Acropolis in Athens

5 Days in Greece Itinerary : Peloponnese Guide

A lifetime could not be enough to visit the beauty of Greece, but I accept this challenge and I’ll show you the best of Greece in this 5 days itinerary.

Sandy and pebble beaches of Greek islands are known worldwide, but have you ever considered the Peloponnese as your next holiday destination?

This country was the cradle of one of the most flourishing civilizations. For this reason, the Peloponnese is dotted with impressive ruins belonging to this glorious civilization.

I made this incredible trip a few years ago, and I still have the itinerary fresh in my mind. Studying ancient Greek and exploring its literature (but also watching Disney’s Hercules – I’m not going to lie LOL) has made me really love ancient Greece.

Although I’ve travelled Peloponnese from north to south during my trip, you can start your holidays wherever it suits you!

Day 1: Dodona and Meteora

Dodona’s archaeological site

My first of this 5 day itinerary in Greece started in the mountainous region of Epirus. We arrived from Italy by ship to Igoumenitsa, a few kilometres from the border with Albania.

This region hosts the archaeological site of Dodona, which houses the oldest oracle in Greece. The oracle was dedicated to two divinities: Zeus (you know him) and Dione, the Mother goddess.

The archaeological site of Dodona is one of the best-preserved and most characteristic to visit, as it hosts one of the largest theatres in Greece, the ruins of the sanctuary dedicated to Zeus and many palaces. It’s where priests foresaw the future by interpreting the rustle of the leaves of the oaks on the site.

Meteora

We then drove across the Pinto mountain range to meet one of the wonders of Thessalia: the Meteora. I bet you’ll find yourself lost for words in the face of this place’s incredible beauty – it’s that stunning!

Aerial view of the Meteora site in Greece

This was the second stop of my holiday in mainland Greece, and needs to be pinned on your map!

The road is not very easy, but the view is fascinating. You’ll be slowly driving on narrow streets lining enormous ridges.

One fact that still blows my mind is that the sea used to cover these mountains entirely during prehistoric times. It’s mind-blowing to think that as you drive through this area now, it would have been an underwater world with fishes and giant animals swimming meters above your head.

But this is not the only fun fact of the area: this was the place the Orthodox monks chose to built six monasteries on the vertiginous rock faces.

You might wonder why monks built their monasteries on the edge of these rocks. In the 14th century, a monk named Atanasio founded the first monastery, calling it Meteora, meaning “in the air” because it seemed suspended between the sky and the ground. Despite the challenges, the monks left us with one of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen!

To better organize your trip, Meteora created interactive maps if you travel by car, train or bus.

Time to unwind on your Peloponnese holiday! Opt for a cozy night in one of the charming villages by the Aegean Sea. Paralia Katerini, Neri Pori and Velika are just some of the little towns where you can taste great seafood dishes.

Day 2: Mount Olympus

On the next day, head to one of the most iconic places in Greece: Mount Olympus.

Crafted for maximum enjoyment, this comprehensive 5-day Greece itinerary aims to optimize your visit by seamlessly weaving together ancient history and breathtaking landscapes. So let’s hike the house of Gods!

Hiking on Mount Olympus unmissable spot for an itinerary in Greece

I love hiking, so I couldn’t miss this chance to hike on the sacred mountain. You’d bump into many people on the trail, all attracted by the charm of this holy place.

Although you don’t need to be an expert to hike Mount Olympus, you need a minimum of preparation. In fact, climbing Mount Olympus requires up to 6 hours, depending on your speed.

We started our hike in Prionia and followed the E4 path, which leads directly to the Spilios Agapitos, a refuge at 2100 meters.

We stopped at the refuge to fully enjoy Mount Olympus’s natural beauty and reach the summit the next day. However, if the mountain is your passion, the excursion can also last one day. Did you ever think Peloponnese could be a great place for a hiking holiday?

If you wan to hike, check well in advance the refuges’ availability as it gets hectic during the summer months!

Day 3: Delphi

After a day surrounded by nature, we took the car back and headed towards the archaeological site of Delphi.

This city is located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, considered the centre of the world in ancient times.

