget to try the local ice cream, which Nafplion still produces using ancient Italian recipes. You can also have dinner here in one of the taverns in the alleys of the old town.

Day 3: Tolo - Sparta - Mister - Monemvasia.

Moving to the Laconia region. The legendary Sparta and the Byzantine ghost town of Mister are waiting for you. Overnight in medieval fortress city Monemvasia.

Leonidas Monument

Stop at the monument to Tsar Leonid. Unfortunately, it is almost the only place in modern Sparta that recalls the heroic times.

Mystras Castle Town (Καστροπολιτεία Μυστρά)

The medieval fortress city Mistras, where the last Byzantine emperor Constantine Paleologus was born, grew up and ascended the throne. Mistras Archaeological Complex is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The palace complex and many magnificent Byzantine temples with frescoes of XIII-XIV centuries are preserved. The complex is really big and is located on a rather steep slope, so it is better to see the upper part first, and then go out and go down by car to the lower entrance.

Chromata (Χρώματα)

"Spartan" lunch in a tavern with a magnificent view of Sparta and Mistra. Moving to Monemvasia.

Day 4: Monemvasia - Punta - Pavlopetri - Elafonissos.

Laconia is a paradise for lovers of history and adventure. Medieval city of Monemvasia hidden behind the huge rock, the sunken ancient city of Pavlopetri and the chic exotic beaches of Elafonissos island await you. Overnight on Elafonissos island.

Monemvasia Castle (Κάστρο Μονεμβασιάς)

Once in Monemvasia, you will be completely transported into the atmosphere of the Middle Ages. In the morning, while it is still hot, climb to the Upper Town, which is located at the top of the cliff. A rocky zigzag path leads to its imposing iron gates. Among the ruins of Byzantine buildings only the church of St. Sophia of XIII century is well preserved. You will be rewarded with magnificent panoramic views for your climbing efforts. The lower part of the city is a Byzantine-Venetian fort. The city was called Gibraltar of the East in ancient times because it controlled the sea routes between Mediterranean countries. There are about 40 churches in Monemvasia, the most famous of which are the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the XV century with a miracle-working icon of the Virgin Mary, the Cathedral of the Crucifixion (Elkonos Christ) of the XIII century with unique icons. Cosy hotels and pensions are now located in ancient stone houses. By the way, it was here that the famous Malvasia liqueur wine was produced from the 12th to the 15th century, the production of which has recently been revived.

Pounta Beach (Πούντα)

Moving to the small port of Vigklafia, aka Punta. A chic white Punta beach awaits you. The sunken town of Pavlopetri was recently discovered here. Archaeologists believe that the ancient policy is over 5000 years old and some scientists confidently call it the oldest city in the world! Not far from the shore, at a depth of 3-4 meters are the ruins of a once prosperous and rich city. What's not Atlantis?! You can swim over the ruins, preferably only with a mask and flippers.

F/B Ελαφόνησος (Elafonisos)

Go to port to take the ferry to Elafonissos Island. In July and August, the ferry goes every half hour. Check the schedule before going to Punta beach so you don't waste time at the port. The ferry goes to the island in only 10 minutes. Ticket prices to date are 11 euros for a car and 1 euros for each passenger.

Simos Big Beach (Μεγάλη Παραλία Σίμου)

Elafonissos is famous for its white sandy beaches. The picturesque harbour, around which there is only one settlement, is an island of civilization. First of all, visit the most famous beach, Simos, with two bays separated by an isthmus. You can stay either at a hotel near the port or at a hotel or camping site near Simos beach.

Day 5: Elafonissos - Valtaki - Gifio - Limeni

Continued acquaintance with Lakonia. Swim on one of Elafonissos beaches and head to the most mysterious part of the Peloponnese, Mani. On the way, stop at Gifio. Overnight in Limeni.

Panagias Βeach (Παραλία Παναγίας)

Swim and sunbathe till lunch on Panagia beach or on Simos beach again.

Elafonisos Port (Λιμάνι Ελαφονήσου)

Departure by ferry to the mainland. Check the previous day's schedule to make sure you don't lose time at the port. Moving to Gifio.

Dimitrios Shipwreck (Ναυάγιο Γυθείου Δημήτριος)

Stop at the beautiful beach of Valtaki, or Navagio, which in Greek means shipwreck. Does this name remind you of the island of Zakynthos and the world famous shipwreck photos? Well, the Peloponnese has its own picturesque rusty ship, thrown ashore. Stop for the photo or maybe for another swim.

