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Peloponnese by car: between mythology and sun

Discover the country's best-preserved ancient sites!
©Thierry Milherou
Self-drive in Peloponnese

11 days / 10 nights

Discover Greece the traditional way!

With archaeological sites in mythical cities, you will travel back through 4,000 years of history. Every stop will give your imagination a chance to run wild. But there are also the beautiful Mediterranean landscapes: olive groves, quaint beaches nestled in inlets and villages clinging to mountains everywhere you look. This trip is just one possible itinerary that can be modified and extended as you wish. A wide selection of accommodation. Stay with local people or in large hotels. You choose. You can tailor your holiday to your budget.

Regions visited during this trip to Greece : Athens & Peloponnese

N.B : Contact our greek specialists so they can customize this itinerary and adapt it to your needs and wishes. 

The route
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The heart of ancient Greece and the country's current capital, Athens will charm you with its history-filled culture, ancient architecture, exceptional museums and lively neighborhoods.

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A seaside town sheltered from the wind by the surrounding mountains. A living tribute to Greek sailors, it embodies the spirit of the past, with its neoclassical houses adorned with maritime-themed statuettes, picturesque alleyways and pretty port.

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As the cradle of ancient Greece, you'll need more than a single visit to discover Olympia's surprises. Marvel at Praxiteles' famous Hermes, and imagine the presence of one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world: the 13.5-metre-high gold-and-ivory statue of Zeus.

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The Magne

The Magne is a region of wild, arid landscapes and fortress-like stone villages.

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Located in the south-east of the Peloponnese, Monemvasia will charm more than one visitor! This fortified town nestled on a rocky outcrop offers an incredible panorama of the Mediterranean Sea.

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Situated on the Peloponnese coast with its impressive beaches, Nafplio is a city of exceptional beauty with neoclassical buildings. With its old quarters, large squares and tiled roofs, Nafplio is a veritable living museum city.

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The heart of ancient Greece and the country's current capital, Athens will charm you with its history-filled culture, ancient architecture, exceptional museums and lively neighborhoods.

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This itinerary goes through the following steps

Day 1

France - Greece Athens


You arrive at Athens airport, from where a private transfer takes you to your hotel in the city center.
This first day is an opportunity to discover the contemporary districts of Athens. Psyrí, Koukai and Pétralona are trendy neighborhoods not far from the historic center. You’ll discover a different side of daily life in Athens.
Don’t miss the changing of the guard in front of Parliament. This perfectly coordinated ritual is performed by the Greek army’s elite soldiers in traditional costume, the Evzones.

Overnight in Athens.

Day 2


The Erechtheion Athens
The Erechtheion Athens

On this second day, you take part in a guided tour: the Mythological Tour. An English-speaking Athenian tour guide provides information to a small group of up to 14 people.
With his faultless knowledge of the subject, your guide takes you for 4 hours from extraordinary buildings to majestic monuments, on the Acropolis, at the Temple of Hephaestus and in the Roman Agora. He puts them in their historical context, and explains the special relationship between Zeus, Apollo, Aphrodite and others, and ordinary mortals. Above all, you’ll learn about the importance of the Pantheon in Athenian democratic life.
The guided tour is followed by lunch. The afternoon is free. If you’d like to follow up on the morning’s theme, visit the Acropolis Museum. This magnificent museum exhibits a wealth of objects from the Acropolis and provides an educational introduction to the site.
If you’d rather spend the afternoon strolling and shopping, the Monastiraki flea market at the foot of the Acropolis is the place to be. Ermou Street, which leads to it, is packed with small local stores. If you’re looking for chic products, the Kolonaki district (especially Voukourestiou Street) specializes in high-end shops.

Breakfast included.
Overnight in Athens.

