Key Takeaways

  • Get an alternative experience on your next trip to Greece by exploring the incredible landscapes of the Peloponnese region.
  • On your Peloponnese adventure, you’ll uncover towering mountains, pretty ski resorts, and ancient sites.
  • The Peloponnese is packed with interesting castles and stunning sandy beaches.
  • Its diverse landscapes and easy access from Athens make the Peloponnese a joy to visit any time of year.

If you are indecisive about whether you should choose to visit the mountain or the sea during your trip to Greece, our luxury travel agency has the solution that has it all: the Peloponnese region

The mountains of the Peloponnese are magical, and ideal for exploring the slopes, the villages, the paths, and – why not? – the ski resorts. To pack in as much as possible, why not see it all on a romantic Greek road trip?

Additionally, the Peloponnese is scattered with castles, large and great, each hiding its own history. Some ancient, some medieval, some newer. One can meet all of them on the tops of high hills or by the sea. This makes the region a prime spot for a winter honeymoon in Greece or even a romantic Christmas in Greece.

And, of course, keeping in theme with what most people associate Greece with, the Peloponesse boasts incredible coasts. It has sandy mainland Greece beaches that are more than comparable to the Greek islands and is home to one of the best snorkeling spots in Greece.

The mountains of the Peloponnese


Taygetos mountain – credits:

It is often said that there is no mountain more beautiful than Taygetos, and it is true. But, thanks to the new national road Tripoli-Sparta, it is just three hours away from Athens.

The ‘mountain of mountains’ has spectacular paths that cross gorges passing by clear rivers. It has beautiful villages like Kastori, Georgitsi, Leondari, and the almost abandoned Koumousta.

It also has the castle city of Mystras. The caste city will take you back to the years of Byzantium as an awe-inspiring time machine.

Mount Parnon

Mount Parnon
Mount Parnon – credits:

Just opposite Taygetos, Parnon stretches out from Arcadia to Laconia. It embraces beautiful villages like Ano Doliana and Karyes, which was the homeland of the legendary Caryatids.

There, you will also find the village of Tsingina. It has excellent walking paths, Kosmas with its chestnut forest, and the cedar forest that adorns its southern slopes. The latter is said to be unique in all of Europe. Make sure you add sneakers or hiking boots to your Greek honeymoon packing list so you can explore it all!

Historic monasteries like the visitable monastery of Elona are mushrooming through Mount Parnon’s forests. At the same time, at its feet stretches the vibrant Leonidio, with its crimson rocks. These gather climbers from all over the world all year long.


Ziria – credits:

The stunning mountain of Ziria is an orchard and a breath from Athens. While it is infamous for its steep prices, it is more than worth your time and money.

Ziria, or Mountainous Corinth as it is often called, has a small but beautiful Greek ski resort at the top. It also has many idyllic paths running along its slopes, and so many other villages competing for which is the most beautiful. In the winter, they are dusted with snow, perfect for a romantic Greek Christmas.

As if all this were not enough, it also has two lakes, the lakes of Doxa and Stymfalia. Lake Doxa seems taken from a postcard. Yet, it is everything you need for a picnic under the sun. Lake Stymfalia, on the other side, is immersed in history and has a good museum on its shore.


Mainalo – credits:

You also know it as “Mountainous Arcadia.” It is probably the first mountain that comes to mind when talking about winter getaways in the Peloponnese.

Vytina, Dimitsana, Stemnitsa, Valtesiniko, Piana, Alonistaina, Lagadia are just a few of its fairytale-like villages with stone and tile roofs and chimneys steaming in a tufted fir forest.

Mainalo boasts a ski resort near Vytina and fantastic trails that cross stunning gorges. One of those is the one that crosses the Lucius river, where you can also indulge in rafting.


Helmos – credits:

Famous for its ski center, which is one of the most popular and best organized in Greece, Helmos, the mountain of Kalavrita, is by no means exhausted on its snow-covered slopes. 

It boasts spectacular routes, with the first and most epic one crossing the Vouraikos gorge on the rails of Odontotos. In addition, the mountain has one of the most impressive caves in Greece, the Cave Lakes, also known as the Kastria Caves.

Helmos also boasts impressive waterfalls in Ano Vlasia and crystal clear springs in the region of Plantiero. 