Φάρος Κρανάης

Gifio with the harbour, motley fishing boats, picturesque and cosy. According to myths, the city was founded by Hercules and Apollo, who bet whose name it would carry. The dispute ended in nothing and the city was just called Gifio, which means "land of the gods". Opposite is the islet of Kranai, connected to the shore by a narrow slant. This is where Paris spent the night with Beautiful Helena after she was abducted. Stroll along the pine-covered islet, which now houses the lighthouse and the restored tower of the Tzanetaki family. If you have lunch in Gifio, try the local speciality - cuttlefish (soupia in Greek).

Day 6: Limeni - Cave Dirou - Vathia - Cape Matapan - Gerolimenas - Areupolis - Limeni

Dedicate the day to getting to know better Mani and Maniotes. Ancient olive trees and stone house towers, formidable rocky mountains and a harsh dark blue sea all form a spectacular cassava landscape. The cave of Diru, the traditional village of Wafia, the southernmost point of mainland Europe - Cape Matapan and the capital of Mani, the city of the god Ares - Areupolis await you. Overnight at the same hotel in Limeni.

Vlychada Cave (Σπήλαιο Διρού (Βλυχάδα))

Dirou (or Vlichada) Cave is one of the first in the world in terms of size and variety of colours. During the Neolithic Age, people lived here. And according to the beliefs of the ancient Greeks, there was one of the entrances to the kingdom of Hades. A boat, the movement of which resembles a rook of mythical Haron, will take you through the fabulous underground world of caves and grottos. You will sail through the enfilade of halls decorated with multicoloured stalagmites and stalactites and then continue exploring the cave on foot. The duration of the tour is about 30 minutes - 1200 m by boat and 500 m on foot. The temperature in the cave varies from 16 to 19 degrees, so bring something warm with you. Tickets for the right date and time should be booked in advance at [cave site](https://ediros.etadwebtickets.gr/#current-date).

Diros beach (Παραλία Διρού)

Next to the exit of the cave, there is a beautiful small beach where you can refresh yourself after the excursion.

Váthia (Βάθεια)

The Maniot are descendants of the Spartans, restrained and harsh as the landscapes of their homeland. Wars between local clans could last for decades, and the vendetta was in order back in the middle of last century. Therefore, the Maniotes erected stone houses-towers for housing and defence, from which it was possible to shoot at unfriendly neighbours. The most striking example of traditional Mani architecture is the village of Wafia. There are 144 preserved towers, almost all of which, unfortunately, are now abandoned. The architecture of the buildings reflects different periods: houses in 1-2 floors, built before 1840; "houses-towers" in 2-4 floors, built in 1840-1870, "modern houses" in 1-2 floors, built in 1890-1915. Walking along the paved paths of the village, you will see that each of the 4 blocks of the village is arranged as an independent unit. Each quarter includes a castle tower, a church, fortified residential buildings, streets and secret meeting places.

Παραλία Ακρον Ταίναρο

Cape Matapan, in ancient times Tenaron, is the southernmost point of continental Europe. The rugged local nature, resembling an alien landscape, is mesmerizing, and the oracle of the dead here gives the place a peculiar atmosphere. Once upon a time there was the temple of Poseidon, from which there were small ruins and unique mosaics. Even to the south, the lighthouse can only be reached on foot. You can walk more than 2 km one way along a rocky path. If you are set up to do this, be sure to put on comfortable shoes, headgear and stock up on water. And calculate the time, as the program does not include time for this hike.

Gerolimenas (Γερολιμένας)

The picturesque village of Gerolimenas is located in a natural harbour, sheltered from the north winds by a huge rock. In ancient times it was a port (Gerolimenas means "sacred port"). In the Middle Ages the bay served as a shelter for pirates and fishermen. And 150 years ago Michalis Katzimanis and Theodoros Kirimis decided to use this place as a trading port. They built a shop, a warehouse and a house-tower here. Not long ago, Kirimis' descendants restored the buildings and turned them into a Kyrimai boutique hotel. The hotel is known for its excellent cuisine. If you want something local but special, dine in the hotel restaurant. Traditional harbour taverns are also available.

Πλατεία Αρεόπολης

The capital of the region, Areopolis has managed to preserve its traditional appearance and unique flavour. A favourite place for locals and guests is the central square with numerous shops, cosy taverns and cafes.

Day 7: Limeni - Kalamata - Voidokilla - Cypressia - Kalo Nero

Leave the hospitable Lakonia and move to the Messina. Today there are three fortresses waiting for you - in Kalamata, Pilos and Kyparissia, and the magical beach of Voidokilia. Overnight in the seaside town of Kyparissia.

