Rest of Peloponnese

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Rest of Peloponnese

 

 

PELOPONNESE

Or Peloponnesus (Greek: Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos) is a peninsula and geographic region in southern Greece. While technically it may be considered an island since the construction of the Corinth Canal in 1893, like other peninsulas that have been separated from their mainland by man-made bodies of waters, it is rarely, if ever, referred to as an "island". It has two land connections with the rest of Greece, a natural one at the Isthmus of Corinth, and an artificial one by the Rio–Antirrio bridge (completed 2004). The peninsula is divided among three administrative regions: most belongs to the Peloponnese region, with smaller parts belonging to the West Greece and Attica regions.

In 2016, Lonely Planet voted the Peloponnese the top spot of their Best in Europe list.

 

Ancient Olympia

Ancient Olympia - Olympic Flame Ceremony

Olympia (Greek: Ὀλυμπία), a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis on the Peloponnese peninsula, is known for having been the birthplace of the Olympic Games in classical times. The Olympic Games were held every four years throughout Classical antiquity, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.

The sanctuary, known as the Altis, consists of an unordered arrangement of various buildings. Enclosed within the temenos (sacred enclosure) are the Temple of Hera (or Heraion/Heraeum), the Temple of Zeus, the Pelopion, and the area of the altar, where the sacrifices were made.

The Temple of Zeus was built in the middle of the 5th century BC. Its size, scale and ornamentation was beyond anything previously constructed on the site. Further sporting facilities, including the final iteration of the stadium, and the hippodrome (for chariot-racing) were constructed. The Prytaneion was built at the northwest side of the site in 470 BC.

The Olympic flame of the modern-day Olympic Games is lit by reflection of sunlight in a parabolic mirror in front of the Temple of Hera and then transported by a torch to the place where the games are held. When the modern Olympics came to Athens in 2004, the men's and women's shot put competition was held at the restored Olympia stadium.

Ancient Olympia - Olympic Flame Ceremony
Ancient Olympia - Gate

SUGGESTED TOURS: ANCIENT OLYMPIA 

MATCHING DESTINATIONS: RIO-ANTIRRIO BRIDGE

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Kalavryta

Kalavryta - Ski center

The town and municipality is located in the mountainous east-central part of the regional unit of Achaea, Greece. Notable mountains in the municipality are Mount Erymanthos in the west and Aroania or Chelmos in the southeast. Kalavryta is the southern terminus of the Diakopto-Kalavryta Railway, built by Italian engineers between 1885 and 1895.

Kalavryta ski resort boasts 12 ski runs (2 difficult, 2 intermediate, 6 easy & 2 very easy) of 20km in length, 2 chair lifts and 5 ski lifts, special grounds for snowboarding and extreme games, and other winter attractions, such as a special moguls ski run, and a snowboard park. Visitors at Helmós mountain can also find coffee shops, snack bars, restaurants, ski rental facilities and sporting goods, organized ski school and First Aid Station.

SUGGESTED TOURS: KALAVRYTA - CAVE OF LAKES 

MATCHING DESTINATIONS: CAVE OF LAKES

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Malevis Monastery

Malevi - Monastery of Assumption

The first Malevis Monastery was built on a high place called Malevou which is now called Kanala in the isolated and trackless forests of Malevou. The chronical book of the monks states that the first monastery was founded in 717 AD, but a year later all of the Monks died, and the final monk, seeing his inevitable end, left a hidden message of what transpired. From that time other monks decided to leave this monastery at “the Channels” and re-build the monastery at another, lower location. The Monastery of Malevi is one of the oldest monasteries in the region of Parnonos Mountain. Because the honor and veneration of the Theotokos was especially important for the monastics, many of the monasteries were founded in memory of the Birth of the Theotokos, her Dormition, or others to her honor. Since the original monastery was built on the site previously called Kanaloni approaching the top of Malevou, the Monastery became known as the Panagia of Malevou was slowly Panagia Malevi or simply Malevi. The refounding of the monastery of Malevis as of today is noted in a historical epigraph on the Katholikon [the central church] of the Monastery, which was founded placed by the Hieromonk Joseph Karatzas.