Read also: The Best Greek Islands for Hiking and Nature-gazing

The Castles of the Peloponnese

Acrokorinthos, Corinth

Acrocorinthos – credits:

Acrokorinthos dominates at 575 meters, overlooking the plain of Corinth, and is one of the largest castles in the Peloponnese. The perimeter of its walls reaches 3 kilometers.

Due to its morphology, it was used since ancient times as a watchtower that emerged as a castle-fortress. From it, any raid from Central Greece or the sea was supervised.

From the top of the hill, the view is spectacular, covering the Gulf of Patras and Corinth, the southern coasts of Central Greece, the entire western part of the Saronic Gulf, Salamis, and Aegina.

Chlemoutsi, Kyllini, Ilia

Chlemoutsi- castle
Chlemoutsi – credits:

In an area of ​​Ilia near the village of Kastro stands imposing, at the top of a hill, the medieval castle Chlemoutsi.
It is an excellent example of Frankish architecture.

The castle was the strongest fortress of the principality of Achaia. It was built during the reign of Godfrey I Villehardouin in the years 1220 – 1223.

The castle’s original name was Clermont, as its French owners used to call it. It is one of the most well-preserved castles in the Peloponnese. From it, one can enjoy great views of the entire plain of Ilia and the Ionian Sea.

Palamidi, Nafplio, Argolida

Palamidi castle
Palamidi castle – credits:

The castle of Palamidi was built in 1687 by the Venetians and today is one of the most popular attractions of Nafplio and a romantic place for a wedding proposal in Greece. It is one of the most well-preserved castles in Greece, an example of a Venetian fortification.

After the Revolution, Palamidi served as a prison, in which, in 1833, Theodoros Kolokotronis was imprisoned. The hill on which it is located is 216 meters high and was named after the Homeric hero Palamidis.

There is the easy way -by car- and the difficult way -the famous 999 stairs- to climb Palamidi. However you choose to go up, the view from there to the city and the sea is unique and will reward your efforts.

Read on: Winter Honeymoon Destinations in Greece: Cozy Retreats [2024]

Niokastro, Pylos, Messinia

Niokastro – credits:

One of the best-preserved castles in Greece is Niokastro, the castle built by the Ottomans in 1573 on the south side of Pylos, on the sea.

It is one of the two castles that guarded the general bay of Navarino – its northern entrance was guarded by Paleokastro Navarino, a medieval fortress of the 13th century.

The castle was solid as it had a triple defensive fortification: moat, walls, and the strong Acropolis. Its walls consist of chipped limestone and alabaster and reach 8.5 meters high and 2.5-3 meters thick.

Koroni, Messinia

Koroni credits:

Named at the southwestern tip of the Peloponnese, the Koroni mansion is one of the most beautiful small Greek cities.

The Venetians built the famous and imposing castle of Koroni at the end of the 13th century on the ruins of a Byzantine fortress. Its strategic location – on the peninsula’s highest point – made it an ideal point for supervising the whole area.

It is an excellent example of the Venetian fortification technique with massive gates, underground passages, solid walls, and square towers. It is still inhabited even today.

While taking a walk on its cobbled streets, you can see the ruins of the church of Hagia Sophia and a visitable old calendar nunnery of Timios Prodromos. From there, you can also enjoy the magnificent view of Koroni and the Messinian Gulf.

Methoni, Messinia

Methoni Castle
Methoni Castle – credits:

To the south of Pylos and opposite the island of Sapienza is Methoni, a beautiful small town with neoclassical houses Methoni. However, the most famous attraction is none other than its castle, one of the most important fortifications in Greece.

In medieval times, it was a stop on the way of pilgrims to the Holy Land and merchant ships from West to East. The castle of 93 acres ends at Bourtzi, the octagonal tower that the sea touches all around.

Mystras, Laconia

Mystras – credits:

Five kilometers northwest of Sparta, on a rocky hill at the foot of Taygetos, rises the castle city of Mystras – one of the most important castle cities in the country. In 1989 it was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Its history dates back to the middle of the 13th century, when the Franks completed the conquest of the Peloponnese. Then, William II Villehardouin built a strong wall and castle on the east side of Taygetos, on top of a hill called Mystras or Myzithras.

Over the years, an entire castle city developed that passed into the hands of the Byzantines, the Ottomans, and the Venetians. The most famous surviving monuments are Hagia Sophia, the Palace of the Despots, the Monastery of Pantanassa, the Diocese (or Agios Dimitrios), Agios Theodoros, Panagia Odigitria.

