Traditional Villages – off the beaten track






18 years

Traditional villages of the Peloponnese

Tour Map

Traditional Villages – off the beaten track

DAY 1 - Athens

Upon arrival at Eleftherios Venizelos airport in Athens, you will be met and transferred to the hotel in the heart of the city. Balance of the day at leisure.

DAY 2 - Corinth - Mycenae – Epidaurus - Nafplion

We will cross the Corinth Canal to visit ancient Corinth, Epidaurus and Mycenae before heading to Nafplion.

The Corinth Canal separates the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland. Although proposed in ancient times and its construction attempted and abandoned over centuries, it was finally completed in 1893.

Ancient Corinth, one of the most important trading cities of ancient Greece dating back to the 6th century BC. The archaeological site includes the Temple of Apollo, the agora and the Peirene fountain.

Dating from 16th century BC, the Royal House of Atreus established a major military stronghold and kingdom ruled most notably by king Agamemnon who fought in the Trojan War mentioned in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. At the archaeological site of Mycenae, we see the remains of the prehistoric Acropolis, the Palace, the Grave Circles, the Lion’s gate, the Cyclopean walls and the famous beehive (tholos) tombs. The museum houses a beautiful collection of artifacts mainly from the excavation of the tombs.

Epidaurus was known in antiquity as a healing center, the place where the god of medicine Asclepius was born and was worshiped. The ruins of the sanctuary include among other things the Temple of Asclepius, the hospice and a stadium. The ancient theatre of Epidaurus is world famous for its astonishing acoustics and is one of the best preserved classical Greek structures which to date is still in use.

Nafplion was a major port dating back to the Bronze Age. As a result of this significance three forts protected it; Palamidi being the most domineering citadel. The city played a huge role in the War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire and up until 1834 was the first capital of Greece. Today it is a large modern city as well as a seaside resort. We recommend an evening stroll through the narrow streets of the old town, which is filled with beautifully preserved neoclassical and Venetian buildings.

DAY 3 - Mystras – Monemvasia

Today we will visit important Byzantine city of Mystras. The day will wind down in the beautiful and unusual fortress of Monemvasia.

The drive to Mystras will take us through the land of the Spartans, a society famed for its military power and culture. The Spartans were known for their bravery and brilliant strategy in battle. The Unesco world heritage site of Mystras is located in a landscape of great natural beauty. During the 14th and 15th century the fortified town was the second most powerful city of the Byzantine Empire and the capital of the Despotate of the Morea. It surrendered to the Venetians and Ottomans and was abandoned after the Greek War of Independence. The ruins include the castle, palaces, Byzantine houses and monasteries adorned with wonderful frescoes.

DAY 4 - Monemvasia – Kardamili – Kalamata

A morning stroll through the fortified city of Monemvasia followed by a drive to the coastal village of Kardamili before ending our day in Kalamata

Dubbed, the Gibraltar of Greece, Monemvasia is a fortress built on a rock rising dramatically from the sea. The town was founded in the 6th century by inhabitants seeking refuge. This medieval fortress town offers wonderful walks through its narrow-cobbled streets and a visit to the Church of Christ in Chains.

Kardamili is the pretty coastal village nestled between the waters of the Messinian gulf and the Taygetos mountain surrounded with stone towers, cypress trees and beautiful beaches. We visit Patrick Leigh Fermor’s hideaway home, a British soldier and author who played a role in the Cretan resistance during World War II. The home is a stunning example of great architecture, with airy rooms, Islamic influences, a Mediterranean garden, and private access to a beach cove.
Stroll around the Mediterranean garden of cypress trees, olive trees, fragrant shrubs, white oleanders, and wildflowers rolling down to the sea and enjoy an inspiring landscape that was an attraction to many intellectuals and scholars who wanted to work or study in such a setting.

DAY 5 - Polylimnio – Koroni - Methoni

Today we drive to the inland natural attraction of Polylimnio and then to the coastal towns of Koroni and Methoni

Polylimnio, a natural attraction of great beauty and one of Messenia’s best kept “secrets”. As indicated by its name, Polylimnio is a unique composition of 15 little “hidden” freshwater lakes, running water and breathtaking waterfalls, surrounded by beautiful flora.

