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Southern Peloponnese travel guide

The cultural and natural richness of the Peloponnese peninsula is unique. We keep discovering new and fascinating places of beauty and interest. In this short and sweet travel guide for the Southern Peloponnese you’ll find some general information about the Peloponnese and a selection of great known and unknown places in the southern province of Lakonia.

With Xirokambi as the base of your stay, you can visit the many of the sights in Lakonia as daytrips.

Travel directions to Xirokambi Sparta

Peloponnese

Island of Pelops

The Peloponnese (Greek: Pelopónnisos) is a large peninsula in the south of Greece, connected to the mainland via the isthmus of Corinth and the bridges over the famous eponymous canal. The peninsula has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Its modern name derives from ancient Greek mythology, specifically the legend of King Pelops who was said to have conquered the entire region. The name Peloponnese means ‘Island of Pelops’.

Great hospitality

The Peloponnese is one of the most authentic and welcoming parts of Greece. Despite hosting some of Greece’s most important ancient sites, large tracts of unspoilt nature, beautiful unspoiled beaches and picturesque towns and villages, the number of tourists has remained limited. Along the coast one can find many hotels and camp-sites, while inland traditional hotels – often housed in old stone buildings – offer an equally comfortable stay. Although most visitors come to Greece in summer, the Peloponnese is a great destination for visits in spring, autumn and winter as well. See also: when to come.

Rugged Landscape

The Peloponnese covers an area of 21,379 km². The rugged beauty of its mountain ranges, with peaks up to 2400 meters, are separated by intensively cultivated fertile valleys. Olives, citrus fruit and grapes are among the most important crops.

Peloponnese - Mt Taygetos

Rich Flora of the Peloponnese

The flora of Greece is the richest in Europe with approximately 5000 plant species, half of which can be found on the Peloponnese. Of the 950 species unique to Greece, 510 grow on the Peloponnese. Most of these rare and unique plants are located at high altitude – in the mountains of Parnon, Taygetos or Helmos, or in the southern peninsula of Mani.

Mediterranean Climate

The Peloponnese is blessed with a Mediterranean climate, with plenty of sunshine throughout the year. During spring and autumn the temperature is pleasant, and particularly great for outdoor activitities like hiking or photography.
The summers are hot and the winters are mild. In summertime, a cool breeze comes down from the mountains after sunset. In winter the same mountains protect the valleys against the cold northern winds. Up in the mountains it’s a different story: Snow caps the peaks till late spring or even early summer. One can even go skiing in the north of the peninsula.

Traditional Cooking

The Peloponnese is a perfect place to discover the traditional Greek kitchen. Many restaurants still cook according to the time of the year. Don’t hesitate to ask for seasonal dishes, which allow you to enjoy freshly picked mountain vegetables in winter, wild asparagus in spring, cheese-stuffed zucchini flowers in summer, roasted chestnuts in autumn, and much more. Kalí órexi!

Travel guide Lakonia