The Beautiful Region of the Peloponnese
All the Things to See and Do in and Around Porto Heli
Porto Heli is a small seaside village on the southern end of the Argolida peninsula, on the northeast of the Peloponnese region of Greece. Its convenient location, close to many major attractions of the Peloponnese such as the historic town of Nafplio and the charming islands of Saronikos gulf Spetses and Ydra makes it the ideal starting point for intriguing explorations around this beautiful region, whereas the capital city of Greece, Athens, is a mere 2 hours’ drive away. When in Porto Heli, you can indulge in various activities, from sightseeing, to water sports and island hopping; from here, the entire Peloponnese is yours for the taking; make the best of your visit and don’t miss a thing!
Beaches: Around Porto Heli you can find a number of beautiful beaches, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, scuba-diving and exciting water-sports. Ververonda is a pebbled beach, immersed in verdant nature with pine trees reaching all the way to the sea. The beach features a number of beach bars and it is favored among local youths for its vibrant energy. Agios Aimilianos is a series of sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, perfect for privacy and seaside relaxation as you can easily find a spot just for you! Chinitsa, favored among yachters, is a small haven with super-thin golden sands and lots of taverns tucked away in the cooling shadows of pine trees. In Porto Heli cove, the sunken city of Alieon makes for an exciting swim over the ancient ruins, but it should be noted that scuba-diving is not allowed near the site.
Sightseeing: There are so many noteworthy attractions in the vicinity of Porto Heli. The traditionally beautiful Nafplio is about an hour’s drive from Porto Heli, as well as the iconic Epidaurus amphitheater. Ancient Tirynth and ancient Mycenae with their famous Cyclopean Walls are also at a close driving distance.
Nafplio: Starting from the historic town of Naflio, the very first capital of Greece and undoubtedly one of the prettiest towns of Greece, where sightseeing never ends and amazing sceneries pop up around each corner. Its iconic landmark, the Bourtzi, is a fortress perched on top of an islet in the entrance of Nafplio harbor that was used as a jailhouse, as the House of Parliament and even as a luxurious hotel, today it is open to the public and occasionally hosts cultural events and festivals. Another landmark of Nafplio, the Venetian fortress of Palamidi is located on the town’s Acropolis, and offers an intriguing look into Greece’s history as well as gorgeous panoramic views to the town and the sea. When wandering around the quaint alleys of Nafplio, keep an eye out for some of its hidden treasures; the Bavarian Lion sculpture, the imposing Armansberg Mansion, the Vouleftikon – the first House of Parliament of Greece housed in an old mosque, the Trianon theatre, the Clock Tower, the Land Gate and of course, the Archaeological Museum of Nafplio with exhibits from the archaeological excavations of ancient Mycenae, Tirynth, Asini and more.
Mycenae: In the ruins of ancient Mycenae, the fabled city of King Agamemnon who led the Trojan War you will be mesmerized by the rich history and the sheer magnitude of the place. Pass through the magnificent Lions’ Gate and enter a realm of ancient architectural ingenuity and grandeur, visit the tombs of fallen kings and queens and explore treasures and legends that were thought to be long gone. The newfound Mycenae Museum hosts many of the treasures unearthed in the region, whereas other significant finds are on display in the Archeological Museum of Athens.
Tirynth: Another ancient city of the Mycenaean era, famous for its majestic fortification, also known as the Cyclopean Walls, as they are so big that only Cyclopes could have built them. Tirynth is the city from where Hercules was ordained to perform his legendary twelve feats by King Eyrystheas.
Epidavros Amphitheatre: The largest and most architecturally profound ancient theatre of Greece is known across the world for its unparalleled acoustics and the world renowned performances held on its grounds. Here you can admire the remarkable ingenuity of the Ancient Greeks, whereas, if you are visiting during the summer you might have the opportunity to attend a performance by distinguished artists or other noteworthy cultural events.
Activities: In the beaches around Porto Heli you will find a variety of water-sport activities to put your aptitudes to the test. From water skiing and Jet-skis to scuba diving and kite-surfing, there is a multitude of choices according to your level of expertise and your personal preferences. Land wise, there are plenty more activities to choose from; horseback riding tours, hiking tours, guided tours to major archaeological attractions and wine tours to some of the region’s most acclaimed wineries and estates.
Island Hopping: The islands of Spetses and Ydra, both very popular destinations among the Greek isles, are located conveniently close to Porto Heli, making island-hopping as easy as a breeze. Whether you choose to visit these islands on your private yacht or on the local ferries, getting there is quite easy. Both islands are connected to Porto Heli via frequent ferry lines, especially during the summer, and both feature modern marinas for those visiting on their yachts. Spetses is a quaint traditional island, unique in beauty and authentic appeal as it is entirely car free. You can walk around cobblestone alleys or enjoy horse-carriage rides around the town of Spetses for a genuine Greek island experience. Ydra, an imposing island that has also managed to maintain most of its traditional charm and a favourite destination of Picasso and Chagall, is close to Porto Heli. Grand and majestic, the birthplace of significant public figures of Greece throughout the centuries, Ydra is a destination you should not miss!
Gastronomy: The gastronomy of the Peloponnese revolves around traditional soul food. Hearty, wholesome meals that have been cooked for hours in a wood burning oven and that melt in your mouth are at the basis of the region’s cuisine. At the same time, fresh fish and lots of fresh local produce have a special place in the daily life of the locals. But that does not exclude fine dining and international cuisine. There is a rising interest for the joys of gourmet sensations and some exquisite restaurants are popping up in popular destinations such as Nafplio, as well as in Porto Heli and nearby locales. Of course, you can savour a unique, gratifying experience by your very own private chef at the stylish comfort of your Villa Costa.