Where to stay in the Peloponnese

Updated: Mar 6

As we launch our Green Traveller's Guide to the Central and Southern Peloponnese, Clare Hargreaves picks out a selection characterful places to stay.


Fancy sleeping in a luxury mountain lodge or a 19th-century mansion, a cricket’s hop away from the pine-forested mountains… or a Grade 1-listed converted customs house beneath a Byzantine castle… or a hotel among the palm trees from where you can saunter to the beach or the pool. Swanky or simple, the central and southern Peloponnese has the full range. Foodies are well provided for too, as many hotels produce their own olives and oil, as well as fruits which are turned into delicious breakfast jams. Some, like Kinsterna, even show you how to make bread the traditional way.


Lazareto Hotel, Monemvasia (pictured above)

This hotel, perfectly situated at the base of Monemvasia’s Byzantine castle, was built by the Venetians as a customs house in 1709. Shipping companies paid duty here, which allowed them to unload in Venice. A decade later, another wing was added as a quarantine unit against the plague - the word ‘lazareto’ means ‘quarantine’. Its stone and timber buildings have been beautifully converted by the owners into characterful rooms which furnished with quirky antiques and rugs. Choose between a suite in the former ambassador’s house, a circular custom’s house, or one of the simpler rooms in the main building. lazareto.gr


Porto Vitilo boutique hotel, Itylo

Built in stone, wood and marble in the local tower-house style, this luxurious hotel stands alone among olive groves on a promontory overlooking Itylo bay so you’re lulled to sleep by lapping waves. Furnishings and bedding are unashamedly plush, breakfasts are a feast (try the homemade chocolate cake, and jams) and there’s a pool with sunloungers outside if you don’t fancy the beach. This is a well-positioned base from which to explore the Mani with its tower-house villages and aridly beautiful landscapes, and the Pirgos Dirou caves are just 20 minutes’ drive away. portovitilo.gr


Filoxenia Kalamata, Kalamata

Located around a palm-tree studded courtyard and looking out over the Messinian Gulf, this hotel is the ultimate place to relax. The only decision you’ll need to make while staying here is whether to bathe in the pool or in the sea. Do both - and try the (indoor) pool inside its Olive Spa too. Its 188 elegant rooms, in calming pastel colours, are beautifully light. Downstairs there’s a fitness centre, floodlit tennis court, library, restaurant and several bars. The spa offers treatments using essential oils from wild aromatic plants hand-harveted on the slopes of nearby Mount Taygetos. filoxeniakalamata.com


Nefeles Hotel

Stay in these luxurious stone-built apartments in winter to ski, or in summer to hike or mountain-bike through the forested mountains of the Menalo range behind the hotel. Either way, you’re in for a treat. Apartments all have tip-top bedding, lounges with comfy armchairs and fireplaces, as well as kitchenettes where you can make yourself a morning coffee. Once you’ve watched the sun rise over the valley below, decend to the dining room for a first-rate breakfast of homemade pittas (pies), locally made jams and fresh bread from the super bakery in nearby Levidi. nefelesmainalon.gr


Kinsterna Hotel, Monemvasia

Set among olive groves, vineyards and citrus trees just inland from Monemvasia, this majestic manor and its outhouses used to be part of an ancient Byzantine estate. Rooms combine modern comforts with traditional features like stone fireplaces, handmade wall embroideries, wooden ceilings and marble baths. There’s a spa and a hammam too. Relax by the L-shaped infinity pool, or visit one of the outhouses to watch bread or olive oil being made the traditional way. Not surprisingly, breakfasts are a highlight, with homemade bread and jams, fruits from the estate, and freshly baked pastries and pies. kinsternahotel.gr


Elies, Kardamili

Not only is this stylish beachside hotel, with its Scandi-chic interiors and gleaming pine floors, lovely in itself, but it stands in the olive groves in one of the Mani’s loveliest villages, Kardamyli. Elies’ stone cottages have one or two rooms, and all have a kitchenette, so you can self-cater if you want to. Actually you probably won’t as Elies’ taverna is by far the best in town. As you sit among the olive trees and geranium pots you sample fresh fish, local olives and greens and herbs plucked from the slopes of Mount Taygetos, the mighty backdrop to the village. elieshotel.gr


