Exploring Historical Ruins: 6 Must-See Ancient Sites in the Peloponnese Region

Ruins of theTemple of Apollo in Ancient Corinth

Posted by on 16 Nov 2023

Unlock the captivating allure of Greek mythology and the earliest footprints of human civilization in the timeless land of the Peloponnese. Here, one can embark on a mesmerising journey that retraces the legendary steps of Greek gods, echoes with the whispers of Byzantine emperors and celebrates the indomitable spirit of Olympian athletes from ages long past.

While many flock to Greece to bask in the iconic charm of Santorini's gorgeous architecture, explore Athens' historic monuments or indulge in the luxuries of Mykonos, a hidden gem awaits the history enthusiast and mythology lover in the Peloponnese Region. Here, a treasure trove of ancient landmarks and ruins stand as testaments to Greece's rich past.

Want to know what this cradle of civilisation has to offer? Here are the top six ancient sites in the Peloponnese Region that you need to visit.


Let’s kick off this Peloponnese travel guide with the UNESCO Heritage Site that is Mystras, a town that sits on Mt. Taygetus, just a stone’s throw away from ancient Sparta. This old, fortified town was once a prosperous city during the Byzantine period in the 14th century and was home to Venetians as well.

The town boasts a beautiful hillside view of the Laconian Valley with plenty of lush greenery and groves. All around the city, there are tall, Byzantine walls that are incredibly well-preserved for history buffs to admire. Around town, you’ll see mediaeval buildings such as Byzantine churches, homes and towers, many of which have intricate frescoes and domes.

Mystras is home to the majestic Palace of the Despots, which was once the home of the powerful rulers of the city. With its rugged stonework and walls of ruins, it’s a far cry from the grand, polished chateaux of France and other European countries. However, it’s just as fascinating and rich in history.

Ancient Corinth

Back in the Roman times, Ancient Corinth was a populous city in Greece. The apostle Paul even made the voyage to this city to preach the Gospel to the people there. It’s also where the iconic Greek black-figure pottery was invented.

Today, there are plenty of ancient sites to explore in modern-day Corinth. You can check out the ruins of the once mighty Temple of Apollo, which still has several pillars standing. The Peirene Fountain, which is said to be the mythical Pegasus’ favourite watering hole, is in the city as well.

To soak in a panoramic view of the city, visit Acrocorinth, which is abundant in old fortresses and towers. For views of the Aegean Sea, take a boat tour through the Corinth Canal.


Monemvasia is a small, Laconian town situated on a rocky island right beside the Greek mainland. It has impressive views of the deep blue Aegean Sea from its tall, dramatic fortresses.

Sometimes referred to as a “castle town,” Monemvasia has plenty of old, mediaeval architecture that brings you back in time to the days of the Venetians and Ottomans. One of the most stunning buildings in the town is the Elkomenos Christos—a Byzantine church that was once a mosque.

Ancient Olympia

Of all the ancient sites in the Peloponnese Region, Olympia might be the most surreal one to visit, especially for sports lovers and fans of the Olympic Games.

Found in the town now known as Archaia Olympia, this archaeological site is the birthplace of the Olympics. In Classical Antiquity, male athletes would compete in a series of games (like chariot racing, javelin throwing and wrestling) in this dome to honour the Greek god Zeus. The games were abolished by the Romans at one point until the games made a comeback in the modern days in 1894.

There are also plenty of other sites within the area of Ancient Olympia. You can visit the ruins of the dignified Temple of Zeus, or perhaps the Temple of Hera, dedicated to the wife of Zeus and the goddess of women and marriage.


When Greece became an independent country in the 1830s, Nafplio became its first capital city. Beautiful buildings and architecture were then built in this beautiful town surrounded by the sea—many of which would go down in history as gorgeous Venetian and Neoclassical sites.

The scenic town has beautiful pastel-coloured homes with orange roofs and winding streets with pretty flowers. At the same time, it’s also home to magnificent churches and museums. You’ll also find plenty of tavernas in this lively, postcard-worthy coastal town, where you can try hearty Grecian cuisine and street food.

If you’re visiting Nafplio, don’t miss the marvellous walls of the Palamidi Fortress that overlooks the town and the sea, as well as the promenade at the sunny beach of Arvanitia.

Ancient Nemea

Fans of the Greek myth of Hercules must visit Ancient Nemea. This area is known as the place where the divine hero successfully slays the Nemean Lion—the first of his 12 labours.

The site is also where Hercules invented the Nemean Games, a rival athletic competition to the Olympic Games. These games were held in the well-preserved Nemean Stadium. Today, you can visit the archaeological site to see the ancient gymnasium where athletes would exercise and train for the games and even the communal bathhouse where they would wash themselves.

Ancient Nemea is also a well-known wine region with plenty of vineyards. Before ending your visit here, make sure to hit one of the wineries and try their robust, delectable red wines.

Don’t Miss These Ancient Sites in the Peloponnese Region

From the stunning towns and fortresses of Corinth and Mystras to the surreal colosseums that once held the first Olympic games, there is plenty of history to soak up in the Peloponnese, Greece. Go back in time to when gods and mortals shared the earth and check out the ruins, temples, palaces and fortresses that make this Greek region incredibly special.

Want to explore more of Greece? Check out our Greek Holiday Packages and experience more historic sites, picturesque islands and delicious cuisine in the Mediterranean.

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