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Grand Tour of the Peloponnese

Enthralling sites of ancient Greece
 
Discover the treasures of one of the world's greatest civilisations on this self-guided journey with a hire car. Experience a region rich in mythology and history, where castles, ancient cities and remarkable Olympia are set against a backdrop of spectacular scenery.
Grand Tour of the Peloponnese. 12 nights
Grand Tour of the Peloponnese. 12 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A touring holiday in the Peloponnese

The Peloponnese remains one of the undiscovered beauties of Greece and has a very distinctive feel. It is unspoiled and wild, rich in mythology and history and, wherever you visit, you brush against a rich cultural fabric of ancient sites, such as Olympia and Epidavros, and extraordinary medieval castles and fortified towns like Mystras and Monemvasia. Above all, this is a region of spectacular scenery, with vast, sweeping sandy beaches, lush gorges and forested mountains that stretch far inland.
Discover awe-inspiring scenery as you travel along the Gulf of Corinth to Byzantine Mystras in the shadow of the Taÿgetos Mountains, before crossing the fertile Laconian plains of the southern Peloponnese to the hidden gem of Monemvasia. The landscape changes as you journey north to the outer Mani where cypress-clad hills tumble into the sea and inviting gorges offer splendid walking, before a final stay in chic Nafplion, the former Greek capital. The scenic variety is astounding, and the sense of history that enriches the experience is, as the great travel writer ‘Paddy’ Leigh Fermor himself claimed, both absorbing and rewarding.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • Arrival in Mystras
    Night 1: at Hotel Byzantion (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Explore Mystras & Sparta
    Mystras is Greece’s best-preserved Byzantine settlement. Spend your full day here wandering around the ruins of the abandoned citadel – there’s a castle, medieval houses and beautifully frescoed churches to visit – or take a drive to ancient Sparta, where the atmospheric archaeological site and innovative olive oil museum paint a fascinating picture of life as it would have been in Laconia (one of the seven ancient Peloponnese provinces) during former times.
  • Mystras to Monemvasia: 2hrs by car
    From Mystras, drive south to the fortified medieval town of Monemvasia, which lent its name to the Malvasia (‘Malmsey’) wine referred to by Shakespeare. Moni Emvasis means ‘single entrance’, and the moment you arrive at this remarkable port protruding from the eastern Peloponnese, you will understand why: occupying a rocky outcrop that was severed from the mainland by a 4th-century earthquake, this strategically placed beauty has been ruled by Turks, Venetians, Byzantines and Francs; and, once the day-trippers have departed, you can have it more or less to yourselves. You spend two nights at the Hotel Bastione Malvasia, offering glorious sea views from the heart of the kastro (old town).
  • Explore Monemvasia
    Explore the kastro in the lower town and then walk up to explore the ruined castle and Agia Sofia church in the upper town. There is also plenty of time to follow the coastal path around this dramatic, rocky outcrop.
  • Monemvasia to Kardamili via Cape Tenaro: 5hrs by car
    As you continue to the Mani, there is plenty to see and do, including the option to detour down to the southernmost tip of the Peloponnese (and hence of mainland Greece) en route to the charming seaside town of Kardamili, where you stay in one of the Notos Hotel’s comfortable studios for three nights. The picturesque old quarter of Kardamili is perched above the village, with a fine Byzantine church and fortified towers so typical of the Mani region. It is remembered as one of the places where the Greek revolution of 1821 began.
  • Explore the Mani from Kardamili
    Enjoy breakfast each morning on your private balcony facing the sea, then spend your days exploring the outer Mani’s secret gorges and leafy valleys, relaxing on a quiet beach close by, or visiting the medieval castle and ancient amphitheatre in historic Kalamata.
  • Kardamili to Olympia via Messini: 3.5hrs by car
    Drive to the Hotel Pelops in Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games and home to impressive temples built to honour the Greek gods Zeus and Hera. This drive is not complete without a detour to the impressive archaeological site of Ancient Messini set in a peaceful valley with beautiful views over the countryside.
  • Explore Olympia
    Take in Olympia’s archaeological attractions including the Olympic Museum and the simple stadium where it all began back in 776BC.
  • Olympia to Nafplion: 3.5hrs by car
    Drive east, either via the motorway or a slower, scenic mountain route, before arriving at the Hotel Marianna in Nafplion, the first capital of Greece, to indulge in a spot of people-watching before dinner.
  • Explore Nafplion & the surrounding area
    This harbourside city exudes a sense of civilised grandeur, and has many important monuments that attest to its past prominence. Although it’s tempting to spend the rest of your time in this lovely city, the surrounding area is just as intriguing, so make sure to visit some of the wonderfully preserved sites just a short drive away: the amazing theatre of Epidavros; ancient Tiryns; the colossal citadel of Mycenae... You don’t need to travel very far for a good view, however, as those from your hotel’s rooftop café-bar are very hard to beat. Tucked beneath the walls of one of Nafplion’s medieval fortresses, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing lemonade, made from the citrus groves owned by the family.
 