The miraculous Icon is traditionally known as one of the seventy images painted by the Evangelist St. Luke. The icon was brought by residents of Mount Athos to the first monastery in the Canal. Following the tragic end of the monks who died due to the extreme cold and the roaring winds, it was left alone and came to the place it is today. It repeatedly was found in some local bushes, and was constantely found illumined by a divine light. Three attempts were made to move the Icon to no avail, so a church was built at that location in 1116, and in the year 1362 the silver covering was added to the Icon.

SUGGESTED TOURS:MONASTERY OF MALEVIS

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Monemvasia

Monemvasia is an impressive castle town in south eastern Peloponnese. This town was constructed invisible from the mainland to avoid enemy attacks. It can be seen only from the sea and only a narrow pathway connects it to the mainland. A walk around the paved streets of the castle town is like a trip back in time. Τhe elegant stone mansions and the Byzantine churches, such as the church of Agia Sofia and of Christ Elkomenos are distinguished in the Castle.

SUGGESTED TOURS: MYSTRAS - MONEMVASIA 

MATCHING DESTINATIONS: MYSTRAS // SPARTA // DIROS CAVE

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Mystras

Mystras

Mystras is situated on the slopes of Taygetos Mountain. The archaeological site stands above the modern village of Mystras and the city of Sparta. The greenery surrounding the area is composed mainly by pine trees and cypresses. Some small rivers and lakes are found in the region.

It is a fortified town and a former municipality in Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Sparti, of which it is a municipal unit. Situated on Mt. Taygetos, near ancient Sparta, it served as the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea in the 14th and 15th centuries, experiencing a period of prosperity and cultural flowering. The site remained inhabited throughout the Ottoman period, when it was mistaken by Western travellers for ancient Sparta.

The last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI Palaiologos, was despot at Mystras before he came to the throne.

In 1989 the ruins, including the fortress, palace, churches, and monasteries, were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

SUGGESTED TOURS: MYSTRAS - MONEMVASIA // MYSTRAS - DIROS CAVE

MATCHING DESTINATIONS: MONEMVASIA // SPARTA // DIROS CAVE

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Diros Cave

Diros Cave

Diros Cave is considered to be the first of the three most beautiful and impressive lake caves in the world because of its multicolored and wonderful decoration. It is situated in the south of Areopoli, in Lakonia. The bay of Diros with its white pebbles and the crystal waters lies below the entrance of the cave. It is consisted by three separate caves: Vlyhada which is the only accessible one, Alepotrypa and Katafygi. The third unit of Diros Cave, the Vlychada Cave, 3,5 km long, is the longest known in Greece.

There were residences here during the Neolithic period, according to its findings. Human skeletons and craniums, animal skeletons, tools, marble figurines, pottery and a stone axe were found.  All findings are exhibited in the Neolithic Museum of Diros.

The cave began to be formed millions hundreds years ago. The stalactites and the stalagmites lying under the water surface were formed when the sea surface was much lower than today. Brilliant white, pink or red stalactites and stalagmites, sometimes being fuzzy, grey or white columns, formed through the natural rule drop by drop of carbonate calcium, compose the stunning decoration of the cave.

SUGGESTED TOURS: MYSTRAS - DIROS CAVE

MATCHING DESTINATIONS: MONEVASIA // MYSTRAS // SPARTA

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Cave of the Lakes

The Cave was formally known as Troupisio

Wander around its mysterious galleries and multicolour chambers, and admire impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations. What makes this cave quite unique is an unusual formation of cascading lakes that form three different levels within its mouth.The cave's explored length is 1,980 meters. Enter the cave through an artificial tunnel that leads you directly to the second floor, whose sight is truly awe-inspiring. Human fossils as well as fossils of a variety of animals (among which a hippopotamus) were found at the cave's lower floor.

During winter time, when the snow melts, the cave is transformed into a subterranean river with natural waterfalls. In the summer, part of the cave dries up revealing stone basins and dams up to 4m in height.

The 13 lakes inside the cave retain the rest of the water. Try to cross the small suspension bridges that will take you from lake to lake.

SUGGESTED TOURS: KALAVRYTA - CAVE OF LAKES 

MATCHING DESTINATIONS: KALAVRYTA

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