4-Day Peloponnese Itinerary: Nafplion & Ancient Olympia

This is a 4-day Peloponnese Itinerary starting from Athens Greece and visiting Peloponnese’s 5 out of 7 subregions.

This 4-Day Peloponnese tour includes all the important archaeological UNESCO sites: Mycenae, Epidaurus, Temple of Apollo Epikurius, and Ancient Olympia, medieval sites like the impressive castles in Methoni and Pylos, beautiful seaside towns like Nafplion and Gialova, and breathtaking beaches like Voidokoilia and old-glamor lake Kaiafa.

Methoni Medieval Castle

I have also included my mother’s village Krestena, near ancient Olympia to get a feeling of the real authentic mainland life in Greece. On your fourth day, you stay in a traditional mountainous village, Dimitsana, visit the rock-perched Monastery of Saint John and hike by the Lousios River Gorge.

Let’s start your 4-Day Peloponnese itinerary!

*Some of the links below are affiliate links. That means I may make a commission if you click and buy. The commission comes at no additional cost to you.

My Latest Video on Nafplio

4-Day Peloponnese Itinerary – Day 1

Corinth and Argolis

Corinth Canal with some people walking and cars in 4 Day Peloponnese Itinerary.
Corinth Canal

If you rent a car from Athens International Airport, your first stop is at Corinth Canal, 106 km away through E8. Corinth Canal is 6 km long and an engineering miracle. There is no entrance fee and you can take photos of the impressive chaos under your feet.

Bungee Jumping at the Corinth Canal

Corinth Canal a boat passing throw and a man doing baddy Jumping in 4 Day Peloponnese.
Bungee Jumping in Corinth Canal by visit world heritage

If you love bungee jumping, then the jump into the void of the Corinth Canal will be a life-altering experience. Book your private tour here with a transfer and organized visit to Canal for your jumping!

Isthmia

3 km from the Corinth Canal and via EO Isthmou Archaias Epidavrou you get to the smaller Isthmia Archaeological site, where Ancient Isthmian Games were held.

  • Hours 8 am-7 pm Easter – Oct, 8.30 am-3.00 pm Nov-Easter
  • Price adult €2 April to October – €1 Nov to March

After the site, drive for less than a km to Isthmia cafe located right at the water surface at the beginning of the canal. Have a quick coffee and watch the bridge submerge into the waters to let the ships pass and emerge to let the cars and people cross the canal.

Ancient Corinth and Acrocorinth

Ancient Corinth

13 km from the Canal lies Ancient Corinth, its amazing Museum, and the Bema, the special pedestal where Apostle Paul preached to the Corinthians in 51 AD.

  • Hours 8 am-7 pm Easter – Oct, 8.30 am-3.00 pm Nov-Easter
  • Price adult €8 April to October – €4 Nov to March

On the large rock behind Ancient Corinth, and 4 km away, lie the remains of one of the largest castles in Greece, Acrocorinth which is worth visiting if only for the 360 birds-eye views. No entrance fee.

Nemea

4-day Peloponnese Itinerary,Evgenia sitting in the Temple in Nemea.
Me in the Nemea site

From Acrocorinth if you take the E65 national road 27 km to the south you will find Ancient Nemea with two separate – but very close- sites: the Sanctuary of Zeus and the museum, and the Ancient stadium where the Nemean Games were held. Ticket €6 April to October – €3 Nov to March.

Nearby is also the modern Nemea village for wine tasting as it has the largest vineyards in Greece. A great way to combine both ancient and modern Nemea is by booking an Ancient Nemea private tour with wine tasting in 3 wineries.

Mycenae

Mycenean Treasury of Atreus

18 km from Nemea through EO (EO=National Road) Korinthou Argous you get to the stunning UNESCO Archaeological site of Mycenae. There are two points of interest, the Treasury of Atreus and the main site and museum.

Lions Gate – Main Mycenean Site

The ticket for Mycenae is €12 from April to October – €6 Nov to March and includes both sites. There is also a combo ticket of €20 which includes entrance to Mycenae, the Mycenaean Tiryns (Nafplio), the Palamidi Castle (Nafplio), and the Archaeological Museum of Nafplio, and the Byzantine Museum of Argos and is valid for 3 days from its issuance.

Epidaurus

Epidaurus Theater

If driving for 47 km to a more remote part of Argolis appeals to you, then right after Mycenae take the Epar. Od. Nafpliou-Korinthou and EO70 and go to The Asklepion Sanctuary of Epidaurus (UNESCO). Ticket €12 April to October – €6 Nov to March.

Nafplion

Nafplio town in Peloponnese

Or if you had enough of driving after Mycenae go straight to beautiful and romantic Nafplion and you can visit Epidaurus on your Day 2.

Stay overnight at the beautiful Ippoliti Hotel, or Xenon Inn Hotel!

4-Day Peloponnese Itinerary – Day 2

Argolis and Messinia

What to do in Nafplion, Syntagma square
Nafplio Syntagma Square

On your second day you can explore Nafplion: Use the €20 ticket you issued in Mycenae and go to the three Castles of Akronafplia, Palamidi, and Bourtzi (take the small boat for this). Visit its museums, stroll Syntagma square, and go to the Cyclopean walls site of Tiryns last as it is right out of Nafplion on your way to your next site.