Day 3

Athens - Osios Loukas - Delphi

The Monastery of Osios Loukas
The Monastery of Osios Loukas

Get up early for a new transfer from your hotel to our partner rental agency. Your car rental is fully taken care of. Off we go for 240 km and 3h15 of driving.
Your first picnic break takes you to the monastery of Osios Loukas, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This monastery, built in the 10th century, takes you away from mythology and into Byzantine Christianity. A haven of peace nestled in a valley of olive trees, Osios Loukas is one of the most majestic sites on the Aegean. With golden mosaic ceilings and some of the best-preserved iconic murals of the period, Osios Louka is well worth a visit. Its mystical aura is still very much alive: the monastery is still a popular place of pilgrimage.
Finish your journey at your hotel in Galaxidi. This quiet little port on the Gulf of Corinth is the ideal place to spend the evening. Stroll through the town’s streets or stroll along the seafront, before and after visiting one of the port’s many typical restaurants.

Breakfast included
Overnight in Galaxidi.

Day 4

Delphi & Arachova

The site of Apollo Delphi
The site of Apollo Delphi

Delphi is just a 35-minute drive from Galaxidi. To get there, you drive across the vast Sea of Olives, which occupies the entire plain of Itea. Finally, you arrive at one of the religious capitals of ancient Greece, now an archaeological site: Delphi. It was here, on Mount Parnassus, in this sanctuary dedicated to the god Apollo, that the Pythia foretold the future to Greeks and barbarians who came to consult her. To explore the site, visit the museum, understand the cult of Apollo and the role of Pythia in the Greek world, takes around 3 hours, during which you’ll feel truly immersed in ancient Greece.
In the immediate vicinity of Delphi, the picturesque town of Arachova, with its typical narrow streets and stone-built houses, welcomes you for a stroll and a bite to eat. Not far away, the Livadi plateau is a popular mountain destination, especially in winter.
Finally, return to Galaxidi and relax on the harbor. Or, if you feel like it, explore the small coves that border the town, the Nautical Museum or the monastery of Metamorphosis tou Sotiros.

Breakfast included
Overnight in Galaxidi.

Day 5

Galaxidi - Ancient Olympia


Continue your mythological journey to Olympia (3-hour drive). Enjoy this beautiful road along the sea. Stop off in small villages or on beaches. Stop off at Naupacte, founded in the 5th century by hilots fleeing Sparta. The walled Venetian port has perfectly preserved its medieval appearance. Here, you can look back over six centuries of history. The climb up to the castle is rewarded with an extraordinary view of the sea and the Rion-Antirion bridge.
Return to your car and cross the bridge into the Peloponnese. Discover the olive-tree-lined roads of the peninsula before arriving in Olympia in the late afternoon. Your hotel room awaits you for a well-deserved rest.

Breakfast included
Overnight in Olympia.

Day 6

Olympia - The Magne


Set off early in the morning to visit the archaeological site of Olympia. This is where the Olympic flame is still lit every 4 years. There’s no better place to understand and, above all, feel the imprint of ancient Greek religion on every gesture of private and public life. The Greek Olympic Games, which brought together all Greek-speaking cities and were dedicated to Zeus, were first and foremost of religious significance.
Located 300 km from Olympia, the Magne peninsula is your next destination. To make the most of your trip, we recommend you take the road along the coast. This will allow you to take a break at Messene. Today, Sparta’s arch-enemy is a magnificent fortified city. Its walls, which may date back to its foundation in the 4th century, are among the best preserved in Greece. Further afield, the archaeological site includes an impressive complex with monumental stadium, theater, Arsinoe fountain, temple of Asclepius, etc.
After the splendors of Messene, expect a change of scenery. With its rugged, arid landscape, the little-visited Magne has a wild charm all of its own. Here, the mountains seem to literally plunge into the sea.
At the end of the afternoon, you reach the small fishing village of Port Ittilo for a moment of idleness.

Breakfast included
Overnight in Ittilo.