On the south side of Kato Pora, one can witness the ruins of the mansions of Laskari and Frangopoulos. The museum there completes the setting in the best way possible while it offers its visitors valuable insight into the region’s heritage.

Monemvasia, Laconia

Monemvasia Castle
Monemvasia – credits:

In the south end of the east coast of the Peloponnese, the medieval walled castle city of Monemvasia, with its 40 Byzantine churches and labyrinthine cobbled streets, looks like it has come out of a fairy tale.

Even from a distance, it is impossible not to feel awe at the sight of the enormous rock. Passing the main gate begins the walk in a perfectly preserved medieval settlement with cobbled streets, old mansions, and Byzantine churches that coexist harmoniously with traditional hostels, dozens of shops, restaurants, and cafes.

In the central square with the famous cannon that marks the sea is the Archaeological Museum, while you will see the famous temple of the Taken Christ, with rare icons, of which the one of the Crucifixion stands out.

In Pano Poli, on the edge of a cliff, 300 meters above the Myrtos Sea, dominates the church of Hagia Sophia, built in the 12th century. From here, the view of Monemvasia and the sea that stretches at its “feet” is captivating.

The Coasts of the Peloponnese


Fokiano – credits:

In the Prefecture of Arcadia, a little below Leonidio, as you look at the map, lies Fokiano. The beach is a perfect semicircular cove with transparent, turquoise waters and large white pebbles. Some green mountain slopes enclose its edges.

Please remember that the nearest village, Poulithra, is about an hour full of winding roads. Regardless, it is one of the few kept secrets of the Peloponnese, and it is worth the driving mentioned above.

Don’t forget to try the tavern at the back of the beach. It serves fresh fish, along with fragrant, rustic, and homemade french fries. You will enjoy delicious Greek food under the tamarisk trees, with cicadas and the crashing of the waves as your soundtrack.


Voidokoilia – credits:

In Messinia, 10 km away from Pylos, you will find the incredible beach of Voidoikilia. It is one of the most photographed beaches in Greece, and rightly so.

The magnificent semicircle that forms, its crystal clear, turquoise waters, and its white dunes with fine sand compose a spectacular landscape.

This beach is also ideal for history lovers. If you climb the two hills that close the ends of the beach, you will find two hidden treasures.

Paleokastro, the first castle of Pylos dating from 1278, is built on one hill. On the other hill, one can find the Mycenaean vaulted tomb of Thrasymides.

Agia Barbara

Agia Barbara – credits:

The beach of Agia Barbara -or Saint Barbara- is located in laconic Mani, about nine kilometers before Kotronas, if you come from the side of Gythio.

It consists of fine, golden sand, crystal clear waters, and tufted oleanders for the necessary shade. There, you will meet only small crowds and a strange church on the edge, which hides the treasure of some pirates, according to legend.

At the tavern on the edge, you will taste fresh fish and seafood, on painted blue tables, with the wave right at your feet.


Elea beach – credits:

You will find the beach of Elea in Messinia, about 10 km from Kyparissia, on the road to Pyrgos.

Golden sand, waters so clean they look suitable for drinking, and plenty of shade from the pine forest behind it, set a scene that is hard to forget.

The wonderful pine forest of Agiannakis, next to the beach of Elea, reaches almost where the wave breaks and is suitable for hiking and cycling under the shade of the fragrant pines. It’s a great option for an adventurous couple in Greece.

If you are hungry, grab a table in the tavern on the beach called ‘Mythos,’ order fresh fish and seafood, and accompany them with exquisite fried zucchini and local cheeses.


Mavrovouni – credits:

In the prefecture of Messinia, between Finikounda and Methoni, lies the stunning beach of Mavrovouni. Do not be confused. There are various ‘Mavrovouni‘ regions scattered throughout the Peloponnese, with the most famous but less spectacular, the one near Gythio, in the prefecture of Laconia.

Mavrovouni is one of the most beautiful beaches of Messinia – which in turn gathers the lion’s portion when we talk about the best beaches of the Peloponnese and the best beaches in mainland Greece

Velvety golden sand, transparent light blue waters, and length ideal to find your peace will leave you breathless in Mavrovouni.

As if that wasn’t enough, the two magnificent castles of Methoni and Koroni are within walking distance and are suitable for exploring against the backdrop of the sunset.


