The Peloponnese (Greece: Peloponissos or Peloponnisos) peninsula is south of Athens. The name Peloponnesos means island of Pelops. According to old myths, Pelops is a son of the Gods who ruled this area in long past times. With its 250 km length and width, Peloponnesos is two and a half times as large as Crete. There are approximately 1.1 million of inhabitants.
It is a mountainous landscape with peaks over 2000 meters. Fruitful fields lie between the mountain ranges. The Peloponnese is divided into regions. Some names were already known in ancient times, for example Argolis Arkadia and Lakonia. But also places like Olympia, Sparta, Epidaurus, Mycenae and Mystras. The Saronic Islands are located east of the peninsula, and the Ionian Islands to the west and south of it. Some of them are not far from the coast, such as the island of Kythira at the southeastern tip of the Peloponnese. Inland the Peloponnese consists of mountains and is formed by the department of Arcadia where are ski resorts.
The theater of Epidaurus is one of the best preserved of its kind in Greece. Already in ancient times it was praised for the harmony of its proportions.
Quote from the website of Greece expert Matt Barett U.K.:
The Peloponnese; heart and soul of Greece. So much has been written and said about the beautiful Greek islands already. In spite of what many people say about Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodos and Corfu, the most beautiful and interesting parts of Greece are not the islands but can be found on the mainland: the Peloponnese.
The Peloponnese is the real Greece and it is certainly more worth visiting than 10 combined islands.
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