Day 7

The Magne


With its medieval villages, deserted beaches, typical harbours, caves and dry scenery, the Magne (or Mani) region has plenty to offer. This region near Laconia, dominated by the Spartans, was a source of hilots for them.
In this mythical peninsula, visit the countless picturesque villages, where the stone houses merge with the rocks. Limeni and Areopoli are perhaps the most beautiful. The villages of Nomia, Kitta, Tsikalia and Paliros boast magnificent medieval towers. An interesting 45-minute hike takes you from the village of Vathia to the Cape Tainaron lighthouse, dating from the late 19th century.
And last but not least, don’t miss a boat tour of the spectacular Diros Caves complex. Nature is full of wonders!

Breakfast included
Overnight in Ittilo.

Day 8

Limeni - Monemvasia


The 92 km to Monemvasia is a 1h40 km drive.
The beaches around Gytheio are perfect for a coffee break and a swim.
Once in Monemvasia, leave your car in the parking lot at the entrance to the fortress. Monemvasia takes you right back to the Middle Ages. Its fortifications, Venetian castle and manor houses, Byzantine churches (especially Saint Sophia in the upper town), are all splendid to visit and contemplate.
You can also relax and unwind on the beaches and enjoy the exceptional views from the upper town.

Breakfast included
Overnight in Monemvasia.

Day 9

Monemvasia - Nafplio


It’s time to head north again. Get back on the road for a 3-hour drive to Nafplio. Cross the Peloponnese through olive groves. Take the opportunity to make a detour to Sparta, where you can visit some of the remains to the north of the present-day city, including the tomb of Leonidas, the hero of Thermopylae.
Shortly after Sparta, you arrive in Mistra, a city built in the 13th century by the Achaean prince Guillaume de Villehardouin. Through its narrow streets, you’ll discover the world of the Frankish kingdoms of Greece, blended with a strong Byzantine heritage.
Arrive in Nafplio at the end of the day, via a scenic mountain road. Take advantage of the mild evening for a first stroll around Nafplio before returning to your hotel.

Breakfast included
Overnight in Nafplio.

Day 10

Nafplio and Epidaurus

Epidaurus theatre
Epidaurus theatre

Epidaurus is only 38 km away. A visit to the theater of Epidaurus is a must on any trip to Greece. The site remains virtually as the ancient Greeks built it in the early 3rd century BC. Note the stone benches in the front row, which have welcomed some of the most illustrious Roman emperors. Don’t hesitate to test the theater’s acoustics: whisper a few words from the stage and find that they’re heard at the other end of the bleachers.
Then head to the coast for lunch. In Palea Epidauros, on the harbor, an authentic taverna serves delicious fish, which you can enjoy facing the sea.
After lunch, return to Nafplio to visit the Venetian castle. 900 steps lead up to the castle’s highest point. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts with an extraordinary panorama of the surrounding area.
Finally, take a stroll through the town center or along the seafront. Both offer a number of excellent restaurants.

Breakfast included
Overnight in Nafplio.

Day 11

Nafplio - Mycenae - Athens

City of  Mycenae
City of Mycenae

On your last day, head for mythical Mycenae, just 25 km from Nafplio. Agamemnon’s city has retained all its mystery and aura. Discover the remains of the citadel, the Lioness Gate and the Palace of the Kings. Follow in the footsteps of the heroes of the Iliad. Visit the archaeological museum. Mycenae is a childhood and adult dream for all history and mythology buffs.
Before leaving the Peloponnese, stop to contemplate the Corinth Canal, initiated by Nero but only completed in the 19th century!
After a 1h40-minute drive, return to Athens airport and hand over your car to the rental company.

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Your accommodation for your stay in Peloponnese

The accommodations proposed in our programs are selected according to criteria of comfort, services and location. As Greece like a local is a travel agency specializing in tailor-made tours, we strive to meet your expectations as closely as possible by offering you programs that are 100% customizable. This is why all the accommodations mentioned in our programs are only suggestions, and it is entirely possible for you to modify them according to your wishes, your budget and seasonal availability.