Foneas beach – credits:

Also in Messinia, about 30 km away from Kalamata, lies the beautiful beach with the grim name, Foneas, which translates to ‘murderer’ in English.

The beach consists of large white pebbles, green-blue waters reflecting the tufted trees that generously offer their shade, and imposing rocks at the back.

A few kilometers from here, the traditional settlement of Kardamili is offered for afternoon walks in its stone streets. If you are hungry, grab a table under the olives of the homonymous restaurant for deliciously cooked and delicious local cuisine.


Peloponnese – credits:

You can find the beach of Petrochori 15 km north of Pylos, very close to the aforementioned beach of Voidokilia.

With its impressive dunes, all-white sand lilies, light blue waters, and tranquility, it easily wins the title of one of our favorite almost-secret beaches of Peloponnese.

The ‘Ammothines’ restaurant on the beach spreads its wooden platforms on its back and gazes at its shimmering waters. It serves excellent cuisine inspired by the local tradition with a few good creative touches.


Kyparissi beach – credits:

On the northeastern side of Laconia, 60 km north of Monemvasia, the beach of Kyparissi enchants its visitors with its unique beauty.

It is two beaches, Agia Kyriaki and Megali Ammos. There are multi-colored pebbles and imposing rocks in the first, black and white pebbles, and tamarisk trees for shade in the second. Crystal clear waters that meet the horizon line, idyllic quiet, and panoramic views of the coastal settlement in both.

The village that stretches around them, nestled between the steep slopes of Mount Parnon and the blue vastness of Myrtos, is ideal for holidays or weekends away from everyone and everything.


Peloponnese – credits:

In the Messinian gulf, four kilometers north of Koroni, the beach of Kolonides makes for a refreshing oasis.

It is one of the few “secret” beaches in the area. The green frame provided by the tufted trees around it contrasts perfectly with the blue of its waters, which end in its soft golden sand. You will find it following the path with the olive trees, next to Hotel Kolonides.

In a short distance, just over 500 meters away, is another one of the most beautiful beaches in the area, Peroulia. There, the homonymous tavern serves beautifully cooked and fresh dishes of the day.


Zacharo – credits:

On the west coast of the Peloponnese, in the prefecture of Ilia, about 40 km from Pyrgos, lies the sweetest beach of the region, Zacharo.

It is, in essence, the beginning of the endless spectacular sandy beach that the Athenians call “Caiaphas” and the Peloponnesians “beach of Pyrgos,” which extends fifty kilometers.

Soft, golden sand, dunes with white lilies, turquoise Ionian waters, and a beautiful pine forest make for a dreamy setting.

Archaeologists find their paradise in the area. Ancient Olympia is only 25 kilometers away, while another 12 separate you from one of the most exciting and lesser-known ancient temples, Epicurean Apollo in Vasses.

Final thoughts on the Peloponnese

The multifaceted beauty of the Peloponnese makes it suitable for visiting all year round and an ideal location for young couples in Greece. It also offers the ideal budget for a Greek honeymoon. However, each season determines which of its aspects you will add to your Greece honeymoon itinerary.

Its proximity to Athens makes it suitable even for a weekend. Ideal for offering moments of relaxation and adventure to its guests. If you’re still craving a Greek island-hopping experience, check out the most charming islands near Athens.

Read also: Greece Transporation on Your Honeymoon

It offers some of the best beaches in mainland Greece in summer and stone-built villages for winter. It is a place that is constantly evolving. That happens both in its hotel infrastructure and entertainment and the quality and variety of outdoor activities. For another unexplored part of Greece, why not look into Mani or Northern Greece? Or pack in even more pretty villages and outstanding hiking trails with an Italian honeymoon in Cinque Terre and a honeymoon in Lake Como.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is the Peloponnese expensive?

    The Peloponnese is one of the most affordable parts of Greece. But it’s an up-and-coming tourist spot so get there while you can to make the most of it!

  • What language is spoken in the Peloponnese?

    Like the rest of Greece, most people in the Peloponnese speak Modern Greek, but you’ll find many people in the more touristy areas speak good English.

  • What does the Peloponnese mean in Greek?

    The Peloponnese means ‘the island of Pelops,’ after the mythical king Pelopa of Ilida.

    It’s technically separated from mainland Greece by the Corinth Canal.


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Melina Thalassinou