The appeal of the Peloponnese (Peloponnisos in Greek) is hard to overstate.
This southern peninsula, technically an island since the cutting of the
Corinth Canal, seems to have the best of almost everything Greek. Its ancient
sites include the Homeric palaces of Agamemnon at Mycenae and of
Nestor at the best preserved of all Greek theatres at Epidaurus; and the
lush sanctuary of Olympia, host for a millennium to the Olympic Games.
The medieval remains are equally impressive, with the fabulous Venetian
and Frankish castles of Nafplio,Methoni, Koroni, Korinthos and other cities.
Beyond the incredible profusion of cultural monuments, the Peloponnese is also a superb place to relax and wander.. It offers wild untouched mountains, wonderful beaches, unexplored bays, beautiful monasteries and a magic unseen anywhere else in Greece. Its beaches, are among the finest and least crowded in the country, and the landscape itself is superb- dominated by range after range of forested mountains, and cut by some of the lushest valleys and gorges to be imagined. Peloponnese will amply repay any amount of time that you devote to it.
The Peloponnese is at its most enjoyable and intriguing when you venture a little off the beaten track: to the old hill towns of Arcadia like Karitena and Dhimitsana; the bizarre semi-desert of the Mani or the castles and beaches of Messinia in the south. To get to grips with all this,however, the wonderful southern peninsulas of Mani and Messinia, and the hill towns of Arkadia, you'll need at least a couple of weeks.
From neighbouring Eleia you can already feel the charm of that most cheerful and bountiful of places, Messinia.
Euripides sung its praises, calling it "a land of fair fruitage and watered by innumerable streams,
abounding in pasturage for cattle and sheep, being neither very wintry in the blasts of winter,
nor yet made too hot by the chariot of Helios". And this happy situation has continued into our own days.
Long, cool summers, the sweetest of springs, gentle autumns, and mild winters, many springs and abundant water,
fertile soil, verdant mountains.|
What else can you say about this place, about this wealth!
Click here to explore some Messinian towns and sites or go here to see the map of Messinia area.
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