There are hidden landscapes throughout mainland Greece, but the region which packs the most variety into the smallest space is the Peloponnese. From the beaches of Arcadia to the fir forests of Mt Parnon, from the olive groves of Kalamata to the pyramidal peak of Prophet Elijah, from classical Sparta to medieval Mani, this compact semi-island has it all. Though the ancients called it ‘the island of Pelops’, after their mythical king, this three-fingered landmass is joined to the mainland by a narrow isthmus at Corinth. Only in the 19th century was a canal finally cut through the isthmus, but it retains the cultural diversity and spectacular scenery of the mainland.
Because there’s so much to discover, the author has drawn an east-west line roughly through the middle of the Peloponnese, and limited the book to the southern half. By good fortune, this contains its highest mountain range (Mt Taygetus), its finest Byzantine chapels and medieval forts (in the Mani), its wildest seascapes (Capes Tainaron and Maleas), its largest forest (Mt Parnon) and, arguably, some of its loveliest beaches (Pylos, Kiparissi and Elafonisos, to name just a few.
The best months for walking in the Peloponnese are April and May, late September and October.
The Mani was probably our best ever holiday in Greece and your book played its part! (JHG, Walton-on-Thames)
[The Author] chose the Southern Peloponnese because it packs the most variety into the smallest space… I cannot recommend this guide more warmly. It may just infuse you too with a little madness for the mountains. (Athens News)
As someone who has enjoyed trekking in Greece with Michael, I can tell you that this book is almost as good as having him by your side. His directions are full of his characteristic wit and humor and he shares his deep knowledge of Greek culture effortlessly, providing nuggets of history, botany and such miscellany as how to deal with fierce sheepdogs. Reading his descriptions may whet your appetite for taking every single walk, but he also tells you where you might not want to go if your legs are a bit weak or you have no head for heights. But you don’t have to have stout calves and hiking boots to enjoy this book. It also includes five possible car itineraries that take in suggestions for picnic spots, short walks and local landmarks. You’ll find places in here that you won’t find in any guidebooks, because Michael has been exploring the Greek mountains since childhood and worked on this guide for 10 years. If you think Greece is just islands and beaches, this book will introduce you to its other side, one that most visitors barely suspect exists. You couldn’t be in better hands. (DFL, Amazon)