Luxury holidays in Peloponnese

This remote southern region and its ancient churches will keep Byzantine fans busy for days: crumbling ruins, monasteries and churches line the quiet roads where traffic comes mostly in the form of passing cows. Flora flourishes in a landscape of vineyards, olive trees and orange groves, and there are mountains to the east and west. Mediaeval walled towns include the castle-rock, Monemvasia, an isolated fortress across the Aegean. Above ground, the peninsula boasts golden beaches with transparent turquoise waters, but underground, it’s just as exciting – buried cities and caves to navigate by boat. Don’t miss Sparta, home of Helen of Troy, and Mystras, a deserted fortified town, stopping off from long drives at one of the roadside tavernas serving souvlaki and saganaki.

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When to go

It’s warm and sunny from April until early October, but crowd sizes peak in August, when the narrow mountain passes get congested.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Athens is the region’s main air hub. EasyJet hooks the city up with the rest of Europe, with regular flights from London, Paris, Rome and Berlin ( British Airways ( and Aegean Airlines ( also operate flights here. The drive to the East Peloponnese will take around five hours.
  • Boats

    The main gateways by sea to the East Peloponnese are Githio in the south, Patra in the north-west and Piraeus in Athens.
  • Automobiles

    Pick up a hire car at the airport, where Avis ( has a desk. From Athens, follow the national highways to Corinth, Tripoli and then Sparta. Monemvasia is well signposted from here.
  • Taxis

    The bigger towns have taxis to flag, but it’s best to ask your hotel for advice. In Monemvasia, try Dimitris on +30 6974 128278 or Tasos on +30 6980 567871.