Mainland Greece is incredibly underrated, and the Peloponnese region in the south is no exception. While most people know Greece for its beautiful islands, there is so much more – beyond the islands – that deserves recognition. Here are the top 10 things to see and do when you visit Greece’s Peloponnese region.
Top 10 Things to See and Do in Greece’s Peloponnese Region
If you’re traveling to the Peloponnese from Athens, don’t miss: How to Spend 2 Days in Athens
1. Visit Nafplio
Nafplio was one of my favorite small towns in the Peloponnese region. Not only is it incredibly charming, but it also has a fascinating history. Before Athens, Nafplio was Greece’s first capital city and played an important role in Greece due to its location on the sea.
When you visit, don’t miss dining at 3SIXTY Grill Dining and popping into the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation Heritage Museum to learn a bit of history about the area. If you’re up for the challenge, you can also climb 999 stairs to the top of the Fortress of Palamidi for views over the city.
2. Scuba Dive with Ergo Dive in Porto Heli
Whether or not you’re an experienced diver, if you want to get out on the water and experience life under the sea, you can do just that with Ergo Dive! Based in Porto Heli, Ergo Dive offers diving experiences for beginners to advanced divers. You can find out more about them here.
3. Go Rock Climbing with Climb Ermionida
One thing that I didn’t know about the Peloponnese – specifically the Ermionida region – was that it’s a great area for rock climbing.
I have never been rock climbing before, but I chose to try it with Climb Ermionida and had a fabulous experience. I visited the Katafyki Gorge, which is a great spot to climb year-round, and would highly recommend it.
4. Visit Koroni
This quaint town is on the western side of the Peloponnese and definitely deserves a stop to wander around. For a complete guide to visiting Koroni, check out this post.
5. Visit Ermioni and Dine at Kavos
Ermioni was one of my favorite small towns in the Peloponnese. It sits on the southern tip of the Ermionida region and has the cutest stretch of restaurants and bars that overlooks the sea. While there are a number of restaurants to dine at here, I specifically recommend dining at Kavos. All of the food was delicious, but the star of the show was the moussaka.
Even if you don’t plan to be in this area when you are traveling through the Peloponnese, I urge you to reconsider and make a stop at Kavos.
6. Participate in an Olive Oil Tasting with Systasis
One of the more unique and cool things that I did in the Peloponnese was participate in an olive oil tasting with Systasis. I learned so much about olive oil and was able to taste a variety of different types of olive oils. Systasis offers workshops in Ermioni, Porto Heli, Spetses, Hydra, and Poros. If interested, you can inquire about a tasting here.
7. Discover Franchthi Cave
A rather hidden gem in the Ermionida region, the Franchthi Cave is an archeological site overlooking Kiladha Bay. The cave was once shelter to humans throughout different periods of time and acted as a shelter for people for over 35,000 years. It’s the most thoroughly studied site from the Stone Age in Southeastern Europe. Entrance is free and you will need sturdy shoes to walk along the rocks leading to the cave.
If you’re venturing to this cave, I also recommend bringing a swimsuit with you so that you can lounge on Lampagianna Beach.
8. Dine on Incredible Greek Food at Makis Inn Resort
By far, some of the best Greek food and seafood that I had in the Peloponnese came from the chefs (and brothers) from Makis Inn Resort. This four-star beachfront property really knows their stuff when it comes to food. I highly recommend a visit – and come hungry!
(Photo above is not from Makis Inn Resort).
9. Visit a Beach Club in Kalamata
One thing that surprised me about the city of Kalamata was how many fun beach clubs there were! If you walk along Navarinou Street, you’ll see exactly what I mean. My favorite beach “club” was Secada Beach & Resto Bar.
I also enjoyed dining at Ego Bar near Secada, but they don’t have direct beach access.
10. Visit the Church of St George (in a Sinkhole)
Another hidden gem in the Ermionida region is the Church of St George located inside of a sinkhole in Didyma. From the outside, there’s nothing impressive about this area, but once you follow the lime washed tunnel and come out on the other side, you’ll be inside of a giant sinkhole. And built into that sinkhole is the Church of St George!
The Peloponnese is such a fun, interesting, and beautiful area in Greece. I hope that these top 10 things to see and do in the region inspires you on your next visit.
For a complete road trip itinerary to this region, don’t miss: The Ultimate Guide to Road Tripping the Peloponnese in Greece