List of selected hotels for this trip to Greece

Athens: Hotel Arion / Hotel Hera
Galaxidi: Hotel Paradisos / Hotel Ganimede
Olympia: Hotel Bacchus / Hotel Europa
Magne: Hotel Limeni Village / Hotel Porto Vitilo
Monemvasia: Hotel Byzantion / Hotel Malvasia Traditional
Nafplio: Hotel Leto Nuevo / Hotel Gambello

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Estimated price per person: 1045 euros

From 1045€, this rate is based on 2 participants for the trip and the selected accommodation.

The final price of your trip to Greece may vary according to the number of participants, your preferred dates and availability during the associated period.

Included in this travel

  • 10-day hire of a category A car (including VAT, unlimited mileage, comprehensive insurance, drop-off and pick-up)
  • 10 nights in bedroom and breakfast
  • 2 private transfers

Not included in this travel

  • Your international flight
  • All meals, except breakfast
  • Drinks
  • Tips and extras
  • Tours and activities
  • Non-mandatory supplementary travel insurance
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Our advices for this travel in Greece

– When it comes to visiting Karytaina, don’t miss the amazing church Hagios Nocolaos.
– In Monemvasia,  you are not allowed to access the old part of the town with your car! Enjoy a walk in the charming street and taste the local specialities.
– Nafplion  is know as the city of love in Greece. Talk a walk along the harbour, admire the traditional houses, shop at Staikopoulo street… Hungry? Avoid the tourist areas and find more authentic restaurants a few blocks away.
– Athens is a very interesting city in terms of dynamism and culture. If it’s possible for you, stay an additional day and discover the secrets of this city or take a bus to the Cape Sounion and the Poseidon temple.
– Are you travelling during summer? Bring your swimsuit and sunscreen in your luggage!

The options

Take part in the daily life of an Athenian

An immersive experience in the life of an Athenian

Looking for authenticity and local life? Do you prefer to get off the beaten track? Discover the Greek capital with a local who knows all its magical corners, often hidden from travelers!
Experience unforgettable moments of sharing and conviviality. Once he knows your tastes and desires, he'll be happy to take you to the city's secret spots. Don't hesitate to ask for his advice for the rest of your stay! And let him take you to the really good local restaurants that Athenians love: those where the food is truly Greek and admirably good!

3 hours

Mythological tour in a small group

Athens and Greek mythology will hold no secrets for you.

Are you passionate about ancient Greece and want to introduce your partner or children to Athens and Greek mythology? Set off with your partner or family to explore the splendor of Athens' monuments.
Your journey back in time begins at Hadrian's Gate, which opens onto the Olympion, a temple dedicated to Zeus, located beneath the Acropolis. Your English-speaking guide will take you on a tour of the Theater of Dionysus. Your guide will then take you to the magnificent Parthenon, the temple of the goddess Athena, which dominates the city, past the surrounding monuments dedicated to the various gods of mythology. Crossing the ruins of the ancient Agora, the cradle of democracy, you will arrive at the Temple of Hephaestus, a wonderfully well-preserved structure.

4 hours
Wine tasting Greece

Wine Tasting

Discover the local wines

Are you a wine lover? An experienced oenologist? Or do you just want to learn more about Greek wines? This wine tasting option is for you!
Visit one of the most famous wineries in the Peloponnese! Accompanied by an experienced sommelier, let us guide you through all the stages of wine tasting. Discover local grape varieties in a vineyard with thousands of years of history! Put yourself in the shoes of an ancient Greek and taste Moschofilero (a white grape with spicy flavors), Roditis (a rosé) and Agiorgitiko (a red nicknamed "the blood of Heracles"). This tasting, accompanied by cheese and breadsticks, is a journey through wine, history and mythology!
(Private activity, commented in English)

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Self-drive in Peloponnese

11 days / 10 nights

  • The opportunity to enjoy both natural and cultural aspects of Greece.
  • This trip is available all-year-round.
  • Renting a car in Greece is the best way to visit the country at your own rythm.
  • A 24/7 assistance during your trip.
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