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The Peloponnese
Greece

The Peloponnese

Despite its proximity to Athens, the Peloponnese, a vast peninsula in the southernmost part of Greece, is a pure slice of authenticity. Joined to the mainland by the Isthmus of Corinth, it feels like its own island, and remains vastly ignored by most Greek travellers. Here is where myth meets history and culture meets nature. Peppered with key archaeological sites including Olympia (the birthplace of the Olympic Games); the ancient city of Corinth; Mycenae (home to Agamemnon); and Epidaurus, with its beautifully preserved Greek theatre, the Peloponnese also bears traces of other civilisations that have left their mark: Byzantine, Turkish, and Venetian to name a few. Visit the medieval town of Monemvasia that rises from a sea rock; bed down in chic Nafplion (the former Greek capital), or head inland to the little mountain village of Dimitsana on the slopes of Mt. Mainalo. Peloponnese highlights are not all man-made: its natural beauty sweeps from snow-capped mountains in the Taygetus down to deep gorges that carve through its rugged landscape. A hiker’s paradise, hills are covered with citrus and olive groves; spring flowers spread like fire and wild herbs grow in abundance. There’s a good farm-to-fork set-up and the wine scene is also blossoming, particularly around Nemea (try the rich red Agiorgitiko). As Greek lovers would expect, coastal Peloponnese is just as enticing, particularly the swathes of uncrowded sand on the west. One visit to this vast, unsung region barely scratches the surface. What you will unearth however, is the real Greece.

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