With Spring just around the corner and the arrival of bright and sunny days we are in the mood for short getaways to nearby but nevertheless exciting destinations. One of the most charming regions of Greece, the Peloponnese, generously offers us an array of life experiences, while enjoying the apotheosis of nature in all it’s glory. If you crave a romantic getaway, an adventurous experience or simply a charming stroll in a unique panorama of Greek history, two days are more than just enough. So, let’s begin our journey!
For the romantic souls, Nafplio and Monemvasia have always been top choices of destination. Built in the creek of the Argolic Gulf, Nafplio -the first capital of Greece- continues to flourish and charm with it’s natural beauty, authenticity, tradition and profound history. One of the most beautiful cities of our country, Nafplio or ‘Anapli’, is famous for its romantic atmosphere which you will discover while tracing the history of its past. Start with a stroll through the narrow cobbled streets of the Old Town with its elegant neoclassical mansions, which give off aromas of the past from the fragrant Venetian balconies. In the centre of Nafplio you will come across the impressive Syntagma Square surrounded by important historical buildings. Follow the road towards the beach to view the tiny islet of St. Theodore, with the fortress of ‘Bourtzi’, an impressive presence in the Argolic Gulf and a reference point of the city of Nafplio. Climb the 999 stairs that lead you to the Palamidi castle and enjoy the stunning view of the old town.
The medieval walls of the Castle Town or citadel, which seem untouched by time, hide one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. Grab your partner by the hand and let the magic of a fairytale scene with stone mansions, medieval towers, historical buildings and old churches carry you away. Monemvasia, also known as the “Gibraltar of Greece”, does not need a map. Simply lose yourself in the narrow, winding streets and listen to the story of a town that once “hosted” the emperors of Byzantium! Visit the home of one of the most widely acclaimed Greek poets of the 20th century, Yiannis Ritsos and then walk up “Goula”, the upper castle, to enjoy the panoramic view of the city and of course see the imposing Cathedral of Agia Sophia which seems to be floating between the rocks and the chaos of the cliff. Walking through the lower part of the Castle Town, you will discover many historic buildings and remarkable Byzantine churches.
If a perfect weekend for you means activities in nature, in the Peloponnese you won’t know what to choose!
Try the following:
Rafting on the river Lousio (level of difficulty 3/ duration 2 hours). The 8km journey is contained within the narrow canyon with vegetation thriving all around it, creating numerous tunnels which you will pass through. Arched bridges, springs among rocks and impressive passages supplement the already fascinating landscape of the route.
Hiking in Menalon. The Menalon trails in Arcadia provide a secure and organised hiking, mountain-biking or trekking experience.
Walking tour of the wetlands of the legendary lake Stymphalia and of the artificial lake Doxa in the region of mountainous Corinthia.
Diving to the bottom of Kavomalia in Laconia and the island of Sapienza with its many shipwrecks in Messinia.
Hiking on the mountain range of Taygetos.
Crossing the gorge at Rintomo in Mani.
Paragliding over the bay of ancient Epidaurus.
If you love history, you can visit five of the eighteen Greek World Heritage Sites of UNESCO over a weekend: the temple of Apollo, the Parthenon of the Peloponnese in Vasses in Ancient Figaleias, the Sanctuary of Asclepius in the archaeological site of Epidaurus, the archaeological site of Mystras, the archaeological site of Ancient Olympia as well as the archaeological site of Mycenae and Tiryns. If you add to this list Ancient Messinia, the medieval castles of Methoni and Koroni as well as the Acrocorinth, you will have the chance to enjoy a cultural panorama of no precedent.