lunedì 1 maggio 2017

Peloponnese what to see

Peloponnese what to see

Peloponnese, a region rich of history, natural beauty and wonderful beaches. Elafonisos Island is one of the last natural paradises in Europe, with snow-white beaches lapped by a sea of unparalleled transparency. Mystra, the exciting open-air museum with frescoed churches of the Byzantine Empire. The medieval town of Monemvasia, impregnable stronghold overlooking the sea. The rugged mountains that preserve the vestiges of the past, as the Epidaurus Theater, Olympia, the legendary place where took place the most ancient Olympics and Mycenae, The Citadel of Agamemnon. To end with the Mani Peninsula, a corner of Scotland here in Greece, with more than 800 medieval stone towers that characterize this region. Only an hour by ferry to Zakynthos Island, known around the world for the famous, "Shipwreck Beach".

Tips for a tour in Peloponnese

Peloponnese is a rather wide region, the roads are tortuous in many areas making slow movements, therefore, to be able to visit it is necessary to predict entirely different stops along the route. Along a clockwise route, you can stop a couple of nights in Nafplio, ideal base to see the town, the Epidaurus Theater and Mycenae. In Nafplio I recommend the Amalia hotel, one of the best facilities of the place, bookable from here: AMALIA NAFPLIO

We move to the south stopping at Monemvasia; along the way do not miss the Byzantine city of Mystra. I had a great time at HOTEL PANORAMA, immacolate rooms and great location.

Peloponnese what to see

It 's time to take a ferry to the beautiful Elafonisos Island, and stop for a few days relaxing on the beautiful sandy beaches. Among the comprehensive range of accommodation I recommend the excellent Berdoussis, quality / price ratio exceptional, well-appointed rooms and sublime breakfast with local products. To check availability and rates: BERDOUSSIS HOTEL

We continue our journey stopping to the hotel CASTELLO ANTICO, ideal base to discover the wild Mani Peninsula, with rugged mountains overlooking the sea and picturesque villages.
We cross then the whole southern part of the region up to Methoni, where you can visit Pylos, a small village dominated by the largest fortress of Niokastro, and Voidokilia Beach, a lovely sheltered bay with a beautiful sandy coastline, finally at the ancient Methoni Venetian Fortress, built on a promontory surrounded on three sides by the sea and connected to the mainland by a stone bridge. Here we mark a good accommodation, always determined by the best quality / price: KARALIS CITY HOTEL.

Finally, we reach the last stage of our journey, Olimpia, Great Panhellenic Sanctuary site of the ancient Olympic Games. Here is an excellent 4 star at low cost: HOTEL EUROPA OLYMPIA

Peloponnese Travel Guide

1)  Elafonisos Island

The small Elafonisos is undoubtedly one of the most precious jewels of Greece, especially for lovely and secluded beacheas where you can cut a corner for yourself. Reach it is not easy: the island is located in the extreme southeast of the Peloponnese in Laconia region; the closest airport, Kalamata, is about three hours and a half drive, a road across switchbacks and rugged mountain scenery, as well as fifteen minutes by ferry. But those who decide to go this far, will find his lost paradise with, in my opinion, the most beautiful beach in the Mediterranean! The island is small: a charming village where you can enjoy fresh fish, two beaches that are not easily forget, lots and lots of tranquility in a corner of untouched Greece... CONTINUE

Peloponnese what to see    Peloponnese what to see

2) Nafplio and Palamiti Fortress

Nafplio (or Nafplion ) was the first capital of modern Greece  and is one of the most beautiful Peloponnese cities: the old town is dominated by the Palamiti Fortress,with a dense network of narrow streets with Venetian-style buildings, that flow in the immaculate Syntagmatos Square, always buzzing with restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating. The main street, Vasileos Konstantinou, is entirely pedestrian with many elegant shops. On the promenade and in the alleys of the center is succession of restaurants that offer traditional Greek dishes and seafood specialties. During a stop in Nafplio you can visit the interesting Peloponnesian Folklore Museum.
Peloponnese what to see    Peloponnese what to see
At Palamiti Fortress (admission € 8) you can climb comfortably in the car, or going up the steep staircase that is said accounts 999 steps. The view from the fortress is magnificent, especially from the top of the best-preserved bastion of Agios Andreas and stands out on the gulf and inland. The imposing fortress is actually a citadel, built by the Venetians in 1714 and is still considered a masterpiece of military architecture.