Located in the south west peninsula of the Peloponnese, Koroni is a beautiful village, nestled on a hill below a Venetian castle and reaches to the edge of the Messinian gulf.

Methoni used to be a strategic location for merchant ships traveling from the West to the East, as well as for pilgrims heading to the Holy Land. The castle of Methoni was built by the Venetians in the early 13th century, during which period it became an important trade center that enjoyed great prosperity. This picturesque seaside town is the perfect place to explore, wander around the streets observing the architecture of the low stone houses, with their lovely patios and fragrant flowers, or take a swim and enjoy fresh seafood mezes or tapas along with some famous Greek Raki.

DAY 6 - Nestor’s cave - Nestor’s palace – Pylos

Today we will visit the cave of Nestor and the Palace, stop at a magnificent beach, visit the village of Neokastron and end our day in the lovely town of Pylos

According to Greek mythology, Nestor’s cave was the place were Heracles slew all the sons of the King of Pylos except Nestor, who became king of Pylos.

Nestor’s palace is the most well preserved Mycenean Palace in the area of Pylia, built in the 13th century BC. Nestor holds an important position in the Homeric epics as it was, he who led Pylos to the Trojan War with 90 ships.

The magnificent Voidokilia beach, famous for its «Ω» omega shape, is one of Greece’s most captivating spots and is also a European Ecological Natura 2000 site.

The drive towards Pylos goes through olive groves and vineyards and the Neoclassical coastal village and the well preserved Niokastron or New Navarino, built on the hill on top of the village. Today it functions as a center of submarine archaeological research and a museum and in the past used to function as a mosque and then a church.

DAY 7 - Pylos – Ancient Olympia

Today we visit an old olive press in a wonderful olive grove. Our afternoon drive will take us to ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games

Walk through the olive groves of a family owned and run business dedicated to the cultivation and production of olive oil. We learn about the harvesting, the processing, and the production of one of Greece’s most valuable agricultural products, the Koroneiki olive variety of Messinia.

Ancient Olympia is the birthplace of the Olympic Games. The first games were held in Olympia in 776 BC and thereafter every 4 years until their decline in 394 AD. The archaeological site of Olympia includes the sanctuary of Zeus and the various buildings erected around it, such as the athletic premises used for the celebration of the Olympic games. The Altis, the sacred enclosure and core of the sanctuary, with its temples, buildings and treasuries, occupies the center of the site. The Olympic flame is lit on this ancient site and relayed by runners to the cities where the Games will be held.

DAY 8 - Karytaina – Stemnitsa

Today’s visits will be of the traditional villages of Arcadia

Karytaina, a traditional settlement of magnificent views and a scenic castle that was built during the Frankish occupation in the 13th century.

Picturesque Stemnitsa is the village built onto the slopes of Mount Mainalo, near River Lousios and has a population of approximately 200 residents. The area has a rich tradition in gold and silver smithery, which was developed during the Turkish domination, when Stemnitsa evolved into a major hub for metallurgy and its -mostly itinerant- craftsmen. After enjoying a traditional meal, we will learn more about Stemnitsa’s local delicacies and products.

DAY 9 - Dimitsana – Nemea - Athens

Visit of the village of Dimitsana followed by a wine tasting experience in Nemea and drive back to Athens

The village of Dimitsana was instrumental in the fight for Independence and mainly in the production of gunpowder. Some of these mills are still preserved. The open-air water museum area is surrounded by beautifully diverse flora and abundant running water.

The trails of the Loussios gorge are a wonderful place to hike starting from the hydrokinetics museum and passing by the stunning monasteries of Prodromos (St. John the Baptist) and the old Philosophos.

Nemea is the home to one of Greece’s most important red grapes variety, the Agiorgitiko. It has a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) certification, perpetuating a 2,500 year old tradition.

The local wineries, where one can enjoy a fascinating experience in the world of viticulture and wine-making, offer a taste of their culinary specialties and of course their wonderful wines.

DAY 10 - Departure

You will be transferred to Athens airport for departure.