Accommodation

Your accommodation is a lovely mix of small, family-run hotels and guesthouses. Please note that, in Mystras, the majority of the area's restaurants are actually located in Pikoulianika, a short drive from the village centre. Kardamili's eateries are also a few minutes' drive from the Notos Hotel.

The star ratings given below are our own as none of the places you stay has an official classification.

Occasionally, due to availability, we may offer an alternative hotel, as shown below. You will be informed of any change to the usual hotel (along with any price implication) prior to us confirming your holiday to you. Wherever you stay in Mystras, we recommend extra nights for more time to explore the area's Byzantine history and to enjoy walks in the Taÿgetos Mountains.   
 

Options to extend or shorten your stay

 

Prices for 2020

We are in the process of updating our prices for 2020. If you’d like to book now, please contact us – we’ll be happy to provide a quotation.
Get in touch >
 
Prices & travel options
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  • 12 nights: 01 April 2019 - 30 June 2019 & 01 September 2019 - 31 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 Apr - 14 Jun 2019 £1135 £395
    15 - 18 Jun 2019 £1085 £385
    1 - 30 Sep 2019 £1135 £395
    1 - 19 Oct 2019 £1085 £385
    3rd & 4th person discount -£135
    Single traveller supplement £135

    Includes accommodation, meals, travel between hotels and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus a detailed information pack, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Included travel: 12 days’ category B car hire (e.g. Lancia Ypsilon or similar with manual transmission)

    Driving time to the first hotel: Athens 3h
    Driving time from the final hotel: Athens 2h

    If you choose to fly via Kalamata we recommend starting the itinerary in Olympia and finishing in Kardamili

    Driving time to the first hotel: Kalamata 1h45
    Driving time from the final hotel: Kalamata 1h

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Notos Hotel, Kardamili
    Apartment with balcony: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £18
    Apartment with balcony: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £18

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Prices include an extra day's hire car.
    Hotel Byzantion, Mystras (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £58 £80
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £58 £80
    Hotel Bastione Malvasia, Monemvasia (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £80 £110
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £80 £110
    Notos Hotel, Kardamili (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £80 £115
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £80 £115
    Hotel Marianna, Nafplion (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £78 £94
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £78 £94
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Athens
    ALTERNATIVE AIRPORT(S):
    Kalamata (flight details available on request)

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Athens. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Athens easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Athens Aegean Airlines,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Athens (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Athens Aegean Airlines,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Athens Aegean Airlines,  British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Athens Ryanair,  Wizz Air 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Athens Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Athens Aegean Airlines,  easyJet 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Athens. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

What is included
  • 12 nights
  • 12 breakfasts
  • detailed documentation
  • 12 days' category B car hire
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

  • The information that we send to you 2-3 weeks before your holiday includes practical information about each stage of your journey so that you can travel confidently from one hotel to another, recommendations for places to visit and eat out in each place, plus cultural information about the area. Where applicable, we also provide notes for a self-guided walking tour of most cities, and some large towns. Sample travel pack >
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Greece, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The most commonly spoken language is Greek. The currency is the Euro. Greek time is GMT/UTC + 2. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 2.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 9/20/2019 3:23:26 AM