Departing from Athens we drive along the scenic western coastal highway.
We arrive to the deep Corinthian Canal that connects the Saronic Sea & the Corinthian Sea. Short stop We drive to nearby Ancient Corinth & see the Temple of Apollo - the God of the Sun, the Roman Baths & Roman Odeion, the street of Lechaeon with its shops. St. Paul preached & wrote "the letters to the Corinthians " here in 52 A.D.
We pass by the chapel of St. Paul & its unique mosaic & start our seaside drive to Ancient Epidauros.
Here we visit the theater that is world famous for its acoustics & still used for best theatrical performances. Visit the museum & walk through what was the sanctuary of God of medicine Aschlepios. A healing center where the priests used all types of herbs, water & snake venom to cure many diseases.
Leaving ancient Epidaurus, we drive to picturesque seaport town of Nafplion named after a son of Poseidon. Nafplion was the first capital of modern Greece from 1829 to 1834 by Ioannis Kapodistrias after gaining its independence from the Ottoman Turks the year 1821. Nowadays Nafplion is a popular weekend escape for Athenians.
During our visit in Nafplion, we visit the Palamidi Fortress which was the last construction of the Venetians & the Acronafplia Castle, which is built on top of a Mycenaean wall. These two castles are located on a hill above the old town.
Nafplion is an ideal place for a seafood lunch by the sea enjoying the view of the Bourtzi Castle out in the sea at the entrance of the port.
Leaving from Nafplion, we continue our tour with a thirty minute drive through orange & lemon tree fields to the Bronze age citadel of Mycenae. Mycenae was the centre of power in the Late Bronze age from 16th century B.C. to 11th century B.C. The Acropolis of Mycenae is built of huge blocks of stones Homer, poet of antiquity, claimed this city was built by the Cyclops Giants.
Walk past the Lions Gate, the circular grave site, walk the steps of the secret cistern & visit the palace room of King Agamemnon the mythological leader of the Greeks in the war with the Trojans.
Leaving the Acropolis of Mycenae, we make a short stop for visiting an impressive cone shaped tomb, the Treasury of Atreus also known as the Tomb of Agamemnon.
We spend the night in a boutique hotel at picturesque & cosmopolitan Nafplion
In the morning, after breakfast, we depart from Nafplion & continue our tour through the mountains of central Peloponnese, the plateau of Tripoli & arrive to Sparta, a prominent city-state in Ancient Greece, built next to the banks of Eurotas River & the foot of mount Taygetos in Laconia.
Sparta was known its ruler Lycourgos & his constitution, which was focused on military training & minimal nutrition. Young men were drafted at the age of 7 with their mother giving their first shield.
That is the reason the Spartans were the leaders of the Greek forces during the Greek-Persians wars.
We visit the Acropolis of Sparta, the Archaeological Museum & the Olive Oil Museum.
We drive to Mystras, a fortified town on top of a rock at the foot of mount Taygetos. It started as a Venetian settlement in the 14th century & it served as the capital of the Byzantine Patriarchy of Peloponnese in the 15th century. The Patriarch here, Constantine XI Palaiologos, became the last Byzantine emperor of Constantinoupolis. Walk downhill passing chapels & hundred year old homes made of stone.
After our visit of Sparta & Mystras we can stop for lunch at a local restaurant tasting the local specialties.
We continue our tour to the rock that many people call the Gibraltar of Greece. Monemvasia. Geologists believe it was attached to the mainland but separated after an earth quake around 378 BC. It's name stands for "only passage". At the foot of the rock we walk by stone homes built by Venetians, Ottomans & Byzantines. The city was founded by the Byzantines in the 6th century & became an important defensive port. In the 12th century it was a Venetian stronghold & later an Ottoman one until July of 1821 the day it was liberated.
We spend the night at a hotel in either the new or the old castle town of Monemvasia.
The next morning, after breakfast, we will visit the remains of Byzantine churches such as St. Sofia, narrow streets & a cistern that ensured a water supply at times of siege.
We continue our tour driving to the south west of the Peloponnese. We pass by deserted mountains & some abandoned villages & charming little fisherman's bays known as Mani Peninsula & arrive at Diros Caves. It is a wonder of nature with thousands of stalactites & stalagmites on top of lakes. Ten thousand square meters explored so far since 1949. Take an exciting party boat ride through the different colorful chambers!
We start our journey back to Athens in the afternoon driving by Sparta & the mountain range of The Peloponnese.
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Learn more about the history of Peloponnese in the Historical Facts section of our website!
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