3) Epidaurus and Mycenae

Epidaurus and Mycenae, which are only a few kilometers apart, are considered along with Olympia among the most fascinating archaeological sites in the Peloponnese, thanks to their spectacular secluded mountains and surrounded by green valleys.
Epidaurus is known primarily for its beautiful theater, the best  Greece ancient preserved; theater dates back to the fourth century BC and is especially appreciated for its remarkable acoustics. The guides invite visitors to flip a coin in the proscenium, so that the spectators seated on the highest bleachers can hear the sound. In ancient Epidaurus it was known primarily as a place of healing, with people coming from far away to enjoy the miracle cures of the Asclepius Sanctuary... CONTINUE

    Peloponnese what to see    Peloponnese what to see

4) Archaeological Byzantine Site of Mystras

The Byzantine city of Mystra is located in Laconia, in the south of the Peloponnese. It is a large open-air museum dominated by the castle, at the foot of which are scattered houses and medieval palaces, frescoed Byzantine churches and the palace of the Frankish princes Villehardouin. Here they flourished for centuries art and Byzantine architecture which reached its peak.
Starting from the ticket office at the Upper Town, the path begins to descend, past Nafplio Gate and you reach the small church of Agia Sofia, with some interesting frescoes. From here the view across the valley is great, with the Palace of Despots (in restoration) which dominates the landscape...CONTINUE
Peloponnese what to see    Peloponnese what to see

5) Medieval Town of Monemvasia

Monemvasia is one of the most idyllic and surprising jewelry of Peloponnese: this small medieval town was built at the foot of an immense rocky promontory, connected to the mainland by a narrow artificial way. Dominated by the castle (Kastro), the village has buildings constructed entirely of stone, narrow cobbled streets animated by local shops and elegant guesthouse and a small square on the sea straight out of a crib... CONTINUE
Peloponnese what to see    Peloponnese what to see


6) Mani Peninsula

Rugged mountains overlooking the sea, abandoned villages with imposing stone towers, sights of stunning coves, picturesque harbors, enchanting underground caves: this is the Mani Peninsula, an entirely different Greek! The inhabitants consider themselves the descendants of the Spartans and claim never to have been dominated by anyone. This territory has always been closed to the outside world, he has experienced bloody clashes between different clans, with residents forced to build higher and higher defensive towers to protect themselves from enemy attacks. An endless circular road all the twists and turns allows you to travel throughout the circumnavigation of the peninsula...CONTINUE

Peloponnese what to see    Peloponnese what to see

7) Pylos and Methoni Fortress

Located in the far south west of the Peloponnese, the nearby town of Pylos and Methoni represented the most interesting towns of Messinia .
To be honest,  the top view over Pylos enchants more that the real city center, fairly chaotic and overrun by traffic. From the historical point of view, the town is famous for the Battle of Navarino, where the allied fleet defeated the Turkish.  The tree-lined Central  Square is lovely, but the adjacent streets haven't any particular charm. On the hills over Pylos there are two castles: Neo Kastro was built by the Turks and enclosed inside a citadel.

Peloponnese what to see    Peloponnese what to see
A place to be missed is the fortress of Methoni, Venetian origin, located about ten kilometers to the south: from the parking lot to access the first part of the fortress, built on the mainland, where they remain the mighty walls, the cistern and the cathedral. The most characteristic part is the fortress on the sea, connected by a pedestrian bridge in stone.
The entrance to the fortress of Methoni is free. 

8) Voidokilia Beach

Voidokilia Beach is located in the far south-west of the Peloponnese, rather isolated from any urban settlement. The closest town is Pylos. A tongue and narrow strip of fine sand forms a perfect crescent enclosed in a sheltered bay connected from the open sea by a narrow opening. The beach is almost wild, there aren't any taverns or umbrella rentals.
Peloponnese what to see    Peloponnese what to see

Voidokilia is very popular and the first section can be quite crowded and disappointing; However, simply move away a few hundred meters to carve a private space. Moreover, the best part of the beach is from the middle onwards towards the headland: here the sea is in fact free of algae, more transparent and less crowded. And 'possible to climb on the lower part of the cape to admire a beautiful view across Voidokilia Beach.
A short stretch of dirt road leads to a large parking lot while the first food kiosks are located a couple of kilometers.

9) Archaeological Site of Olympia

Although not much remains of the original place, visiting the archaeological site of Olympia you can relive the excitement of the first Olympic Games of the ancient era, the biggest sporting event even able to stop wars and conflicts. The appointment with the Olympics was not just a sporting event but also a social, commercial and artistic. During the first Olympics, only men could compete and made him naked; The first Olympic Games were held in 776 BC... CONTINUE
Peloponnese what to see    Peloponnese what to see

10) Shipwreck Beach Zakynthos

Shipwreck Beach Zakynthos (also called Navaglio Beach) is among the most famous in the Mediterranean and its image from above is shown on all the tourist brochures of Greece. Inaccessible by road, nestled between high white cliffs, lapped by deep blue sea from the astonishing beauty. Unfortunately, his reputation was also his downfall: so beautiful from above, how utterly ruined once you reach your destination because of the disproportionate mass tourism... CONTINUE

Shipwreck Beach Zakynthos    Shipwreck Beach Zakynthos


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