Peloponnese – Greece’s year round destination

The temperate autumn climate in the Peloponnese makes it the perfect time to cruise and explore the history and outstanding natural beauty of this fascinating region of Greece.

As Greece’s many islands shut down for another year, the Peloponnese enjoys an extended season, with adventurous visitors able to take advantage of great walking and lighter crowds at the regions multitude of historical monuments. 

Temperatures still tip the mercury at a very pleasant 25 degrees Celsius well into October so there is even the chance for a week on the beach.

The opportunities for exploration are dotted right across the region, from the craggy highlands to the dazzling coastline and every adventure will turn up a different historical discovery.

Wander the beautiful countryside and quaint villages in the shadow of the mighty castle of Mystras near Sparta. Built in 1249, this ancient city grew throughout the 13th and 14th century as it gained more power, and was home to several religious communities and churches. Abandoned in 1832, its breathtaking medieval ruins stand in a beautiful landscape high on a hill. 

Head west to explore the spectacular beaches, wildlife and castles of Messinia, which over the centuries have existed under various rule, from the Ottomans, to the Byzantines to the Venetians. Here you will also find the Gialova lagoon, home to 271 of Greece’s 442 recorded bird species and the only place in Europe to find the African Chameleon!

A few hours north is the leafy haven of the Foloi oak forest, named after the Centaur Pholus who was wounded here by a stray arrow from his friend Hercules. The 220,000 acres of forest are mainly ancient, towering broadleaf oaks and a stroll beneath the canopy is a magical experience, with breathtaking views out over the surrounding plains and mountains. Just around the corner from the Foloi lies Ancient Olympia, perhaps the most well known of all Greece’s historical sites. Visit in the Autumn to escape the heat and crowds.

In Arcadia, the Loussios river crashes along the gorge of the same name, with white rapids and tranquil pools for swimming. This paradise spot is great for a walk or rafting, and is also where Zeus apparently used to bathe himself! So if you fancy taking a divine shower after an invigorating walk, this is the place! 

If pedal power is more your thing then head an hour west of Athens to the region of Nemea, famous for its vineyards.

Many of these can be visited by bike and this area bursts into life through September at the time of the grape harvest. While here it would be a crime not to visit Ancient Mycenae, the mighty civilization and military stronghold that dates back to the 2nd Millennium BC.