a fascinating region in the south of Greece

Peloponnese, in Greek ‘Peloponnessos’, sounds like one of those Greek island-names ending with -os. Like Paros, Naxos, Mykonos, Samos, Lesbos, Amorgos. But the Peloponnese is something completely different. It’s a huge peninsula in the south of Greece, connected with the mainland. The only reason that you could call it an island is that the Canal of Corinth separates this region from the mainland.
From the Middle Ages till the 19th century, this area was called ‘Morea’, meaning mulberry tree. The British Byzantinist Steven Runciman suggested that the name comes from the likeness of its shape to that of a mulberry leaf.

The Peloponnese is one of my personal favorites, because it has everything: mountains, woods, traditional villages, beaches, Byzantine remnants and ancient archeological sites. This region houses so many famous stories and episodes from the Greek history. The famous ancient city of Sparta is situated here. The first ancient Olympic Games have their roots in this region. The War of Independence started here. And the city of Nafplio was the first capital of the liberated Greece, before Athens was chosen as the new capital in 1834.
The variety of landscapes is huge. The peninsula is mainly mountainous; it’s highest peak in the Taygetos-range is 2407 metres. But besides the Taygetos, there is also the Erymanthos, Mainalo, Parnonas, Helmos, mountains with peaks above 2000 meters.

Read more about me exploring this fascinating region in the south of Greece.