Kalamata Castle (Κάστρο Καλαμάτας)

The fortress, which offers a magnificent view of the sea and the entire city of Kalamata, was built in 1208 by the Crusaders (closed on Tuesdays). At the foot of the fortress there is a nunnery of St. Constantine and Elena Kalogreon of the XVIII century, where you can see the traditional process of making natural silk on ancient machines. Here you can buy luxurious scarves and shawls, as well as beautiful ties made by nuns. And don't forget that Kalamata is the birthplace of the most famous Greek olives "Kalamon".

Κάστρο Πύλου - Νιόκαστρο (Castle of Pylos)

A shortstop in the picturesque seaside Pilos, where there is its own citadel - the Ottoman fortress Neocastro, founded in the XVI century (closed on Tuesdays). From above you can clearly see Navarino Bay, there was a sea battle between the fleet of Russia, England, France and the Turkish-Egyptian fleet in 1827. Have a snack in the city or stock up on water and sandwiches, because next you will find an exotic paradise beach, where you can forget for a long time, swimming and sunbathing. The beach is in a natural reserve, so it is not equipped.

Voidokoilia Beach (Παραλία Βοϊδοκοιλιά)

Nature seems to have surpassed itself on this picturesque horseshoe beach. Its golden sand and the spillway of the azure blue sea do not coincidentally give the pictures a high rating in Instagram. You will not see all the beauty of the scenery while on the beach itself. You can walk along the path that runs between the sand dunes and rises at the end to the cave of Nestor. According to myths, in this cave, little Hermes hid the cows stolen from his brother Apollo. Come up and take spectacular pictures from above.

Στο μικρό Παρίσι

As you drive through the village of Filiatra, stop to be photographed against the background of the Eiffel Tower. The replica, 26 meters high, is of course much smaller than the original, but attracts tourists here. The tower was built with the financial support and initiative of local expatriate doctor Haralampos Furnarakis. If you are travelling with children, 7 km further, in the village of Agrili by the sea, there is another structure unusual for Greece - the Fairy tale Castle. The walls of the castle are painted with frescoes from medieval stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The castle itself is closed, but the children may be interested to see three huge sculptures in the courtyard: the goddess Athena, Poseidon and a giant sitting horse.

Ο παλιός νερόμυλος

I suggest you first check into a hotel in Kyparissia, and then explore the area. In a beautiful place, 2 km from the town of Kyparissia, is an old mill, which has been restored with love and respect for traditional architecture. The watermill grinds grain again from local producers. There is also a cafe where they sell delicious pies and not only them. There is also a shop where you can buy local products, from olive oil and honey to crisp pickles and large sea salt.

Kyparissia Castle (Κάστρο Κυπαρισσίας)

Cypress is divided into the old Upper Town and the new Lower Town. The fortress of Arcadia and the Upper Town give the modern village a historical atmosphere. According to myths, the first inhabitants of the city were the giants who built a fortress on top of the hill. There is really little left of it, but from above there is a great view of the city and the sea, especially at sunset. The entrance is free, the gates are closed when it gets dark.

Παλιά Πόλη Κυπαρισσίας

Kyparissia is also mentioned in the "Iliad" of Homer, as its inhabitants participated in the Trojan campaign with King Nestor. It is pleasant to wander around the Upper Town, where many historical monuments have been preserved: Arcadia Square with a plane tree and springs at the entrance to the castle, hammams, Pazarovrisi, Venetian park gates opposite the Church of the Virgin Mary, traditional cobbled streets and old houses of different architectural styles.

Παλιά Αγορά

The Upper Town has many good taverns, one of which is where you can have dinner. Don't forget to try the local "specialist" - pork, smoked sausages, Messinian salad, cod with garlic sauce.

Day 8: Kyparissia - Ancient Messina - St. Theodora's Church - Temple of Apollo at Bassae - Kyparissia

Today mountain Arcadia, the country of shepherds and nymphs, birthplace of the god Pan is waiting for you. In ancient literature, against the backdrop of local nature, idyllic sketches of herding life often took place. The word "Arcadia" has become the image of an ideal country and a happy carefree life. Tourists, and many Greeks as well, rarely visit this part of the Peloponnese because of the mountain roads and difficult access.

Ancient Messene (Αρχαία Μεσσήνη)

The first stop in a chic archaeological complex, undeservedly unknown to the general public. Maybe because the excavations here started relatively recently, about 40 years ago and are still ongoing. The city of mystery, which flourished during the Hellenistic and Roman periods, it surpassed even Athens in area. Numerous public buildings - temples, theatres, stadium, gymnasiums, Asklepios - amaze with their preservation and size. In my opinion, it's fresher and more interesting than Olympia. I can help order a local English-speaking guide in advance.

