Ideal tour for those looking to visit some amazing sites without wasting time driving in & out of Athens, but instead overnight & enjoy beautiful, authentic “Greek” locations like Sparta & Mystras, Monemvasia, Nafplio town and Dimitsana village. All with great accommodation that you can’t experience in the big cities. For up to 8 (related only) people but we can do bigger groups too.
Day 1: So, meet your private driver/guide for your 8:00 a.m. departure. On a short trip of no more than 2 1/2 hours, you arrive at the center of Peloponnese for this “real Greece” experience. Corinth canal is the first stop and then on to DIMITSANA & STEMNITSA villages at 3,000 ft altitude. Explore the gorge, Lousios river, a couple of cliff-hanging monasteries, the water-power Museum, ancient Gortys, and then let your guide treat you to a typical Greek lunch in a non-touristy location with the locals. Relax in a great stone-built guesthouse.
Day 2: Start with breakfast in the mountain air and the view of Lousios gorge, before a 1h.20′ drive to ancient OLYMPIA past Lagadia, the home town of the best stone builders. Walkthrough the impressive ruins of the area where athletes trained and ran in the old stadium, just as ancient Olympians did after victory 3,000 years ago. See the temple of Hera and some unbelievable sculptures such as the statue of Zeus and Hermes of Praxiteles before heading to Messene, which is one of the most important cities of antiquity. The city has the rare advantage of not having been destroyed or covered by later settlements. Ruins that have withstood the test of time and remain standing for travelers to marvel at. This landscape combines the mountainous majesty of Delphi and the lowland riverine tranquillity of Olympia. Lunch… and next is SPARTA, the ancient rival of Athens known for her fierce warriors! Wander around the byzantine castle-town of MYSTRAS. Overnight at lively Sparta or Mystras.
Day 3: Leaving Sparta the obvious route is to MANI peninsula and the amazing DIROS caves that you will explore with a guide and a boat. Next is the awesome Mani coastline with beautiful villages such as Itilo, for lunch next to the sea. Next for the day is MONEMVASIA town/castle, which is located on a small island linked to the mainland by a short causeway. The town walls and many Byzantine churches remain from the medieval period. Overnight in the beautiful castle, if you book early enough to secure one of the great guesthouses.
Day 4: Enjoy the morning at Monemvasia before driving (1 hour) to the top of Parnon mountain in ARCADIA (lunch) and then to NAFPLIO town via the beautiful coastline.
Day 5: MYCENAE is home to some of Greece’s most famous ancient ruins. Wander around the site & museum before hopping back in the vehicle and exploring the “old town” of NAFPLIO, the famous Venetian fortress of PALAMIDI. Then head to EPIDAURUS, home to an ancient, beautifully preserved theater. Once you’ve finished your explorations, return to your vehicle and head back to Athens in an over 1-hour drive. Expect a very flexible and personalized tour from this private tour operator, with lots of authentic experiences and great food.
The above itinerary is a counter-clockwise drive around the Peloponnese (check the “Trip Map” tab) but we very often do the clockwise route. This will depend on hotel availability which is a very important parameter so that you stay in the best places at each location.
Check out the “Options & Suggestions” tab for more options, suggestions, or alternatives to this tour.