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 peninsular 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Small, pretty townhouse hotel with balconies and views and a sunny terrace above the harbour, a good value base for local exploring.
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.
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.
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.
A charming guesthouse with just four rooms in the centre of Areopoli. Simple rustic rooms, lovely roof terrace, and lots to see and do in the surrounding area. A great choice for local exploring.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.