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Monemvasia, Greece

7 Days Road Trip in Peloponnese

We love taking a road trip to Peloponnese. Connected to the Greek mainland by the Isthmus of Corinth and surrounded by sea, it is a quiet region, unspoiled by tourist development. In this road trip, you will combine relaxing sandy beaches and rocky coves with green mountains and sparkling rivers. Τhe rich history is evident in the archaeological sites and the stone house villages. The views are stunning. The people are authentic, proud and welcoming.

Rent a car and set off on a road trip to discover Peloponnese. This itinerary is for those who do not mind driving more than 100 km every day to make the most of their time here. If you prefer a more relaxing holiday style you can either increase the days or skip a few parts of the trip.

 

Peloponnese Road Trip Itinerary: Corinth-Katakolo-Ancient Olympia-Kaiafas-Neda-Kyparissia-around Pylos-Kalamata-Mani-Gytheio-Monemvasia-Leonidio-Epidavros-Corinth

Duration: 7 days

Distance: Around 937 km

 

Peloponnese Road Trip  Day 1

Located 28 km west of Athens, where Peloponnese meets the Greek mainland, Corinth is the starting and endpoint of this tour. Take the national coastal road Ε65 towards the area of Achaia and the city of Patra, and then E55 to the coast of the Ionian Sea to Killini in Helia county or the more quiet beach town of Katakolo where you can spend the night. You will find many beautiful beaches on your way there where you can stop for a swim and lunch such as the coastal villages of Selianitika, or Akoli to the east of Patra and the popular pine forest beach of Kalogria to the west.

Corinth-Katakolo:236 km (mostly on highway)

The long sandy coast of Kyparissiakos Gulf in the Ionian Sea. Photo by darkobajic, licensed.

 

 Peloponnese Road Trip  Day 2

Time for a time travel to ancient Greece. It is worth spending several hours to visit the Ancient Olympia site, home of the first Olympic Games and the local museum.
On your way south visit the beaches of the Kyparissia Gulf. Kaiafas, Zacharo, Elaia are all parts of a long sandy beach extending for many kilometres on the Ionian coast, covered with a coastal forest of remarkable ecological importance.
There are numerous hotels and rooms close to the beach. However, if you decide to visit Neda the next day you also have the option of heading inland to visit the stone village of Andritsaina and spend the night there.

Katakolo-Ancient Olympia 40 km, Ancient Olympia-Kaiafas: 24 km, Kaiafas-Andritsaina: 50 km

 

Peloponnese Road Trip Day 3

Nature-lovers should not miss hiking and swimming at the waterfalls of Neda. You can dedicate a whole day there as this is a rare and rejuvenating experience. You still have some time though to head towards Kyparissia to enjoy the sunset from the hill of the old town.

Neda-Kyparissia: 33 km

 

Waterfalls of Neda, 33 km from Kyparissia. Photo by Sp!ros, licensed

 

Peloponnese Road Trip Day 4

South Messinia is the jewel of Peloponnesos in terms of archaeological interest and natural beauty. The medieval castles in Pylos and Methoni are also evidence of the historical strategic importance of the area. On your way to Pylos, stop at the uniquely Ω shaped Voidokoilia beach for a swim and photos. Tip for bird lovers: Get your binoculars and head to the Gialova lagoon, heaven for resident and migratory birds. There are plenty of accommodation options around Pylos.
A visit to picturesque Koroni is also an option if you do not mind driving a bit more. In this case, it is better to stay there overnight.

Kyparissia-Pylos: 53 km, Pylos-Methoni: 11 km, Methoni-Koroni: 31 km

 

The impressive beach of Voidokoilia. Photo by costanavarino, licensed

 

Peloponnese Road Trip Day 5

Today we are driving towards Mani, the next peninsula to the east divided between Messinia and Lakonia. If you want to visit the capital of Messinia, Kalamata is on your way. When reaching Mani get yourself ready for stunning views and allow for plenty of stops to admire and explore the stone villages with the tower houses and enjoy the dramatic sceneries. Kardamili and Areopoli are ideal for a nice break for coffee or lunch by the sea. The more south you go towards Cape Tainaro the wilder the landscape gets. Α visit to one of our favourites, the traditional stone village of Gerolimenas (=Greek for “sacred harbour”) is an extra 25 km. Located on the coast of Cavo Grosso, Gerolimenas is a remote, beautiful village of Mani. The natural harbour provides shelter for small fishing boats. Stop here to relax and enjoy the view and why not have some fresh fish meal by the sea.

It is a good idea to spend the night in the area of Mavrovouni, close to Gytheio with a lot of accommodation options, hotels, rooms and camping sites, and most importantly, a long sandy beach for a refreshing swim, first thing in the morning.

Methoni-Kalamata: 62 km, Kalamata- Kardamili: 36 km, Kardamili-Areopoli: 45 km, Areopoli-Mavrovouni: 24 km

 

View of stone towers and coast of Mani, Peloponnese. Photo by Wladyslaw, licensed

 

Peloponnese Road Trip Day 6

Head toward the fishing village of Gytheio, on your way to the famous town of Sparta. From there you have the option of visiting the medieval Byzantine fortress-town Mystras, although this might turn out to be a very long day. From Sparta continue towards Tripoli and towards the thumb-shaped Peninsula of Peloponnese to the ancient city of Mycenae, the centre of the Mycenaean civilization, and the town of Nafplio with the historical fortress of Palamidi.

Mavrovouni-Gytheio: 3km, Gytheio – Sparti:43 km, Sparti-Mystras: 5 km, Sparti-Mycenae:112 km, Mycenae-Nafplio: 24 km

Additional option: Since you are in this part of the world we strongly recommend that you take one extra day to visit the southeast part of Peloponnisos. Monemvasia, described by the Greek poet Yannis Ritsos as the “stone ship” with castles, old mansions, and narrow cobbled alleys is a time travel on its own. The road taking you to Leonideio through Kosmas is a beautiful mountainous ride on Mount Parnonas through villages covered with plane trees.

Gytheio-Monemvasia: 67 km, Monemvasia-Leonidio (through Kosmas):103 km

 

Peloponnese Road Trip  Day 7

A great (and courageous) way to wake up is to climb up the over 900 steps of Palamidi fortress and get the last view of Nafplio from above. Off to Epidaurus the 4th century BC theatre of with the excellent acoustics. The coastal ride from Epidavros back to our starting point in Corinth offers great views of the Saronic Gulf and the islands.

Nafplio-Epidavros: 36 km, Epidavros-Corinth: 60 km,  in case you chose the additional option: Leonidio-Epidavros: 114 km

 

The ancient theater of Epidaurus. Photo by Hugo Petitjean, licensed.

 

Want to know more about the Peloponnese peninsula? Read here the “Strolling Greece” team suggestions of things to see in the area.

Do you like driving around Greece? Check out more of our suggested road trips here.

 
Post featured photo by Bgabel, licensed