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Backdrop to many of the highlights of Greek mythology, the beauty of the Peloponnese region has not been spoiled by the years. And for many visitors the construction of now ruined Mycenaean palaces, Roman theatres, Venetian fortresses and Byzantine churches has added to the appeal and our recommendations for the best places to stay in the Peloponnese are all great bases from which to explore this region. In addition you'll find that most are also within easy reach of the perfect sandy coves and rugged, cypress covered coastlines.
Originally the Peloponnese peninsula was part of mainland Greece, but it's been cut off by the Corinth Canal. This is a large region, but however long you have to spend here you'll probably finding yourself not being quite ready to leave.
Historic Highlights of the Peloponnese
The modern town of Olympia is only 500metres from the ancient one, sight of the first Olympics and their home for a millennium. This lush, green sanctuary is one of the most popular sights on a tour of the ancient Peloponnese world.
Closely followed by Byzantine cliffside town, Mystra. Once home to 20,000 people, this was the last refuge of the Byzantine empire, after they took it from the Franks in the 13th Century. Wandering these streets is like travelling back in time, as gates, palaces, churches, frescos and tiny details of everyday life have survived here.
But of course visitors won't want to miss the palaces of Agamemnon at Mycenae, the palaces of Nestor at Pylos and the Greek theatre at Epidaurus.
As well as the beautiful coastline, this region also has mountains high enough to get enough snow for some decent skiing, some dramatic gorges cutting up the landscape of citrus orchards and vineyards, and countryside just begging to be hiked through.
The mountains of Arkadia, still relatively wild and unspoiled, are a wonderful place to explore on foot, as is the Mani Peninsula.
Nafplio or Nauplia was the first modern capital of Greece, a romantic looking town of elegant Venetian houses lining narrow streets. Its location is romantic too, beneath the Palamidi Fortress, a vast citadel built on top of an outcrop of rock 200ms above Nauplia's port. The fortress is just the literal tip of the historic points of interest here. Nauplia is an ancient town, with numerous museums, several smaller forts, and some charming churches.
- If you're looking for a good value base which offers excellent local recommendations, one of the best places to stay in the Peloponnese is the Hotel Byron in Nafplio. This townhouse has been converted from an ancient building, right in the heart of the old town. If you get one of the balcony rooms you'll have a wonderful view of the rest of the town, and the sea. With rooms starting from just £33 per night, this is perfect for those on a budget.
On a tiny island 200m off the east coast of the Peloponnese, Monemvasia is best known for its spectacular castle fortress, which sits atop an impressive plateau which rises sharply out of the sea. This is one of the best places to stay in the Peloponnese for folks with an interest in history. As well as the town's medieval walls there are also several Byzantine churches, and of course the castle. And the town's winding medieval streets and alleyways are only fit for pedestrians, so this is a quiet spot.
- The Malvasia is one of the best places to stay in the Peloponnese if you're looking for somewhere historic and romantic. Converted from a collection of ancient Venetian buildings, this was the first hotel built in the historic, walled town of Monemvasia - right between the castle and spectacular views of the sea.
For beach lovers
Many of the best places to stay in the Peloponese for beach lovers are in the Messenia region, where there are luxury eco developments and golf and beach resorts popping up. But there are also plenty of wonderful little villages and seaside towns in this largely agricultural region. Its capital, Kalamata, is famed for its olives, but it's also got a new marina and stylish new seafront development.
- Smyros Resort is off the beaten track a bit, and one of the best places to stay in the Peloponnese if you want to get away to somewhere sleepy and relaxing. There's no beach here, but there's rocky access to the sea, and spectacular sea views. Accommodation is simple and traditional, as is the very welcoming welcome. Reasonably priced rooms and family suites mean this is also one of our top choices for families.
