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Greece Map - Mainland and Peloponnese Itinerary

From James Martin,
Your Guide to Europe Travel.
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Travel to the big parts of Greece with our map and travel planner

Sure, Greek Island hopping is a compelling pastime, but Greek history is best discovered by traveling Greece's mainland and Peloponnese peninsula. Here is a map of Greece, concentrating on these areas.

Map of Greece

map of greece mainland peloponnese
Map of Greece © 2008 Mapping Europe

The Dashed line shown on the map of Greece are the main train lines, which generally follow the main highways. While rail travel in Greece can be convenient, buses are the usual way to get from village to village. The red boxes on the map indicate sites to visit in the mainland and Peloponnese areas of Greece.

How you start your Itinerary depends upon how you enter Greece. There are three ways most folks enter: by ferry to Corfu and on to Igoumenista or Patras, by plane to Athens, or by ferry or cruise ship to the Port of Athens, Pireus.

The Major Sites of Mainland Greece

One of my favorite sites is that of Meteora, near Kalambaka on the map, east of Igoumenista. Here monks built virtually inaccessible monasteries on the peaks of vertical spires to avoid Turkish persecution in the 14th century. A 21km walk takes you to all the major monasteries that allow visitors. The views are spectacular. Bring your camera

See: How to Tour Meteora

Delphi, further south, is one of Greece's most intact archaeological sites. Set on terraces along the slopes of Mt. Parnassus, the setting is spectacular. Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle and the Pythian games. It was a major center for the worship of the god Apollo. Find out about a world of politics, intrigue, narcotic gasses, religion, and decision making/fortune telling in our Delphi Greece Travel Guide.

More Delphi Resources:

Other sites worth a look:

Mr. Olympus (deTraci Regula recommends a side trip to the little-visited city of Dion).

Metsovo was known as a city of talented wood-carvers (you'll see some excellent miniature works inside some of the monasteries of Meteora), and is home to Metsovone, a smoked cheese. Metsovo sits at the base of a mountain; you can ski in winter.

And of course there's Athens, the capital of Greece.

Major Sites of the Peloponnese

If you stay in Nafplion, you can visit some of the best sites in the Peloponnese by bus or taxi: Korinth, Epidaurus and Mycenae. Longer bus journeys or tours will take you to Olympia, Sparta or Pylos.While Sparta has few remains of its powerful city-state (spartan, you know?), Pylos is the traditional home of Nestor of the Odyssey and has the best preserved of the Mycenaean palaces in existence.

Best Times to Go

We've done some of this itinerary in November, when there was snow in Metsovo, and it was a great trip. You might want to go in a warmer part of the year. For walkers, October is pretty good in Athens, September further north. May is quite nice as well. See some historical weather charts for select Greek cities to choose your preferred weather: Greece travel weather map.

Peloponnese Travel Resources:

Classic Greece Tour

If you'd prefer a tour from Athens of some of the top mainland Greece sites, see Viator's 4-Day Classical Greece Tour: Epidaurus, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora (book direct).

Getting to Greece from Venice - Or Returning

One of my favorite ferry rides is the Venice - Greece run on a ferry. You spend two nights on the boat, which gets in early in the morning to Patras (you can stop in Corfu or Igoumenista as well). Get details: Venice to Greece on a Ferry.

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