This year we had the opportunity to take a break from our little jobs and plan a whole 15 days of holidays in a place that we have never been before! Peloponnese! Of course, 15 days were not enough to cover this Greek region, so we decided to visit the eastern part of the Peloponnese in a well-organised itinerary, which we will present to you in this article!
The Importance of Having a Car
Throughout our journey, having a rental car was invaluable. It allowed us the flexibility to explore off-the-beaten-path locations, make spontaneous stops, and fully immerse ourselves in the beauty of Eastern Peloponnese at our own rhythm. Don’t be fooled! Peloponnese itself is bigger than many countries in Europe and slightly bigger than the entire Slovenia!
Day 1-4: Nafplio, a Blend of History and Charm
Our journey began in Athens, where we picked up our rental car, an absolute must for this kind of exploration. The freedom to roam at our own pace was priceless. Our first stop? The impressive Corinth Canal, a marvel of engineering, on our way to Nafplio.
Our first major stop where we stayed for three nights was Nafplio, a town that effortlessly blends history with seaside charm. We roamed its colorful streets and visited the famous Palamidi Fortress for stunning views. A major highlight was our day trip to the ancient Epidavros Theatre, where we were impressed by its magnificent acoustics and timeless splendor.
Of course, we visited the so-called Agamemnon Palace in Mykenes and relaxed on beaches like Polemarcha Beach!
Day 5-6: Monemvasia, Stepping Back in Time
As we entered Monemvasia on the fourth day of our journey, it felt like we had traveled back in centuries. This hidden fortress town, clinging to the edge of a colossal rock, is a breathtaking sight. Its narrow cobbled streets, lined with old stone buildings, weave through the town like threads of history. We spent our days exploring every corner of this enchanting place, from the lower town with its charming shops and cafés to the upper town ruins, offering panoramic views of the deep blue sea.
In the evenings, we enjoyed meals at cozy local taverns, tasting the delightful Greek food and absorbing the charming atmosphere of this medieval town while every night we were drawn in by its romantic ambiance, eagerly awaiting the stunning sight of the red moon rising from the sea!
Find more about this incredible castle city, Monemvasia here!
Day 7-10: Cythera, the Island of Mythical Beauty
Our journey took a delightful turn on the seventh day as we set sail for Cythera, an island that radiates tranquility and charm. The island, nestled in the Aegean Sea, welcomed us with its picturesque landscapes and soothing atmosphere.
Our time in Cythera reached its peak with a visit to Avlemonas, a charming coastal village that instantly stole our hearts. This quaint fishing village, with its crystal-clear bay and traditional architecture, offered a peaceful escape. We spent our days strolling along the scenic waterfront, enjoying the serene beauty of the sea, and indulging in fresh seafood at the local tavernas. Avlemonas was the perfect blend of scenic beauty and relaxed island living, making it a memorable part of our journey through the Eastern Peloponnese.
Days 11-15: Mani, the heart of raw beauty
Leaving Cythera, we made a delightful detour to Elafonisos, where we spent the day lounging on the world-famous Simos Beach. Its crystal-clear waters and golden sands are the stuff of dreams, making it a perfect pitstop before heading to our final destination.
As we entered the final leg of our journey, the region of Mani welcomed us with its striking landscapes and rich heritage. Known for its rugged hills, stone towers, and deep cultural roots, Mani offered a stark contrast to the earlier parts of our trip. We explored quaint villages where time seemed to stand still, each one telling its own unique story through ancient stone buildings and narrow streets.
The highlight of our time in Mani was undoubtedly the Diros Caves. Venturing into these caves, we were greeted by an underground world of natural wonders, with stalactites and stalagmites forming intricate patterns over centuries. Above ground, we hiked through scenic trails, discovering secluded beaches and hidden corners of this untamed region. Each day in Mani was an adventure, filled with the simple joys of nature and the discovery of Greece’s untouched beauty. This part of our journey was a refreshing experience, connecting us deeply with the land and its history.
From the historic streets of Nafplio to the untamed beauty of Mani, our road trip through Eastern Peloponnese was a journey of discovery and enchantment. We encourage you to embark on this adventure, and with a car at your disposal, the possibilities are endless!
For more inspiring travel stories and tips, stay tuned!