PELOPONNESE

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Argolida Argolid, in Greek Argolis and in modern Greek Argolida, is the north-eastern part of the Peloponnese, the district that you enter to the south and south-east of Corinth. Argolida boasts some of the most important ancient sites in Greece: • Mycenae and Ancient Tiryns, (both inluded in the World Heritage List of UNESCO), are the ruins of the two power centres of the ancient Mycenean world (the Citadel of Mycenae entered through the famous Lion Gate, the Tomb of Agamemnon, the unique Mycenae Archaeological Museum, and Tyrins impressive fortification walls). • Argos, the oldest continuously inhabited town in Greece (circa 5000 years), with its Archaeological Museum & Site and Ancient Theatre. • Lerna, an archaeological site 10km south of Argos. • Nauplia (Nafplio), the first capital of free Greece (from 1829 to 1834), crowned by the Palamidi Fortress and facing Bourtzi, an islet topped by a miniature fort. • Epidaurus (Epidavros) with its Ancient Theatre, the Sanctuary of Asclepius and the Achaeological Site & Museum. Here in the summer, during the Epidaurus Festival, one can appreciate the incredible acoustics of the ancient theatre. Apart from the ancient and historic sites, Argolida also boasts natural beauties, pine forests, and popular seaside resorts with fine beaches and harbours for yachts and pleasure boats, such as Tolo, Nafplio, Karathona, Iria, etc. The eastern part of Argolida has much natural beauty on offer, at Arhea Epidavros, at Ermionida, at Porto Heli, at Kosta, and at Galatas, from where one easily crosses to Poros Island or Methana with its famous spas. Official websites: Some districts of Argolida: www.nafplio.gr, www.epidavros.gr, www.argos-tourism.gr, www.kranidi.gr (for the Municipality of Ermionida), Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns: http: //whc.unesco.org/en/list/941, Αrchaeological Site of Epidaurus (Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus): http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/491, Epidaurus Festival: www.greekfestival.gr/en/.
Arkadia Arkadia or Arcadia, is the heartland province of the Peloponnese endowed with plenty of mountains, vegetation, rumors and history. Arkadia is a closed land, all mountains and high peaks with large fir forests and lush vegetation. An unspoiled land, little known, full of surprises, truly bewitching. On the eastern coast it is washed by the gulf of Argos and the Myrtoo Sea. Here and there the sea has carved fantastic bays and peninsulas out of the land. In fact, whoever roams through Arkadia today will get to know a part of the country that has remained virtually unchanged since antiquity. Arkadia is a natural wonderland whose mountain dwellers have preserved it intact up to this day. The land of Arkadia: Leonidion, sea and lush plain. Old mansions with courtyards and high walled gardens. Further on there’s Plaka a charming little port with a pebbly beach. Shining next to the sea. To the south, Poulithra, with its old stone houses and marvellous beaches. To the north. little bays, Sabatiki, Livadi quaint unforgettable fishing hamlets. Tiros beach. An enormous expanse of sand and gleaming pebbles. Just above it the beach of Aghios Andreas. Dazzing azure seas. Paralia Astros. White on a green and blue background. From here the road branches off to Mt Parnon. The drive is exciting, the countryside wild and unspoilt. Tiny villages, farmhouses, Platanos, Prastos, Aghios Petros. The mountains of Arkadia: Towering peaks, precipices and deep gorges. Rivers and running brooks. Thick vegetation. Ancient cities, Byzantine churches. Frankish forts. Towns, villages, traditional settlements. Tripolis or Tripoli is the capital of the prefecture. Built in the centre of a wooded plateau. To the north is Levidi, a pretty village (alt. 800 m); the landscape round about is astonishing. Mantinia, Tegea, Pallation, Assea, Orhomenos, ancient Arkadian cities. The temple of Athena Alea (370 BC). The monastery of the Virgin Gorgoepikoos (10th c. with 16th c. frescoes). Megalopolis, the original Great City. The agora, sanctuary of Zeus, theatre and a ruined Frankish castle. Lykossoura, the sanctuary of the great goddess Despina and Demeter. The picturesque village Lykeo and a little further, Ano Karyes, with plenty of walnut trees. Karitena. Stone houses, narrow lanes, Byzantine churches, a Frankish castle. Nearby the River Loussios. Stemnitsa (alt. 1,100 m). Old stone houses, churches, a lovely folk museum, the scenery greener than green. Dimitsana (alt. 1000 m), cobbled lanes, wooden balconies, tiled roofs. An impressive library and folk art museum. Churches and gunpowder mills. Vytina (alt. 1060 m). More fir trees and fresh air. A wonderful climate. A park for walks. Magouliana (alt. 1,247 m). A landscape that legends are made of: A Byzantine castle overlooks the village. Langadia with its impressive old mansions and venerable churches. Valtesiniko (alt. 1,150 m). Apple trees, walnut trees, poplars and firs. Official websites about Arkadia and some of its districts: www.mythicalpeloponnese.gr, www.discovergortynia.gr, www.discoverkynouria.gr, www.kinotitakosma.gr
