Walking in the Peloponnese is an 8 day programme including a little of everything you can find in Greece. By the end of your tour you will have experienced everything that is representative of the Greek culture, Greek food, archaeological and religious sites, Byzantine art, sea and mountain scenery, local village people, olive groves, Greek hospitality. Carefully selected family guesthouses where the owners will welcome and prepare homemade delicacies for you. Following an interchanging scenic route of mountain and sea of fertile valleys, densely vegetated mountains to rugged barren stone landscapes.
Day 1: Arrival in Athens
On arrival at Athens International Airport your guide will meet you. Transfer from the airport to the hotel, conveniently located in the heart of Athens. Settle into the hotel. In the evening meet with your guide for a short walking tour of Athens and enjoy dinner in a traditional Greek taverna in Plaka the old part of Athens.
Day 2: From Athens travel to Olympia
After breakfast a half day sightseeing tour of Athens. Visit the Acropolis, the Parthenon and the Panathinaikon Stadium, where the first Olympic Games were held in 1896. Early in the afternoon, depart for Olympia, 4.5 hours. On the way, a stop to admire the famous Corinth Canal; a wonder of the world that cuts the Greek mainland off from the Peloponnese Peninsula. It is one of the 3 major waterways in the world. The Canal cuts the Isthmus of Corinth in a straight line 6,346 m long, width 24.6 m at sea level and 21.3 m at the lower level. Continue to Olympia settle into the hotel and enjoy dinner. Overnight in Olympia.
Day 3: Archaeological site of Olympia and travel to Dimitsana
Meet the professional guide in the morning who will you back in time in the archaeological site of Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. Apart from the archaeological site of Ancient Olympia, a visit to the recently renovated archaeological museum, the Museum of the Olympic Games and the monument of Pierre de Cubertin. After lunch a drive towards the centre of the Peloponnese to the region of Orini Arcadia. On the way short detour to visit the ancient sanctuary of Epikourius Apollo in Vasses, a temple constructed by Iktinus - the architect of the Parthenon. Settle in the picturesque stone village of Dimitsana and into a cosy stone guesthouse. Overnight in Dimitsana.
Day 4: Hike in Lousios Gorge and travel to Kardamlyli
An easy downhill hike offering a beautiful combination of history with nature. A walk along trails of dense vegetation going parallel and crisscrossing the Lousios River, visiting monasteries that appear to be literally hanging from the cliffs and end the trek at the archaeological site of Ancient Gortys. This is one of the most stirring of all Greek sites as it is based beside the rushing river known in ancient times as the Gortynios. After this hike a drive to the seaside village of Kardamyli in the Messinian Mani. Overnight Kardamyli.
Day 5: Discover the foothills of Mt Taugetus
Kardamyli is a picturesque village by the sea under the western majestic slopes of Mt Taugetus, a mountain with very interesting hiking trails among olive groves, Byzantine churches and stone castle houses dating back in time. In the evening time to stroll in the beautiful village and relax in the cafes overlooking the sea. Overnight in Kardamyli.
Day 6: Travel into the deep Mani – olive oil tasting - Cape Tainaro
Today enjoy a scenic drive along the Mani peninsula on a route with wonderful views of the sea. Passing beautiful villages, rich in history with beautiful Byzantine churches and amazing landscapes of olive groves. A stop at an olive press to learn about the process of making olive oil and some olive oil tasting. Continuing the drive into deep Mani to the fish village of Gerolimenas. In the afternoon a walk to Cape Tainaro the southernmost area of continental Europe and admire the sea from the lighthouse. After the trek returning via the settlement of Vathia to the hotel for overnight.
Day 7: Cape Maizapos – Gythio - Arna
Another beautiful trek on Cape Tigani, frying pan due to the shape of the area, with ruins of the castle that was built by Frankish Guillame de Villeardhuin. Continue to the fish harbour of Gythio and settle in Arna village at the southern foothills of Mt Taugetus.
Day 8: Visit Mystra and the Olive Oil Museum
After the homemade breakfast departure to the Mystra Byzantine citadel. Time to walk among the ruins of the castle that was built, initially, by the Frankish and prospered during the Byzantine era. Beside the citadel visiting many Byzantine churches with well-preserved frescos, a monastery where a few nuns still live, the museum of Mystra, the despots Palace and the Frankish castle on the top offering stunning views of the valley of Sparta and Mt Taugetus. After lunch visit the Olive oil museum and depart for the return trip to Athens.