Best Hotels in Peloponnese
Zoes Resort 28 rooms from $73Gialova, Peloponnese
A great value hotel on the beach in a lovely village. Simply decorated rooms and apartments have sea-facing balconies and extra beds. Rustic Greek restaurant and terrace, pool, and immediate access to the beach. Ideal for families, groups and those on a budget.Families - 16 apartments.Groups - 3 bed rooms.Views - Great views from hotelOn the beach - Situated on a beautiful beach on the northern shores of Navarino Bay
Citta dei Nicliani 7 rooms from $75Koita, Peloponnese
Hidden gem in the Mani Peninsula. The ancient building has been lovingly restored and offers spacious rooms with exposed stone and wood, and antique furnishings. Delicious dinners are created from the freshest local ingredients. A perfect and romantic hideaway for experiencing authentic Greece.Great walks - The Mani Peninsula has great walks from short hikes to much longer trailsSights nearby - Plenty of Ancient and Byzantine site close byHideaway - Tranquil and intimate.
Malvasia 21 rooms from $78Monemvasia
Historic charm in a unique location, with dazzling views, close to Monemvasia castle. Rooms have rugs, antiques and plenty of character some with vaulted stone ceilings and terraces with magnificent views over the mediaeval town and Mediterranean Sea. A perfect spot to experience the real Greece.Views - Great views from hotelSights nearby - Just outside the gates of Monemvasia CastleFull of characterHideaway - Tranquil and intimate.
Aetoma Hotel 5 rooms from $81Nafplio
Charming 'neoclassical' pension in an 18th century mansion in the old Venetian town of Nafplio with wonderful sea views. An excellent base for exploring ancient Greek sites in the Peloponnese. Family run, the delightful owners give a warm welcome. Everything from the jams to the bread are homemade.Town - Picturesque streets and alleys, neoclassical architecture, Venetian balconies, old forts, cafes and restaurantsLocal exploring - The historic seaport of Nafplio is one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in GreeceB+B - Wonderful breakfasts in the sunny first floor dining room served until midday!Families
Kyrimai House Hotel 22 rooms from $84Gerolimenas, Peloponnese
A rustic chic hotel with zen spaces and an award-winning restaurant. Beautiful rooms and suites have polished wooden floors, sophisticate neutral furnishings, hot tubs, and balconies. Excellent Mediterranean cuisine, pool, and the delights of the Ionian sea for beach life. Romantic, gourmet.Foodies - Award-winning kitchen.Romantic BreakPrivate Hot TubSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - Fodors
Pirgos Mavromichali 13 rooms from $84Limeni, Peloponnese
A traditional tower building in a lovely village above a fishing cove. Traditional chic rooms have parquet floors and stone walls. Lovely terraces and views out to sea. An excellent restaurant and lots to discover. An understated spot with a great history behind it.Views - Magical views of both the sea and mountains.Sights nearby - Situated in the historic harbour of LimeniSailing - Can be booked nearby.Great walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Fodors
Mazaraki Guesthouse 11 rooms from $89Sparta, Peloponnese
A chic and charming traditionally built B&B, overlooking the vast Laconian Plain. Rooms are surrounded by lush greenery and offer achingly pretty interiors, fireplaces, kitchens, and superb views of the Byzantine castle of Mystras. The homely and informal atmosphere is contagious.Local exploring - Surrounded by stunning mountains and medieval ruins, this hotel is a great base if you want to explore the countryside.Total relaxation - It is the perfect place to sit back, relax and unwind for a few days, guests have the option to read, swim or explore.Romantic Break - Cosy rooms with a kitchenette and fireplaces, offering wonderful views from its private balconies.Writing a novel - Be inspired by the peacefulness and superb views, plus writing desks are provided.Recommended by - I Escape
Enalio Suites 11 rooms from $94Korinthos, Peloponnese
A lovely practical hotel on the beach front. Modern suites with sea-facing balconies (some sleep 4) have kitchenettes and all the mod cons. Excellent pool and lounge area, and a stone's throw from the beach and surrounding sights. Ideal for families.Families - Some rooms sleep 4.Views - Great views from hotelSights nearby - Close to ancient Corinth, ancient Mycenae, Nafplio and much more!On the beach - Direct access to Lecheo beach
Smyros Resort 35 rooms from $94Leonidio, Peloponnese
Atmospheric property with superb sea views in a romantic, off the beaten track location. The resort is crafted from traditional stone and offers simple yet chic accommodation. There is no beach, but you can access the sea from the rocks and there is a large outdoor pool.Views - All rooms enjoy panoramic viewsSwimming Pool - Large Outdoor poolRemote - Off the beaten track.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.