Korinthia Korinthia, among the most beatiful, fertile and privileged regions in Greece, is situated in one of the most picturesque parts of the Northern Peloponnese. The Prefecture of Korinthia is washed by the Gulf of Corinth on the north and by the Saronic Gulf on the east. These are two of the most enchanting stretches of sea in Greece and lend the Prefecture a special lustre and beauty, while at the same time providing good sea communications. Korinthia possesses some 90 km. of lovely coastline from Aghii Theodori to Derveni. A shoreline with indented beaches accessible to all the world, with lovely small recreation centres along its route and particularly friendly inhabitants. It also has a coastal zone with a series of beautiful villages and the sea is famed for its clean, blue crystal waters. Korinthia, however, has an exceedingly varied landscape. Its mountain range has many beauties to offer. Among its green and pleasant mountains are picturesque hamlets and fascinating scenery linking the beauty of the mountain with the picturesque watery element of its enchanting lakes, the historical Stymphalian Lake, where Hercules slew the Stymphalian Birds, the lakes of Pheneos and Zereia. Nor are tourist summer resorts lacking, like Loutraki, Ishmia, Kiato, Xylokastro and Nemea. Korinthia is a specially fertile and prolific region, producing wine, grapes, citrus fruits, etc. and possesses a modern road network. It has a long and glorious history with notable historic monuments, like the ancient theatre of Sicyon, the castle of Acrocorinth, the Museum and Stadium at Ancient Nemea, the Museum and Archaeological Site at Ancient Corinth, the Heraion. It also has superb sights, like the famous Corinth Canal, the pine forest of Xylokastro, the Doxa dam on the Pheneos, lovely Poseidonia, the Ancient Lehaion Harbour and many more beauties which are worth seeing, savouring and enjoying in a warm and hospitable environment. Official websites: Some districts of Korinthia: www.visit.xylokastro-evrostini.gov.gr, www.loutraki-agioitheodoroi.gr, www.visitloutraki.com
Laconia Laconia or Lakonia, the southern region of the Peloponnese, shares a border with Arkadia in the north and Messinia westward, while to the east, its shores are washed by the Myrtoo Sea, and to the south by the Laconian Bay. The outstanding features of Laconia are an abundance of medieval Byzantine and Venetian castle-towns, the stone towers of the Mani, barren landscape with rugged mountains, rocky shores, strong winds and a history whose roots go back to the Neolithic era (6000-3000 BC). Laconia’s first inhabitants were the Lelegians, who were succeeded by the Ahaians, the Ionians and the Dorians, who based themselves in the vicinity of Sparta around 1100 BC. Until the time of Alexander the Great, Sparta and Athens were the biggest city-states in ancient Greece. In 146 BC the region was conquered by the Romans, while in the 13th century it again fell to Westerners led by the Crusader Guillaume de Villehardouin, remaining in the hands of the Franks until 1262 when the Byzantine Palaiologos rulers regained control and founded the Despotate of the Morea. In the 17th century, the whole of the Peloponnese surrendered to the Turks, who occupied all of southern Greece till 1821. The revolution to throw off the Turkish yoke had its start in the Peloponnese or Morea. Laconia combines history, civilization and natural environment in such a way that it is worth visiting any time of the year either for quiet and relaxing holidays or interesting sightseeing tours. Byzantine and Frank forts, fascinating Mystras, the rock of Monemvasia, the legendary Mani with its traditional stone towers, the unique Dyros caves, and historic Sparta, are some of Laconia’s major sights that attract tourists all year round. Official websites: Some districts of Laconia: www.exploresparta.gr/tourism/en, www.monemvasia.gr, www.eurota.gr, www.anatolikimani.gov.gr, Archaeological Site of Mystras: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/511.
Messinia One of the loveliest corners of Greece, where distant memories of the past meet with modern reality to produce an amalgam of perfection. A place full of sea breezes and fragrant mountain wind. Endless beaches, small picturesque bays, monuments of archaeological, historical and architectural importance, castles, green mountain villages, boundless olive groves, unexplored gorges, wherever your gaze wanders idyllic pictures overwhelm you. To the east Pylos, Methoni, Koroni, the castle states of Messinia, wrapped in the aroma of legends, traditions and history. To the west, proudly and imperiously, the Mani dominates, Kardamyli, Stoupa throb with life during the summertime. In the bight of the Messinian Gulf lordly Kalamata captivates the visitor with its beauty. Messinia invites and challenges you to get to know and discover all the things nature has so lavishly bestowed and which the Messinians with such abundant inspiration have created. It waits for you to travel in the world of dream reality .... and to serve as your starting point for nearby escapes to other regions of the Peloponnese. Official websites of some districts of Messinia: www.dimosdytikismanis.gr, www.trifylias.gr

        



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