People used to travel all over Greece to consult the oracle of Apollo. Before making an important decision, Greek people would ask anything to the oracle.

Delphi Temple, an unmissable spot for your 5 day itinerary in Greece

Once you are there, the archaeological site takes you back in time. Sitting on the amphitheater stairs, it is not difficult asking ourselves how life was 2500 years ago. Pilgrims were coming from every corner of the known world to bring their offerings to the god making Delphi such a lively place!

The site hosts a museum where you can admire the remains of important Greek vestiges.

Don’t miss the Treasury of the Sifni and the Treasures of the Athenians. These two incredible temples were almost completely rebuilt with original materials. But the best is located on the top of the hill.

On top of the hill, there is the real gem of the site: the temple of Apollo. People used to leave gifts and statues as a sign of gratitude. It was where celebrations took place, including the one of divination.

Now it’s time to leave Delphi and travel to Attica, where your next destination is waiting for you.

Day 4: Athens

If you’re flying to Greece this would most likely be the starting point of your Peloponnese holiday. As we drove by car from the north, we dove into the beauty of Athens on day one of your 5-day Greece itinerary, exploring iconic landmarks like the Acropolis and discovering the city’s vibrant culture.

Athens combines the modernity of the nineteenth century with remarkable ruins witnessing the passage of the ancient Greeks.

You can visit the main attractions in the area, which you can explore easily on foot. Therefore, Athens is a perfect destination for a gateway.

Do not miss the Roman Forum, the Agora, the Library of Hadrian, the theatre of Dionysus, and the Temple of Hephaestus.

Ancient Athens

You all know the highlight of Athens: the world heritage site of the Acropolis with Parthenon and the Temple of the Caryatids. It was like living all the mythological stories I’ve been learning in high school.

Thinking about how many people stepped on those stones in ancient times is magical. And the beauty of this place has no comparison.

View of the Acropolis of Athens

I suggest planning this day ahead of time and securing a guided tour to fully maximize your experience at the site and the Acropolis Museum.

Modern Athens

But let’s focus a bit more on the city center of the Greek capital. Head to Syntagma square, the beating heart of modern Athens. The square houses the Parliament, and it’s the heart of social and political Greek life.

Don’t miss the change of the guards in front of the Parliament. The traditional costumes and military parade attract people every Sunday at 11 am. Note that down!

A special note goes to the Monastiraki district, a vibrant part of Athens where past and present blend together. The square has been recently renovated, and you’ll be mesmerized by the beautiful buildings and marble pavement.

Add to your list the colourful Anafiotika district and the gourmand district of Plaka. Anafiotika offers some of the best viewpoints on Athens and a quiet atmosphere. It’s the perfect spot to get photos of the capital without the crowds.

Plaka is another central district, close to the Acropolis and the main attractions. It’s a joy getting lost in its narrow cobblestone alleys, and it’s where you’ll find some delicate and delicious Greek restaurants.

Day 5: Corinth

As day 5 unfolds, venture to Corinth, a coastal gem offering a perfect conclusion to your itinerary in Greece.

We are now entering Argolis, the peninsula in the peculiar shape of a hand.

We’re about to discover another city that played a crucial role in ancient times. Corinth dominated the sea and land commercial exchanges due to its strategic position.

The highlight is the archaeological site of ancient Corinth, located on a hill above modern Corinth. The site houses a well-preserved temple of Apollo and impressive ruins of a theatre, odeon and palaces.

After Corinth, you need to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mycenae.

View of the Corinth archeological site

This city has no Greek origins, but historians say that probably the same Minoan civilization that inhabited the island of Crete founded Mycenae.

In Mycenae, there are the remains of amphitheaters, palaces, tombs and streets that have made this city a vital economic and cultural center.

Mycenae was discovered by Heinrich Schliemann, the archaeologist who introduced the world to the ruins of Troy. The site consists of a magnificent triangular acropolis, the royal palace, the famous Lion Gate and Agamemnon’s tomb.

Capturing the essence of Greece in just 5 days, blending historical exploration and coastal beauty, was an unforgettable experience to create this itinerary through this captivating country.

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