Kyrimai Hotel, Gerolimenas

Experience a bit of Mani’s history by staying at this stone mansion on Gerolimenas Bay, near the tip of the Mani peninsula. The mansion was founded by the Kyrimis family in 1870 and amazingly it’s still owned by the same family, who have recently transformed it and its adjoining warehouses into a luxury boutique hotel. Antique-furnished rooms with exposed stone walls overlook the bay, there’s a lovely pool, or you can swim from the jetty. There’s also a great restaurant delivering modern Mediterranean cooking (including plenty of local seafood). Eat out on the waterside terrace or inside by the log fire. kyrimai.gr


Citta dei Nicliani, Kita

Once the largest and most powerful village in the region, Kita is famous for its historic tower houses - including this one, built in 1750, which since 2011 has been been a luxury 8-room boutique hotel. Named after Nicliani, who was born in the village and was a powerful local leader, it’s owned and run by native Maniots Ilias and Tania Sepsas and their son Panagiotis. With its cobbled courtyard and views through the olive groves, it’s a truly tranquil spot. In the evening try the wines from the hotel’s impressive wine cellar, stocking over 100 quality Greek wines. cittadeinicliani.com


Mazaraki Guesthouse, Pikoulianika, near Mistras

At first glance this looks like a cafe, nestled in a cottage in the village of Pikoulianika, near the ruined Byzantine hilltop city of Mistras. But look more closely and beside it you’ll spot stone buildings housing ten rustic-chic self-catering cottages, each with its own private balcony or veranda. Some have fireplaces or woodburners too. Although the cottages have kitchens, breakfast is included in the rate and brought to your door each morning. Mistras is only two kilometres’ walk away, so you’re in the perfect spot to get there before the crowds. xenonasmazaraki.gr


Trikolonion Country, Stemnitsa, Arkadia

With its closely packed cobbled streets and myriad churches and museums, it’s hard to imagine that the tiny mountain village of Stemnitsa could squeeze in a luxury hotel. But Trikolonion has been skilfully crafted out of four stone towers to create 14 rooms and four suites that combine ancient materials like wood and stone with modern comforts. All have wooden ceilings, antique furnishings and original lithographs and engravings, and downstairs there’s a stunning wood-panelled lounge with a cafe serving snacks and meals by the fire. There’s a Wellness Area with gym, sauna and jacuzzi too. trikolonioncountry.gr


Anyfanti Mansion, Zatouna

This traditional 19th-century Arcadian mansion used to house a weaving business and a textile shop and during the years of the Greek War of Independence in 1821 the ground floor was used to store saltpeter that was supplied to the locals to produce gunpowder. The building has been sensitively restored by Greek architect Giannis Kizism retaining its fortress-like windows, the stone dome on the ground floor, and its wooden balconies and ceilings. Breakfasts (including homemade pies, local cheeses and fir honey) are a highlight, there’s a cafe open all day, and you can dine here on Friday to Sunday. archontikoanyfanti.com


Camvillia Resort, Vounaria, Koroni

This no-expense-spared resort combines glorious isolation on olive-planted slopes with proximity to the stunning Venetian seaside fortress of Koroni, with its pastel-washed houses and maze of twisting streets. Relax by the infinity pool, or try the heated pool in the fitness centre, which also includes a sauna and a hammam, as well as rooms for spa treatments based around olive oil (naturally). Rooms are decorated in soothing olive-silvery-green, and all have balconies or verandas, most with views to Koroni. Food is local and dinners, by chef Lefteris Tranoudakis, a foodies’ delight. camvillia.gr


Eumelia, Gouves

The name of this organic farm in the south-east Peloponnese means harmony, and it’s a perfect place to combine relaxation with learning about food and bio-dynamic agriculture. Rent one of the five eco-villas overlooking the vineyards and olive groves, and if you wish, join in olive oil and wine tastings, cookery classes and even olive picking. The accommodation uses eco-friendly materials and technology, and you can get biodynamically-grown vegetables from the gardens. It’s a beautiful region to explore too, with the port of Gytheion and the pretty mountain village of Kosmas both a short drive. eumelia.com


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