Panoramic view of bay and lagoon Voidokoilia, Peloponnese

Things to do in  Peloponnese

The land of legends

History infuses the rugged mountains of the Peloponnese, a large peninsula west of Athens in mainland Greece. Five UNESCO World Heritage sites nestle here, including Mycenae, Byzantine Mystras, Ancient Olympia, and the Theatre of Epidaurus, alongside famous ancient names such as Sparta and Corinth, where St. Paul preached. But there are more things to do in the Peloponnese than history alone: the Odontotos Rack Railway makes a stunning mountain ride, Mt. Taygetos is a hiker’s paradise, and romantic Nafplio is one of Greece’s most beautiful cities.

Top 10 attractions in Peloponnese


Mycenae was the major settlement of the powerful Mycenaean civilization, which held political and cultural sway over the Eastern Mediterranean between roughly 1500 and 1200 BC. The Bronze Age city is believed to have been home to King Agamemnon and is recognized by UNESCO for its profound influence on Greek civilization.More

Ancient Olympia

Site of the first Olympic Games in 776 BC, the UNESCO-listed ruins of Ancient Olympia are one of the archaeological highlights of the Peloponnese. Explore the excellent museum and vast complex to admire the remains of temples and the stadium, hippodrome, wrestling school, and gymnasium where Olympic athletes trained.More

Theatre of Epidaurus

The Theatre of Epidaurus is a well-preserved 4th-century BC theater built on a hillside that overlooks the Sanctuary of Asclepius. Its extraordinary acoustics meant that all 14,000 spectators could hear performances perfectly.More

Archaeological Museum of Olympia

At this museum, a collection of objects unearthed from Ancient Olympia—where the very first Olympic Games were held in 800 BC—help you gain a better understanding of the adjacent ruins. Museum highlights include statues recovered from temples, carved pediments, votive offerings, and a scale model of Olympia.More

Mystras (Mistras)

The 13th-century fortified village of Mystras (Mistras perched on Mount Taygetos is one of the most picturesque spots on the Peloponnese peninsula. Occupied by the Byzantines, Turks, and Venetians before being abandoned in the 1830s, the ruins of this UNESCO-listed town include a clutch of churches and monasteries, a fortress, and a palace.More

Katakolon Cruise Port (Katakolo Port)

At the western edge of Greece's Peloponnese Peninsula, Katakolon Cruise Port’s deep waters makes it one of few Greek ports able to accommodate the world's largest cruise ships. It’s also the gateway to ancient Olympia, the flame and founding place of the Olympic Games, and one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece.More

Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil (Mouseio Elias kai Ellinikou Ladiou)

The Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil (Mouseio Elias kai Ellinikou Ladiou pays homage to Greece’s most important crop, offering an informative take on the cultural and economic importance of olives. Learn about the production of olive oil, soap, and other by-products and choose from a selection of local olive oils in the shop.More

Museum of the History of the Ancient Olympic Games

Adjacent to the UNESCO-listed site of Olympia, the Museum of the History of the Ancient Olympic Games follows the founding and development of the Olympic games. Displays exhibit sporting objects, sculptures, and artistic representations, and cover key events such as javelin throwing, chariot racing, and wrestling.More

Kourouta Beach

Golden sands meet the Ionian Sea at Kourouta Beach, which stretches for almost 10 miles (16 kilometers) along the coast of the Peloponnese. With clean shallow waters, the beach is well-suited to swimming and water sports.More
Odontotos Rack Railway

Odontotos Rack Railway

Completed in 1896, the Odontotos Rack Railway is a charming vintage railway running between the villages of Diakopto and Kalavryta in Greece’s northern Peloponnese region. Its train cars roll through the spectacular Vouraikos Gorge on a 13.5-mile (22-kilometer) climb, promising a scenic trip back in time.More
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All about Peloponnese

When to visit

Summer (June–August) is Greece's peak season, and the Peloponnese is no exception. Both ancient sites and beaches often heave with tourists. Shoulder seasons are the way to go here: May, late April, September, and early October offer warm days without the cold nights of early spring and late fall. Be aware that some hotels and restaurants close during winter.

Getting around

Except for the Athens-Corinth connection and the train that links the Katakolo cruise port and Ancient Olympia, public transit in the Peloponnese is not designed for travelers. High season traffic, hairpin bends on mountain roads, narrow streets in towns and villages, and the often-anarchic Greek driving style means many visitors opt to join tours or hire drivers rather than renting cars.

Traveler tips

The Peloponnese is one of Greece’s top olive-growing regions, with Messini near Kalamata and Laconia near Sparta particularly famous. Tasting olives and olive oil is a must for visiting foodies, or visit Sparta’s Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil for a deep dive into all things oleic. When in Nafplio, a seafood feast at a traditional taverna is essential. Savouras has been dishing up everything from lobster to stingray since 1841.

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Euro (€)
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People Also Ask

What is there to do in the Peloponnese?

The Peloponnese is famed for historic locations, including Sparta, Corinth, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia, and Mystras, so sightseeing is one of the top things to do in the Peloponnese. Active travelers can raft the Lousios River, hike and rock-climb on Mt. Taygetos, and try kayaking and other water sports around Kalamata.

Is the Peloponnese worth visiting?

Yes. The Peloponnese is home to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Ancient Olympia, the Theatre of Epidaurus, and many other historic cities and monuments. A must for history buffs, it’s also a top destination for hiking, while the Corinth Canal is a spectacular feat of engineering.

How many days do you need in the Peloponnese?

Many travelers spend weeks exploring the Peloponnese, but four days lets you hit some key highlights. See Corinth then Nafplio on day 1; from Naplio, explore Mycenae and the Theatre of Epidaurus on day 2; on day 3, discover Mystras and the Mani from Kalamata; on day 4, visit Ancient Olympia.

What language do they speak in the Peloponnese?

The Peloponnese is part of Greece, so Greek is spoken here. As elsewhere in Greece, street signs are written in Greek and Roman (standard Western) letters. English is widely spoken at historical sites and main tourist destinations, and many tourism professionals also speak other European languages.

What islands are near the Peloponnese?

There are many islands near the Peloponnese, perhaps most famously Hydra, where Leonard Cohen once lived. Apart from Hydra, other Saronic islands off the eastern Peloponnese include Poros, Aegina, and Spetses. Out of the Ionian Islands, Kefalonia, Ithaca, and Zakynthos are near the northwestern Peloponnese; Kythira lies in the south, with tiny Elafonisos.

Is Kalamata worth a visit?

Yes, if you have time. Kalamata is a great base to explore the southern Peloponnese, with an attractive old town, fascinating museums, and world-famous olives. Sparta, Ancient Messini, UNESCO-listed Mystras, the Kardamili beach town, and Mani's rugged landscapes and fortified homes are all within easy reach.

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