The peninsula of Peloponnese is the southernmost point of Greece. It has two land connections to the continent: the Isthmus of Corinth and the Rio-Antirio Bridge.
The Peloponnese has dazzling sandy beaches, Olympia - the birthplace of the Olympic Games, ancient cities such as Mycenae and Pylos, the antique theatre of Epidaurus and of course, many archaeological ruins.
REASONS TO GO
Unlike Athens and the principal islands, this peninsula is still a place little unexplored
The paradise for history lovers: Theatres, Olympia, Byzantine fortresses
Beautiful rocky coves and crystal water
Northern Peloponnese has an incredible natural beauty, and forgotten civilizations. The region has distinct geographical areas: on the eastern side are the Argolid plain and the Corinthian, where Tiryns and Epidauros are. Nearby is located Nafplion, with its ancient Greek, Venetian, and Turkish buildings over the Bay of Argos.
On the western side are the provinces of Achaea and Elis, home of Ancient Olympia and the busy port city of Patras.
The Southern Peloponnese politically divided in 3 parts — Messinia in the southwest, Laconia in the southeast, and Arcadia to the north. Arcadia is the most accessible region from Athens, and Messinia and Laconia are nearby.
BEST TIME TO GO
The best time to visit this region is late spring and early fall. In May and June the days are warm, dry, and the seawater is fine. For sightseeing or hitting the beach, this is the time. September and October are also an option, but probably not so good if you plan to go to the beach.
HOW TO GET THERE
The closest airports are in Athens (www.athensairport-2001.gr/) and in Kalamata (in the Southern Peloponnese). Flights from Athens to Kalamata are available on Olympic Airlines and leave approximately once a day.
From there you can get to Peloponnese by bus (www.ktel.org), train (the new Proastiakos Train leaves Athens Airports and arrives to Corinth in about one hour four times per day). You can also rent a car - to get to Sparta takes around 3 hours and Patras takes around 5.
You can also take a ferry from Piraeus to the Saronic island of Poros. Then it's just a 5 minute boat ride from Poros Town to Galatas on the mainland of the Peloponnese.
Peloponnese is a big region and probably the best way for travellers to get around it is by renting a car. Another option is by bus (www.ktel.org). Regional bus companies connect the most important points: Corinth, Argos, Pyrgos, Epidauros, and Nafplion.
Train service is accessible in some parts of Peloponnese, and taxis may also be a good option for those travelling within cities. Getting around by sea to some of the Greek islands is done by ferry boat or by hydrofoil (www.hellenicseaways.gr