Peloponnesus is a region teeming with myths, traditions, history and living culture. Travellers choose it as a destination not only for its incomparable natural beauty, but because it is a magical place, full of discoveries, charm and secrets. Travelling in Peloponnesus is at the same time a way of becoming acquainted with the origins of western civilisation. Let yourself be captivated by its historical wealth and singular modern reality. A trip to the Peloponnese is the experience of a lifetime and leaves that pleasant feeling that the world is ultimately very rich, very beautiful and very interesting.
Travelling around the Peloponnese with the camper
Travelling around the Peloponnese will give you the chance to meet a variety of ancient civilizations and to stand on the sites where ancient Greeks were standing thousands of years ago.
The best way to see all those interesting sites is to plan a well-organized roadtrip with a camper van. The camper gives you the freedom to travel anytime you prefer, as there is no hotel waiting for you. In most of the greek camp sites you can choose your own spot even if you have a late arrival and check-in the next morning. The highways in the Peloponnese are all recently built, which makes driving a lot easier. In the villages the roads are narrower but you can still reach them with a camper.
In the Peloponnese you can find many beautiful campsites of high quality and excellent services.
If you don’t own a camper van you can always rent one in Athens and start your dream holidays as soon as possible.
Many cultures have come and gone, and left relatively little for us to know them by.
But there are a couple of reasons why we know so much about the Greeks.
Firstly, they built monuments in stone. Huge temples and agoras, or market places appeared wherever they settled. They decorated the buildings with scenes of daily life, warfare and sea battles. They buried their dead in graveyards, and the headstones are some of the most poignant sculptures ever made.
Secondly, the Greeks were greatly admired by the Romans, who helped preserve greek drama and other writings. The plays of Euripides, Aeschylus and Sophocles are still performed today.
So whatever your reason for going to the lands once inhabited by the ancient Greeks, there’s plenty to see and discover.
As a guide, below you can find a helpful itinerary
Day #1 Arrival at Patra with your own camper or caravan or at Eleftherios Venizelos airport in Athens if you are going to rent a camper (190 km)
Ancient Corinth was one of the largest and most important cities of Greece, with a population of 90,000 in 400 BC. The Romans demolished Corinth in 146 BC, built a new city in its place in 44 BC, and later made it the provincial capital of Greece.
Acrocorinthis, the acropolis of ancient Corinth, is a monolithic rock that was continuously occupied from archaic times to the early 19th century.
Tip: if you love natural landscapes you can spend one more day before heading up to Epidaurus for a visit at Lake Doxa near Corinth
Day #2 Visit the Ancient theater of Epidaurus and then relax at the sea in front of the camp site (30 km driving)
Epidaurus is famous for its huge theatre that delighted Pausanias for its symmetry and beauty, used again today for dramatic performances, the ceremonial hestiatoreion (banqueting hall), and a palaestra. The theater was designed in the 4th century BC.
Day #3 Visit the archeological site of Mycynae and the famous city of Nafplio, that used to be the capital of Greece (totally 33 km driving from Kastraki)
Mycenae was a fortified late Bronze Age city located between two hills on the Argolid plain of the Peloponnese, Greece. The acropolis today dates from between the 14th and 13th century BCE when the Mycenaean civilization was at its peak of power, influence and artistic expression.
Nafplio is one of the first cities in Greece that won independence. November 29th, 1822 a group of Greek rebels overpowered the Turks in Palamidi, and the next day the city could celebrate its freedom.
Tip 1: It is suggested that you avoid the highway so as to have the opportunity to drive through the unbelievable landscape of Mt. Parnonas and the traditional village of Kosmas. The road is a bit narrow for a camper, but with good driving skills you can do it! It’s worth it!
Tip 2: If you have enough days you can make a stop in Leonidio that is surrounded with beautiful mountainous villages and fabulous beaches.
Day #5 and Day #6 Relax and enjoy one of the best beaches in Greece
The previous day was quite tiring so Elafonisos is the best place to relax and enjoy a hot summer day. The beach right in front of the camp site is truly a small paradise. Take advantage of the opportuntity to take a break from sightseeings and exploring monuments.
Οne of the best beaches in Greece awaits you to indulge in unforgettable moments, while its blue-green waters will magnetize and enchant you. It is certain that 2 days are not enough to fill this paradise, but don’t forget you are on a roadtrip!
In the evening a walk in the town of Elafonisos gives you a small taste of the greek islands, while you can try the local kitchen which includes fresh fish, tsaitia and ydromelo.