Αρκαδική Πύλη

Be sure to stop at the Arcadian Gate, which consists of outer and inner walls and is built of stone blocks. On the cobbled ancient road inside the gate, you can still see the tracks carved by countless chariots over many centuries.

Αγία Θεοδώρα

The tiny church of Agia Theodora, built in the 12th century, miraculously keeps 17 huge plane trees on its roof, which is amazing, the roots are not visible either under the roof or near the walls. A holy spring flows from under the temple. If you want to have lunch, take the same road back to 500 meters, where you will find [Neromilos tou Nikola](https://www.watermill.gr/en/) (Mill of Nikola). It is a charming place buried in greenery, a restored water mill and a traditional tavern with a wood-fired stove and home cooking. It is cooked here according to ancient recipes from farm products.

Temple of Apollo Epicurius (Ναός Επικούριου Απόλλωνα)

The Temple of Apollo Epikourios was built in 420-430 BC by architect Iktin, who also built the Acropolis. The temple is beautifully preserved. Here you can see elements of all three orders - Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. The temple was built at an altitude of 1130 m, which imposes certain conditions. For protection from the weather, the temple is covered with a protective awning from above. It works only in the summer period, from April to October. But also in summer please keep in mind the following. For security reasons the Temple of Apollo Epikourios will remain closed to the public when extreme weather conditions are forecast in the area (wind speeds exceeding 6 Beaufort and wind gusts reaching 70 km/h.) Please contact the ticket office to confirm the operation of the site on the phone (+30)26260-222275.

Aï Lagoudi Beach (Παραλία Αϊ Λαγούδη)

Return to Kyparissia. The coastal part of Kyparissia is quite modern, with a traditional square in the centre. But there's an antiquity to it, too. On the waterfront, next to the beach of Ai Lagudi, is the source of Dionisiada. Pausanias mentioned in his descriptions that Dionysus knocked his staff and the source of "Dionisiada" appeared at the place of impact. You can have dinner in the fish tavern on the quay overlooking the sea and the port.

Day 9: Kyparissia - Ilia beach - Ancient Olympia - Patra

Leave the hospitable Messinia and move to the Ilia region. Ilia is famous for ancient Olympia as well as endless sandy beaches. Visit to the archaeological site and museum of Olympia. Swimming on one of the beaches. The third-largest city of Patras and St. Andrew's Cathedral. Overnight stay in the Patras area.

Ancient Olympia (Ολυμπία)

In the shadow of the Sacred Grove, in slender rows of moss-covered marble columns, time has stopped. The first sports competitions were held here almost 3 thousand years ago, in 776 BC, and were held every four years for a thousand years. To this day, the start and finish lines for the single-stage (192.27 m) competitions have been preserved in the ancient stadium. The sanctuary of Zeus, decorated in the V century BC with a grandiose statue of gold and ivory, became one of the seven wonders of the world. Today, you will see the impressive ruins of a Doric temple and the workshop of the sculptor Phidias, who made himself famous for centuries. The history of the Olympic Games will be told not only by the stadium and Palestra, the treasury and the altar where the Olympic flame is lit to this day. The Archaeological Museum of Olympia, where ceramics, sculptures, armours, jewellery from the archaic to the Roman period are collected, has one of the richest collections in Greece.

Παραλία Γλύφας

Elijah is rightly proud of its many kilometres of sandy beaches, stretching from Zaharo to Kalogria, the northwest point of the Peloponnese. Eight of the beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag. You can choose to relax at the beach bar with sun loungers and umbrellas, or place yourself where you like, there is enough room for everyone. If you're already a little tired of the beaches, go straight to Patras and take time out to explore the city. For information, ferries to the islands of Zakynthos and Kefalonia depart from the port of Killini, which is located in Ilia. If you have extra days, you can add one of the islands to the route.

Άγιος Ανδρέας

Patras is the capital of the Peloponnese and an important seaport from which ships leave for Bari and Ancona. The Church of St. Andrew - the largest Orthodox church in the Balkans, where the relics of the saint and part of the cross on which he was crucified are located. If you come to the city early, you can also visit the Old Town (Ano Poli) - the 6th century fortress of Justinian, Roman amphitheatre of the 1st century.

Airotel Achaia Beach

Overnight at a hotel in the suburbs or in the city itself. I suggest accommodation in the suburbs of Rio or Castellokambos by the sea. From these areas you can clearly see the Rio-Antirio Bridge, the longest bridge in Europe. It connected central Greece with the Peloponnese in 2004.