Ancient Messene

General View of Ancient Messene

From Nafplion take Road A7 towards Tripoli and on to E65 to the impressive archaeological site of Messene some 128 km far from Nafplion. On your way to Messene, you can make stops at the traditional villages for a good stretch, grab a snack or have a meal, see the numerous churches, chapels, and monasteries, or just enjoy the beautiful Greek countryside.

4-day Peloponnese Itinerary, Messene messini stadium
Ancient Messene

Sometimes they sell fruit and vegetables on the road. If it is oranges, I would grab a bag, they are notoriously sweet and flavorful.

Ancient Messene: Ticket €10 April to October – €5 Nov to March.

Pylos, Methoni

From Messene, take the N. Road 82 to Kalamata and seaside Pylos town some 62 km away. Pylos is just stunning and I love the few miles before I reach the town, as I see it slowly unfolding its beauty from the mountain over it.

Pylos

Continue south for another 11 km and you get to my beloved Methoni where I have spent many summer days and still have many friends there. If you need a dentist – touch wood – ask for Zoe, she is the best dentist in the world, I have known her for more than 20 years and she is a great cat person.

4-day Peloponnese Itinerary,Methoni village
Methoni

You will love the beautiful seaside village of Methoni with the large castle area. It is a very laid-back village with some of the best sandy beaches in the Peloponnese, great history, and amazing people. If you can, stay for a few days there, then Ulysses Hotel is a great value for money budget hotel.

Gialova, Voidokilia

Gialova

23 km to the north and via EO9 is lively seaside Gialova town with a lot of nightlife choices, camping, and above all the striking Voidokoilia beach, one of the most unspoiled and breathtaking landscapes in the Mediterranean.

Voidokoilia Beach

From Gialova, some 10 km to the northeast is the Mycenean archaeological site known as the Palace of Nestor. Nestor is described in Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad as a wise old man who led Pylos to the Trojan War with 90 ships.

The Mycenean Palace of Nestor in Pylos, Peloponnese
Nestor’s Palace

The Palace was built in the 13th Century BC and has four main buildings with the rectangular “throne room” being the most important.

Ticket €6 April to October – €3 Nov to March.

Costa Navarino Hotel

The famous Westin Resort Costa Navarino luxury hotel is set near Voidokoilia and the stunning Navarino Bay.

4-Day Peloponnese Itinerary – Day 3

Ilia

4-day Peloponnese Itinerary, Kyparissia beach
Kyparissia Beach in Ilia – Photo messinia.mobi

After Gialova and Costa Navarino, take EO9 to the north, a road trip next to the longest sandy beach with dunes in Greece. Drive along to one beautiful village after the other: Marathopoli, Gargalianoi, Filiatra (with an Eiffel Tower replica), Kyparissia all the way to the UNESCO Archaeological Site at Bassae of Phigaleia. The Epikourios Apollo Temple is a site of tremendous importance for the classical world.

The Temple of Apollo Epicurious in Bassai the outside viewq
Epicurious Apollo Temple covered for protection

Nearby amazing hiking trails are the Neda Waterfalls and Nemouta Waterfalls with the Erymanthos River.

Go to Krestena, my mother’s birthplace village, and have a coffee/lunch at its picturesque square.

Krestena

The next stop is at Kaiafas Lake. Cross the road across the lake and stroll on Kaiafas Beach, one of Greece’s most beautiful sandy beaches.

Kaiafas Lake

The next important site is the UNESCO Ancient Olympia Archaeological Site where you will be visiting the birthplace of the Olympic Games. Ticket €12 April to October – €6 Nov to March.

You can stay at Europa Hotel in Olympia and explore the area further. One idea is to hike the many waterfalls and rivers of the area like the impressive Nemouta Waterfalls.

Ancient Olympia

If you prefer to keep on with your scheduled 4-Day Peloponnese itinerary, then from Ancient Olympia through EO74 drive for 77 km to the traditional mountainous village of Dimitsana.

Overnight at top choice in Dimitsana village in Enastron Guesthouse,  stone-built accommodation with a fireplace and a balcony with a scenic village view

4-Day Peloponnese Itinerary – Day 4

Arkadia

On your 4th day, you can explore the stunning sites around Dimitsana village:

Temple of Epicurius Apollo, Lousios river
Lousios River

If you love the outdoors then this is an ideal place for you: you can go hiking or rafting (if the waters allow it) in the Lousios river gorge.

Monastery Agiou Ioannou Prodromou

Visit the imposing monasteries: Moni Emialon and the rock-built Monastery of Agiou Ioannou Prodromou (try to wear modest clothes to the monasteries).

The main square of Vytina

On your return way to Athens stop at Vytina village, one of many beautiful mountainous villages in the area. Visit its interesting Folklore Museum, stroll the tree-lined ‘street of love’ and taste the local products.

