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Robert Polasek - YouTube Touch of World

The Peloponnese is a vast mountainous area in the south of the Greek mainland, consisting not only of the mainland but also of many large and smaller islands. This peninsula, which resembles a mulberry leaf in shape, is connected to the rest of the mainland by the artificial Corinth Canal and is divided into seven provinces: Achala, Argolida, Arcadia, Ilia, Corinthia, Laconia and Messenia. The most famous of these, is probably Argolida, where Epidaurus, Nafplio, Argos, Mycenae, Tiryns, Assini and a number of other monuments are located. Olympia, however, which lies in the region of Elis (Ilia), is no less famous - the Olympic flame is regularly lit here. Sparta, the seat of King Menelaus, whose wife, the beautiful Helen, was kidnapped by the Trojan prince Paris, thus sparking the Trojan War, is steeped in myth.

The Peloponnese, which was named after the mythical King Pelops in ancient times, is an ideal place for lovers of historical sites and beautiful nature. In summer, orange and citrus groves, fig bushes, cypress trees, eucalyptus, olive trees and everything else that belongs to the lush vegetation here accentuate the scenic beauty of the place. However, what attracts tourists to the Peoponese is its rich history - few parts of Greece have as much right to call themselves the cradle of civilisation as the Peloponnese. One of the most important ancient sites, breathtaking medieval monuments, sites associated with Turkish rule, traditional unspoilt villages lost in the mountains of the hinterland; all set in beautiful and wild nature.

Not least importantly, however, are the laid-back spots suitable for family holidays. All this makes the peninsula a popular summer destination for both air holidays and bus tours, for example.

The Peloponnese is easy to travel around. If you don't opt for an organised trip, then you can take a bus to see the historical sites, which surprisingly enough, usually runs to a timetable. Renting a car is also very easy and affordable, and you can find car rental agencies in every major town. Don't forget to add Nafplio, a completely unique town near the resort of Tolo, to your list of places to visit, where you'll get a taste of old Greece. At any time of the day or night, Nafplio has its own charm. Here it is worth forgetting about time and strolling along the coast, taking a boat to the nearby Bourtzi Fortress, sitting in a café with a refreshing frappé coffee or choosing from a wealth of original souvenirs.

Basic information:

  • Greek name: PELOPÓNNISOS (Πελοπόννησος)
  • Provinces: Arkadia, Argolis, Korinthia, Lakonia, Messenia, Ilia, Achaia
  • Island area: 21 440 km2
  • Population: over 1 100 000
  • The highest peak: Taygetos – 2407 m

RESORTS IN PELOPONNESE

TOLO

Just as the Greek alphabet begins with the letter Alpha, Tolo occupies the first place in the Peloponnese's visitor traffic. There is a wide sandy beach suitable for family holidays, umbrellas and sun loungers for rent and water sports on offer. (Prices from 2008: pedal boats 8€/hour, canoes 6€/hour, inflatable circles 12€/ride, water banana 10€/ride, water ski 25€/15 min.) There are countless taverns, restaurants, bars, cafes, pastry shops, grocery and souvenir shops. The resort also has a marina, bus stops, a permanent doctor, pharmacies, bank & ATMs, internet cafe, motorbike and car rental. We definitely recommend a romantic evening boat trip to Nafplio, approximately 11 kilometres away.

Here you don't just have to walk, but also take a ride on the excursion train. In a twenty-minute ride you will get a very good idea of this charming town. In and around Tolo, especially in the morning or in the early evening, when the sun is not so hot, you can take a variety of hikes and walks. One of these can be a two-kilometre hike to the new blue and white church above Tola called Agia Paraskevi, from where you can enjoy a magnificent view of Tola and the islands in the Argola Gulf. You should leave Tola well rested and energised for the days ahead.

Distance from Kalamata airport: approx. 170 km. Rating of the resort: pleasant holiday area.

STOUPA

Located at the foot of the Taygetos Mountains, it is part of the Mani area. Stoupa was once a sleepy place, but in recent years it has become a popular resort as tourists have become more interested, but it retains its charm despite the increased interest. Stoupa is one of the quieter places where you can stroll through the streets of the resort or take walks in the olive groves that offer beautiful views of the surrounding area. Even though Stoupa is not a large resort, tourists will find all the services they are looking for on their holidays. Medical care and a pharmacy are available in the resort.

Stoupa and the whole Mani area is exceptional for its stone architecture, different from the traditional Greek one. In the past, the Mani area was known for its untamed and wild inhabitants who lived isolated in high towers used for their protection. Some of the towers still stand today.

The resort's main sandy beach is flanked by a waterfront with shops, bars and tavernas offering local specialties. You will also find several smaller beaches hidden among the rocks and on the outskirts of the resort the famous Kalogria beach, where there is a bar and restaurant. The sea here is a beautiful turquoise colour. The patron saint of the beach is the writer Nikos Kazantzakis, whose statue stands on the cliff above the beach. The most popular beach of the resort is Stoupa Beach. If you're a snorkelling enthusiast, the beach's fringes have the right conditions for you. There are a number of other beaches nearby and further afield and it would be a shame not to explore them.

About 4 kilometres from Stoupa lies the fishing village of Agios Nikolaos, offering tavernas with local specialities. At a distance of 7 km from Stoupa is the historical area of Kardamili, which was mentioned by Homer himself. Another interesting town is Areopoli, 40 km away. Here you can visit the square, where every Saturday there are markets with local products and specialities. 50 kilometres from Stoupa is the cave of Diros, whose beauty can be admired by boat.

Stoupa is a suitable destination not only for families and couples. Thanks to the very good accessibility to important ancient monuments such as Mycenae, Olympia, Epidaurus and many others, those who like to discover history, new places and cultures will also find it to their liking.

Distance from the airport: Kalamata (airport) - Stoupa 60 km.

Peloponnese

42 min.
2005
Includes: Tolo, Nafplio, Palamidi fortress, Tyros, Monemvasia, Sparta, Mystras, Ancient Olympia, museum, Ancient Corinth, Corinth Canal, Nea Epidaurus, Epidaurus, Mycenae, Treasury of Atreus, Aegion - Agios Nikolaos ferry, ...

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