The next morning you can rent a boat and make the tour of the island along with snorkelling at Pavlopetri, the lost city.
Day #7 Visit the picturesque city of Gythion (112 km)
Departure towards Gythio town. Enjoy the rest of the day lounging on the beach or next to the swimming pool. If you are a windsurfer here you can practice your windsurfing skills or if you like mountain biking you can make a small tour in the province around the camp site. Otherwise take this chance to relax because the next days will be more busy than the previous. There are a lot to see in this region so you have to fill up your batteries.
Tip: Gythio town is a perfect place for an evening walk and a visit to the Kranae island, the ancient theater and the wrecked ship.
Day #8 Visit the byzantine city of Mystras. (54 km oneway)
Mystras is situated on the slopes of Taygetos Mountain. The archaeological site stands above the modern village of Mystras and the city of Sparta. The greenery surrounding the area is composed mainly by pine trees and cypresses. Some small rivers and lakes are found in the region.
If you like hiking you can leave the camper at the free parking of the archeological site and hike until the village Trypi and visit the springs of Knokiona. It is a hidden small paradise with running water and a small waterfall. Near Mystras there are many other hiking routes and some very nice restaurants with wonderful view.
Tip #1: Hiking to Springs of Knokionas, in the village Trypi.
Tip #2: Lunch at restaurant «Chromata» at Pikoulianika village.
Tip #3: Taygetos mountain has many beautiful small villages. One of them is Arna with one of the biggest platan tree in Europe and the Chestnut Festival the last weekend of October.
Day #9 Daytrip to Mani and the caves of Diros. (127 km roundtrip)
Diros Caves have been described as the most impressive limnetic caves of the whole world. It is important to visit them early in the morning because later it gets really crowded.
If you choose to visit only the caves you can use the local bus to access the caves.
Nevertheless we suggest you make the whole tour of the Mani Peninsula and wonder around the picturesque villages and meets the local people and their everyday life. In Tainaron you will be surprised by the beauty of the place and the vastness of the deep blue sea as you will be found at the southest part of coastal Europe.
The best way to see everything is to go through Areopolis and return from Kotronas. Like this you make a roundtour and you have access to more villages and beaches.
Tip: Since you are in Mani you have to visit Limeni, which is a small port near Areopolis with amazing green-blue water. It is ideal place for snorkelling or speargun and for eating fresh fish or spaghetti with lobster.
Day #10 Early departure towards Messinian Mani and visit the gorge of Ridomo (80 km)
Early departure towards Messinian Mani through the coastal road and visiting many small villages. Arrival to Gaitsies and hike through the magnificent Ridomo gorge. The Ridomo Canyon is a great and very rich geomorfological place! Along the whole Gorge we can meet a big ammout of Geological phenomena that formed the place, like the abrupt and almost vertical slopes, the sharp corrugations of the rocks and the breaches.
After the exploration of the gorge, you can enjoy a greek coffee at the traditional coffee shop at the central square of the village.
Upon request you may buy fresh eggs from the village’s inhabitants or traditional home made goat cheese.
If you don’t like hiking you can avoid this excursion.
Day #11 Visit the archeological site of Ancient Messini (61 km)
Messene is a significant ancient city in terms of its size, form, and state of preservation, and still has much to offer. It possesses not only sanctuaries and public buildings, but also imposing fortifications, and houses and tombs. It enjoys, amongst other things, the advantage of never having been destroyed or covered by later settlements, and is located on an unspoiled inland site. Its natural setting combines the grandeur of the mountains of Delphi with the low-lying, riverine tranquillity of Olympia, the dominating bare limestone mass of Ithome, the site of the ancient acropolis, with the low fertile valley around the ancient city.
Day #12 Visit Kalamata and Polylimnio waterfalls (Totally 113 km)
The history of Kalamata begins with Homer, who mentions Farai, an ancient city built more or less where the Kalamata Castle stands today.
It was believed that during ancient times the area that the city presently occupies was covered by the sea, but the proto-Greek and archaic period remains (Poseidon temple) that were unearthed at Akovitika region prove the opposite.
There are numerous historical and cultural sights in Kalamata, such as the Villehardouin castle, the Ypapanti Byzantine church, the Kalograion monastery with its silk-weaving workshop where the Kalamata scarves are made, and the municipal railway park. The Church of the Holy Apostles is where Mavromichalis declared the revolt against Ottoman rule in 1821. Art collections are housed at the Municipal Gallery, the Archeological Museum of Messinia and the Folk Art Museum.