Hikingg Vouraikos Gorge

You can return to Athens or go towards the north of the Peloponnese to another fantastic area, Kalavrita, with the Vouraikos gorge train (odontotos).

You may also enjoy: The Complete Guide to Kalavrita

FAQ on Peloponnese Region

In what condition are the roads in the Peloponnese?

All the main roads are modern 3-lane motorways in perfect condition with tunnels and resting points as you travel. However, the local smaller roads can be quite tricky with (some or a lot of) unlit mountain roads with frequent hairpin turns, at least part of the way.

What is the terrain like in the Peloponnese?

It is probably the most fertile area in Greece with many rugged mountains and deeply indented coasts. Mount Taygetus in the south is the highest mountain in the Peloponnese, at 2,407 meters (7,897 ft)

It also has many broad valleys, rivers, lakes, endless fields of grain and vegetables intertwined with citrus plantations and miles and miles of olive groves. The olives of Kalamata are considered among the best in the world. 

Should I pre-purchase the tickets for the sites?

For Athens Acropolis, if you are visiting from May to September, yes! Check info for Acropolis tickets here.

For any of the other sites mentioned in Peloponnese, you don’t need to. What happens with some museums in smaller towns and islands is that they are always closed on a certain day, usually Mondays or Tuesdays. So before you venture to any remote site, monastery, or museum, check out if that day is closed. It would be such a pity to drive all the way and find it all locked up.

What sites can I visit in the Peloponnese?

4-Day Peloponnese itinerary,Mystras Mani
Mani

Peloponnese has a great history: the kingdom Mycenae started the war against Troy for the eyes of beautiful Helen is located in Argolida and is included in the tour.

As you travel the fantastic region of the Peloponnese, one civilization follows the other or they are all entwined in wonderful UNESCO monuments: ancient Greek, Medieval, Byzantine, and Ottoman villages.

Related Article: 8 Days in the Peloponnese

This Peloponnese road trip is best done in a rental car. If you prefer public transport, then you will need more days to explore all the areas mentioned in this post. See info on resources at the end of the post for the KTEL buses.

Explore the Capital, Athens!

If you are coming to Greece, a visit to Athens is a total must-do! I have a full post dedicated to the most important sites to see in Athens:

How Best to See Athens Monuments in 2 Days, so that you do not miss a site!

Plan My Trip to Greece

Do you need a custom travel itinerary or a transfer within Greece? Are you traveling solo, with your family or friends and need a tailor-made multi-day tour or a transfer?

If yes, please visit my dedicated Plan My Trip Page for a free itinerary!

How to Get to Pireaus Port from Athens Airport

Bus X96 Peiraias Port to Athens Airport
Airport Bus
  • Bus: If you are arriving at Athens International Airport you can travel straight to the port by taking the X96 express bus (€5.5, children <6 yo, free entrance), which departs every 40 minutes and the average trip lasts 1 hour – runs 24/7.
  • Metro: (€9) is easily found across airport arrivals (blue line – M3) going directly to Piraeus port. The average trip to Piraeus lasts 1 hour.
  • Taxis are available in front of the airport (around €40 to Athens, €55-60 to Piraeus (depending on the traffic in Kifisos), and take up to 3 or 4 people with small luggage)
  • Rent a car with Discover Cars for reliable, new cars at affordable prices
  • You don’t like driving but love hassle-free solutions? Book a Private transfer with an English-speaking driver from Athens International Airport to Piraeus Ferries, or anywhere else in Greece
  • Are you looking for domestic flights in Greece? Check out the official Aegean Airlines Website.

Essential Travel Resources for Greece

About the author
Evgenia Mataragka
Hi! I am an Athens-based Greek obsessed with exploring Greece and bringing you the best travel experience ever!

1 thought on “4-Day Peloponnese Itinerary: Nafplion & Ancient Olympia”

  1. Evgenia Mataragka is an extraordinarily attentive tour planner! We asked her to propose a 4 day private driving tour of the Peloponnese for our group of two retired professional couples, including several specific sites we hoped to see. She presented us with a wonderful plan that included more than we thought we could see in the allotted time. First, the minibus was new, spacious, clean and comfortable. Our driver, Panagiotis was excellent! He was professional, friendly, attentive, engaging and, most of all, safe. He only talked when we asked him questions unlike some drivers who can be overbearing. The Peloponnese is such a treasure trove of history from the Bronze Age through the golden age on through the Roman Period and into the Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman eras. Our tour captured some of the best of each. Evgenia also managed to build in several geographically beautiful places like Naphplio and Pylos. Bring your walking shoes! We walked around 8,000 steps a day. Evgenia lined up excellent professional guides for three of the key sites we visited. We originally contacted Evgenia to help plan just this four day tour but we soon found that she was happy to give us tips on our entire 2 1/2 week stay in Greece. She also arranged all our private transfers to and from the airport and the Piraeus Port. We met Evgenia one evening in Athens and had a delightful time getting to know her and learn about the NGO she founded. She is an avid nature lover and hiker. Her many weekend getaways give her knowledge of hidden places that many planners may not know. We highly recommend her services to anyone needing local knowledge and top organizational skills to plan their vacation in Greece! Thank you!

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