Day 10: Patra - mountain railway - Mega Spileo Monastery - Lutraki

Achaia is the last region of the Peloponnese on the route. Achaia's coastline is an amazing combination of mountains and picturesque mountain villages, green gardens and groves, small pebbly beaches and capes extending into the azure sea. Mega Spileo Monastery, a trip by the unique mountain railroad is optional. Overnight stay in the resort town of Loutraki.

Αφετηρία Οδοντωτου Διακοπτό

The most interesting local entertainment is the historical railway from Diakopto village to Kalavrita in the mountains. The train runs through mountains of incredible beauty, in some places on the edge of the abyss. From the windows you can see picturesque gorges and cliffs, mountain streams and waterfalls. The height reaches 750 m above sea level. The train is called odondotO because it clings to the teeth on the rails to overcome steep slopes. Since you travel by car, you can take a train ride in this way: **Option 1** All of you take the first train to Diakopto together, it is currently at 09.05 am. In about an hour you will be in the picturesque mountainous Calavrita. About 2 hours to explore the city and at 12.40 you go back to Diakopto. Plus, you'll see the mountain beauties together, minus not going to the Mega Spileo monastery. You can read somewhere that there is a train stop near the monastery, at the station Zahlooru, but in reality it takes about an hour one way to get to the monastery. **Option 2** Passengers take the train to Kalavrita and enjoy the views from the train, while the driver takes the car to Kalavrita. In Calavrita, you meet, walk, and drive back together with the monastery stop. **Option 3** No one rides the train, and you drive all the way to and from the monastery together. Make sure you check the schedule on the website [Odondotos](https://www.odontotos.com/index-en.htm). The price of the ticket is about € 10 one way.

Moni Megalou Spilaiou (Μονή Μεγάλου Σπηλαίου)

If you don't take the train, you can get to the monastery Mega Spileo (or Great Cave) by 10 am. It was founded in the 4th century and is the second oldest operating Christian monastery in the world (after the Monastery of St. Catherine on the Sinai Peninsula). The monastery houses a unique wax icon of the Virgin Mary by the Evangelist Luke, who miraculously survived several fires. In addition, the relics of many saints are collected here, and if you are lucky you can enter the vault. In the monastery museum you can see a small but very rich collection of books, icons and church utensils. In the monastery shop nearby you can buy its products: honey, jams, wine, herbs and stunningly delicious walnut turquoise.

25 Martiou Square (Πλατεία 25ης Μαρτίου)

You leave the Peloponnese, cross the Korif Canal again and enter the resort town of Loutraki. Loutraki, although administratively part of the Corinthian region of the Peloponnese, is no longer in the peninsula. Since ancient times the town has been known for its healing mineral springs. Drinking water flows in Loutraki literally everywhere - in the waterfall, in the springs in the park, and even from all water taps. The spring in the central park with the inscription "Iamatikon" is used as therapeutic. Loutraki water is indicated for diseases of the urinary system, liver, gallbladder, obesity, hypertension and diabetes. You are unlikely to feel the effect at one time, but still try it, maybe you decide to come to Loutraki for a longer time.

Ουζερί Γιάννης

Have lunch at one of the taverns on the Loutraki quay and go sightseeing.

Waterfalls (Καταρράκτες)

Photo stop by a local waterfall, small but cute. You can also visit it in the evening, when the waterfall is illuminated.

Osios Potapios Monastery (Ιερά Μονή Οσίου Παταπίου)

In the Geranium Mountains above the town of Loutraki, there are several monasteries. The most famous of them is the convent of Blessed Patapios. On the territory of the monastery there is a cave with the miraculous relics of the saint. From above there is a stunning view of the Corinthian Gulf and Loutraki. Keep in mind that there are almost 150 steps from the parking lot to the monastery.

Vouliagmeni Lake (Λίμνη Βουλιαγμένης)

A lovely blue lagoon 2 km long and 1 km wide surrounded by mountains. The lake is connected to the sea by a canal about 6 meters wide. Water is renewed by the tide every six hours and mixed with water from the thermal springs at the bottom. There is practically no wind. The water is purest and much warmer than in the city itself. The beach is sandy, the entrance is gentle. There are several taverns and cafes.

Day 11: Lutraki - Athens airport

Spa treatments or swimming in the sea (depending on the time of departure). Transfer to the airport. Transfer of the car.

Loutraki Thermal Spa

Depending on your departure time, you can visit the modern spa complex [Loutraki Thermal Spa](https://www.loutrakispa.gr/ru). There are indoor and outdoor pools with thermal water and hydromassage, Jacuzzi, sauna, hammam. It is possible to perform massages and various procedures for face and body. Prices are low. Keep in mind that the complex is open on weekdays from 11 am to 7 pm, on weekends from 11 am to 8 pm. You might want to visit it the day before.