Often described as a Greek paradise, the Polilimnio Waterfalls in Polilimnio Gorge offer something different from Messenia’s usual beaches. Visitors are immersed in a scene of lush greenery, gushing cascades, and green lakes filled with fresh-water crabs perfect for a relaxing dip.
There are a series of small waterfalls and pools running through a small gorge, with the largest pool and waterfall at the top, where the water is deep. You can swim in the top pool and you may see local lads diving of the cliffs. The gorge is teeming with wildlife and is very picturesque, ideal for a hot day, the cold mountain water is cold but refreshing. It’s a very beautiful place.
Koroni and Methoni were called «The eyes of Venice».
The architecture of Koroni invokes a Greek island feeling and the view of the Messinian Bay and the Taigetos mountains is quite impressive. Koroni is crowned by its castle, which you can enter at any time of the day as there is no entrance that closes. The best way is to enter from the top using the entrance near the old town hall and then walk along the church overlooking Zaga Beach, the cemetery and the little monastery, exiting towards Koroni.
The main attraction of Methoni is its castle, which, due to the fact that it has been neglected during the past years, has a particular charm to it. During the past the castle has had changing owners: Venetians, Turks and Greeks. Some of its exterior walls have started to slide into the sea. In spring season the castle area is dotted by wild flowers and wild garlic. Don’t forget to cross over the causeway to the «Bourtzi», and get an impression of this sea tower which at one time was used as a prison.
Day #14 Visit Pylos, Voidokoilia beach and Navarino bay(20 km one way only)
Pylos has a long history, having been inhabited since Neolithic times. It was a significant kingdom in Mycenaean Greece, with remains of the so-called «Palace of Nestor» excavated nearby, named after Nestor, the king of Pylos in Homer’s Iliad.
Voidokilia Beach is a popular beach in Messinia in the Mediterranean area. In the shape of the Greek letter omega (Ω), its sand forms a semicircular strip of dunes. On the land-facing side of the strip of dunes is Gialova Lagoon, an important bird habitat. The beach has been named «A Place of Particular Natural Beauty». It is part of a Natura 2000 protected area.
Olympia was the site of the ancient Olympic Games, which were celebrated every four years by the Greeks. Olympia was situated in a valley in Elis, in western Peloponnisos (Peloponnesus), through which runs the Alpheus River. It was not a town, but only a sanctuary with buildings associated with games and the worship of the gods. Olympia was a national shrine of the Greeks and contained many treasures of Greek art, such as temples, monuments, altars, theaters, statues, and votive offerings of brass and marble.
Tip: Before arriving to Ancient Olympia you can make a stop to freshen up at Neda waterfalls, a beautiful natural landscape.
Day #16 Forest of Foloi (100 km)
Visit the forest of Foloi which is characterized as one of the most beautiful forests of Peloponnese. Foloi is considered the oldest European self-planted beech and oak forest and the biggest of the Balkans. It spreads for almost 33.000 sq.m., on Mt Foloi, at 688m altiitude, while the rivers Ladon and Erymanthos create a unique and enchanting environment. The mysterious beauty of Foloi Oak forest inspired Ancient Greeks to believe that the forest had been inhabited by Centaurs and Fairies.
After a long and exciting trip you deserve a little bit of relaxation before the long trip from the port of Patras to Italy. Kyllini thermal baths is definetely the best choice.
The lush pine forest and the beach are very impressive and attracts many visitors every year, who exploit the sandy beach and Kyllini baths hot springs and spas for their health in a unique environment. The baths of Loutra Kyllini come from Roman times, and today operate as a spa well known in the whole world for its health enhancement.
Μineral baths and mud baths will make every traveller relax and rest from his long journey!
Day #18 Arrival at Patras port or at Eleftherios Venizelos airport if you are travelling with a rented camper. (83 km)
A very interesting roadtrip reaches its end, but all travellers are full of new experiences and beautiful images. Greece is a country with many variations of landscape depending on the place that you visit and it combines the calmness of the sea and the majesty of the mountains. With this road trip, travellers can see the most exciting places of mainland Greece starting from the north and heading up to the south.
The camp sites are selected according to their quality of services and to their distance from the archeological sites and monuments, so that the travellers drive is as short as possible. In some cases such as the visit in Monemvasia or the tour of Laconian Mani a private bus can be arranged upon demand.
The length of the trip or the places that are visited may vary according to the age and the interests of each traveller.
Best period for travelling: April, May, June, September, October
We hope that you enjoy our small tour in the Peloponnese and to have the pleasure of welcoming you in our country so you can enjoy our greek hospitality and we can make you feel like home.