The Peloponnese constitutes the southernmost part of mainland Greece.
It is commonly classified as a peninsula although technically, since the construction of the Corinth Canal in 1893, it should be regarded as an island.
In any case, the Peloponnese is a fascinating region of Greece that, with its important archaeological sites, rugged mountains, villages and transparent sea, is waiting to be discovered!
We went in search of the most beautiful beaches and some characteristic villages and, in this article, you will find our itinerary with a map and description of the stops, as well as some practical information.
Peloponnese what to see
We then crossed the Corinth Canal and reached Leonidio, an ancient village of Arcadia nestled between the sea and Mount Parnon.
The town of Leonidio is characterised by a labyrinth of narrow streets, a 250-metre-high wall of reddish limestone, a climber’s paradise, and Plaka, the picturesque harbour with excellent fish tavernas.
From Leonidio, passing through Zarakas where maps pointed out a peculiar rocky road, we reached Elafonisos, the pearl of mainland Greece.
We continued to Valtaki Beach, 5 kilometres from Gythio, which is worth a visit because here you can admire a wreck lying a few metres from the shore.
This is Dimitrios, an impressive cargo ship from the 20th century.
Next, we crossed the entire southern part of the Peloponnese, passing through Lefktro and Kardamyli, until we reached Navarino and Voidokilia Beach, a charming bay with a fine sandy shoreline.
This was, broadly speaking, our itinerary in the Peloponnese.
If you have an extra day or two, returning to Athens you can extend the route to Delphi and devote some time to visiting the city and the archaeological site , which are very worthwhile.
Below is a detailed description of the most beautiful beaches in the Peloponnese that we visited.
The most beautiful beaches in the Peloponnese
The Peloponnese is still little known but is the ideal destination for a dream beach holiday.
Coastline is a succession of beaches, many of which are still completely wild, with crystal-clear water, coves and inlets.
Below are some of the most beautiful beaches in the Peloponnese.
Elafonisos is a small island in the Peloponnese that lies 500 metres from the mainland and can be reached by ferry in about 10 minutes.
Once you disembark, white beaches and turquoise sea await you.
The main attraction of Elafonisos is, undoubtedly, the beach of Simos, consisting of two beaches divided by a narrow tongue of sand, Simos Grande and Simos Piccola.
It may be useful to know that in Simos Beach, you can find both stretches of free beach and equipped areas, as well as some typical restaurants where you can taste Greek specialities.
Peloponnese tour: map and itinerary. Voidokilia Beach
The beach of Voidokilia is considered by far the most beautiful beach in the Peloponnese and one of the most beautiful in the world, according to The Times.
It is part of a nature and archaeological park that also includes some islands not far from the beach.
The beach of Voidokilia is characterised by fine sand and turquoise sea and is located in a bay sheltered from the open sea.
In its surroundings, there are no bars or restaurants.
At Voidokilia Beach you can find a car park attached to the beach.
Other beaches not to be missed
Navarino Bay (Pylos) is the most exclusive eco-chic destination in the Peloponnese (the best boutique hotels are located here).
The beach is incredibly beautiful, with soft sand and a sea of extraordinary colours.
A beautiful beach with fine sand, crystal-clear water whose level remains low for several metres so it is ideal for children .
It is quite crowded, especially in the middle hours of the day.
The beach is both free (there is very little space) and equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas.
There is also a bar/restaurant.
Peloponnese tourist map
Below, you will find the tourist map of our Peloponnese tour, with highlights and major attractions along the way.
Peloponnese tour: map and itinerary. How to get around the Peloponnese?
The best way to get around the Peloponnese is by car.
The best options for getting to the Peloponnese are twofold: land at Athens airport and cross the Strait of Corinth, or land in Kalamata, which is connected weekly with Orio al Serio by Ryanair during the summer.
Once landed, you can rent a car to explore the Peloponnese in total freedom.
You can compare the offers proposed by rental agencies and save 70% by booking your car in advance on the DiscoverCars portal.
You can learn more by reading this article in which I talk about it.
Where to stay in the Peloponnese
In the Peloponnese, we found hotels in different price ranges, and also a good choice of flats and holiday homes.
Compared to other tourist destinations in Greece, the Peloponnese is still little publicised and it is not difficult to find cheap accommodation.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for something special and have no budget problems, the Bay of Navarino is the place for you.
Here, you can find luxurious eco-lodges that fit perfectly into the surrounding landscape!
Like, for example, The Westin Resort Costa Navarino, which offers heated swimming pools, a golf course, tennis court, spa, gym and children’s playground.
Ideal if the aim is to relax and be pampered – book here.
In Gytheo, we found the Margo Beach Hotel, which offers family rooms and suites (some with private pools), at a much more reasonable price.
Children up to 5 years of age also stay for free.
Excellent breakfast served on the sea view terrace – book here.
Finally, in Leonidio, we stayed at the Archontiko Chioti.
It has both family rooms (cot 0-2 years old provided free of charge) and suites, in a warm and cosy rustic environment.
There is a swimming pool, spa, free parking, and an excellent breakfast included in the rate.
Ah, the price is by no means exorbitant! Highly recommended – book here.
Certainly, this tour was just a taste of all the beauty the Peloponnese has to offer but the time we had was, unfortunately, numbered.
On the next occasion, we will return to spend more time visiting the archaeological sites of the Peloponnese, of which no fewer than five (of the 18 sites in the whole of Greece) are UNESCO heritage sites.
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