Peloponnese – history and nature






18 years

Historical towns of the Peloponnese and its diverse natural beauty

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 – Diakopto – Kalavrita - Dimitsana

We will cross the Corinth Canal to the seaside town of Diakopto where we will board a rack rail and head to Kalavrita and then on to Dimitsana

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.

On the northern shores of the Peloponnese is the town of Diakopto and the station of the historic rack railway, Odontotos. The train runs through the Voraikos Gorge passing the river, sheer cliffs, waterfalls and caves and an incredible variety of plants. The 60 minute trip ends up in the historical town of Kalavrita.

Kalavrita is of major Greek historical significance. The town was ruled by the Franks in the Middle Ages followed by the Byzantines. In the 15th century the Ottomans ruled the town until the Greek War on Independence which in 1821 was supported by the Bishop of Germanos in the Monastery of Agia Lavra outside Kalavryta. In 1943 the town fell under German occupation and till today the clock of the town is stopped at the time of the invasion. Today it is a busy touristic center especially in winter when the Greeks take advantage of the ski resort on Mt Xelmos.

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.

DAY 3 - Lousios Gorge – Karitaina – Andritsaina – Gythion

Today we will hike the Lousios gorge and in the afternoon drive south to Gythion passing through the villages of Karitaina and Andritsaina

The trails of the Loussios gorge are breathtaking. One such trail starts from the hydrokinetics museum and passes by the stunning Byzantine monasteries of Prodromos (St. John the Baptist) and the old Philosophos. Rafting is also possible on the Lousios river and a wonderful way to explore the gorge.

Karitaina is a village built on a slope surrounding a 13th century Frankish castle and has been referred to as the Toledo of Greece. Drive t

Andritsaina is also built on a hillside bordering the Alpheios river. Historically it was an important base during the Frankish era and the Greek War of Independence. The center of the village features one of the oldest fountains in the Peloponnese surrounding which are old mansions and cobblestoned streets.

DAY 4 - Mani Peninsula – Kalamata

We will explore the Mani peninsula, visit the Diros caves, Kardamyli and enjoy the evening in the city of Kalamata

The unique Caves of Diros house stalagmites and stalactites and are accessible by boat as the intricate network of passageways are part of an underground river.

Kardamyli 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 - Langada Gorge - Nafplion

Our drive north to the lovely town of Nafplion will take us across the Langada Gorge and Sparti

The Langada pass stretches from Kalamata to Sparti. It is a breathtaking drive through the picturesque and wild gorge with hanging cliffs plane trees and pine.

Nafplion, an important major port dating back to the Bronze Age. As a result, 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 modern city as well as a seaside resort. Its old town is filled with neoclassical and Venetian buildings offering the visitor a most pleasant stroll through its narrow streets.

DAY 6 - Epidaurus – Mycenae

Today we will explore the ancient cities of Epidaurus and Mycenae and return to Nafplion to relax and enjoy the city

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.

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 Illiad 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.

DAY 7 - Ancient Corinth – Athens

This morning we will visit Ancient Corinth and drive to Athens

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.

DAY 8 - Departure

You will be transferred to Athens airport for departure.