Kalamitsi Hotel 26 rooms from $94Kardamili, Peloponnese
A lovely hotel in a beautiful location. Orchards and olive groves lead down to the beach. A selection of rooms, family bungalows, and suites with kitchenettes cater to families, groups and couples. Charming terraces and restaurant. A tranquil spot.Garden - Lovely orchards and olive groves.Views - Great views from hotelGroupsFamiliesRecommended by - CN Traveller
Seleni Suites 30 rooms from $115Arcadia, Peloponnese
Contemporary, minimal monastic-looking hotel set in six acres, with panoramic views of Mount Melon. Thirty stylish suites, good facilities and a children's playroom. A good base for an outdoor, active family holiday. Wonderful walks and archaeological sites to explore.Bar - The Seleni bar and lounge delicious cocktail sand good music - Latin, Soul, Jazz, rockRestaurant - Black and white restaruant offering Mediterranean cuisineChild friendly - Well equipped children's playroom and safe gardenCountry EscapeRecommended by - Tablet
Petra & Fos Boutique Hotel & Spa 23 rooms from $119Itilo, Peloponnese
A magnificent traditional stone-built hotel, on the dramatic southern cliff of Mt. Taigetos. Brimming with authenticity, the elegant rooms feature beautiful exposed stone walls and wooden beamed ceilings. Relax by the pool and absorb the stunning panoramas of the gulf of Itilo. A coastal wonder.Hideaway - The secluded cliff-side setting and charming rooms, make for a perfect romantic escape.Fishing - Head out on a deep sea fishing adventure and explore the cost from another perspective.Diving - The surrounding coastline is great for scuba diving.Sights nearby - Visit the nearby Caves of Diros.
Kinsterna Hotel & Spa 27 rooms from $194Monemvasia
Five Star luxury on a beautiful olive and wine estate. A traditional building with romantic terraces stepped into the valley, each with pools and relaxation areas. Sumptuous rooms and suites are chic and understated. Excellent restaurant, beautiful views. Dreamy.Garden - The estate produces its own crop of wine and olive oil.Total relaxationViews - Great views from hotelRomantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, CN Traveller, Tablet
Nafplia Palace 84 rooms from $216Nafplio
Highly luxurious hotel in a beautiful setting. Sea-facing rooms and suites in contemporary style with private balconies, all the mod cons and private pools. Two excellent restaurants, pool, and private beach. A holiday haven for romantics.Views - Over the Bay of ArgolisLuxuryBeach LifeRomantic BreakRecommended by - Tablet
Nikki Beach Resort & Spa 66 rooms from $220Argolis, Peloponnese
A sleek beach side hotel with chic contemporary interiors and white on white design throughout. The rooms boast epic sea views from the floor to ceiling windows. With a choice of four restaurants and lounges to suit all occasions and an expansive spa and infinity pool to aid total relaxation. Bliss.Beach Life - Situated directly on a beautiful white sand beach, with stunning coastal views and excellent seafood.Local markets - Explore the local markets of Porto Heli and pick up some regional treats.Great walks - Take long walks through the rugged countryside and along the epic coast.Sailing - The hotel dock provides anchorage for yachts of all sizes.
Amanzo'e 38 rooms from $992Argolida, Peloponnese
Flawless luxury in the Peloponnese. This magnificent Aman hotel comes with signature jaw-dropping villas with private pools and fabulous views. Private beach club, Aman spa. Heaven on earth for discerning guests and families who like a balance of total privacy and Five Star hotel facilities.Suites - Dazzling private pavilions set in their own gardens with stunning views of an azure Mediterranean and private poolsOther Activities - Back to nature, sailing, island hopping, water sports, hiking, archaeological sites to explore, or just chillingRestaurant - Four restaurants, alfresco dining, formal and informal, top chefs produce exquisite dishesWatersports - A fleet of boats and yachts comes with the beach clubRecommended by - CN Traveller