Holidays to the Peloponnese region encompass sandy coves, vast countryside and tales of ancient Greece.
The Peloponnese region makes up the southernmost part of mainland Greece, stretching over a peninsula for more than 8,000 square miles. It’s well known as one of the country’s most undeveloped and virgin territories. Think sprawling olive groves, and forests turned pink by the flowers from the native almond trees.
The Olympia Coast
Most of the hotels in the Peloponnese region are dotted along the Olympia Coast, which winds along the western seafront. People tend to come here for the beaches, which are tucked away among the forests of the countryside.
A place in the history books
The travel books like to refer to the Peloponnese region as the mythical heart of Greece, thanks to the temples and palaces that dot the fields and forests. If you’ve only got time to see one prehistoric spot while you’re here, make it Olympia. This site in the north-west of the region hosted the first ever Olympic Games, with competitors participating every four years to honour the Greek God, Zeus.
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Costa Navarino is a brand-new, up-and-coming resort on the west coast of Greece’s Messinia region. Other than a sprinkling of shiny hotels and scenic ancient ruins, the area is almost completely untouched. And the hotels that are here put luxury living in the spotlight – so it’s the ideal place to wind down, get back to nature, and treat yourself to some pampering.
When you bed down in the sleepy beach resort of Kalo Nero, you’ll be just an hour’s drive away from the town of Kalamata. This place is famous for its olives – a Greek favourite – and there are plenty of factories and mills that can give you the lowdown on the cold-press process. The Giannopoulos Olive Oil Factory – a five-minute drive from Kalo Nero – is just one of the local spots to give tours.
Gialova sits somewhere between the sleepy and up-and-coming brackets. It’s got a couple of cobbled streets lined with modern restaurants, bars and souvenir shops, but everything else is super-traditional. You’ll see terracotta-topped villas instead of high-rise hotels, and the surrounding countryside is cloaked with olive groves and colourful bougainvillea.