Here at Blue Parallel we are constantly evolving in order to provide our clientele with the finest luxury travel experiences the world has to offer. Of course, the best part of this process is the research! Blue Parallel sends multi-lingual teams to each of our destinations throughout the year to expand our experiences and ensure we offer the very best each unique location has to offer. Two of our directors (Hallie and Stephanie) recently returned from a familiarization (FAM) journey through Greece and the Peloponnese. As part of this FAM journey they spent a number of beautiful days exploring the Peloponnese, and we are delighted to share their findings…
The Peloponnese is a peninsula in southern Greece that has been inhabited since prehistoric times. In 776BC the first Olympic Games were held in the western region of Olympia. This was the very heart of ancient Greek civilization, where the legends of Sparta and Argos were born, a land of enchanting beauty and fierce battles. The rich history lives on in the monuments of the ancient Greeks.
Day One: Mycenae
In the second millennium BC, Mycenae was an epicenter of Greek civilization, a powerful military stronghold that dominated much of southern Greece. According to classical myth, Mycenae was founded by Perseus himself. This golden city is linked to the Iliad and the Odyssey, which have influenced European art and literature for more than three millennia. The permanence of Greek culture seems to radiate from every perfectly placed block.
Behold the Lion’s Gate at Mycenae, the only known monumental sculpture of Bronze Age Greece.
We then visited the Epidaurus Theatre, a celebrated healing center and a retreat of the classical world where the sick sought refuge in hopes of being cured. It is one of the oldest and most well-preserved Ancient Greek theatre. The theatre was constructed in two phases: the first phase took place around the end of the 4th century BC and the second was in the middle of the 2nd century BC. It is also considered the most perfect Greek theatre in regards to acoustics and aesthetics, beyond boasting a commanding view of the surrounding landscape. The theatre is still in use today during the Epidaurus Festival, which is traditionally carried out during the summer months.
Once the seaside capital of the First Hellenic Republic (during the beginning of the Greek revolution, from 1821 – 1834), Nafplio played an important role in the country’s first years as an independent nation. The city is flanked by the Palamidi fortress built by the Venetians during their occupation of the area from 1686 – 1715. It was then taken over by the Turks up until 1822, when it was forcefully captured by the Greeks. The fortress commands impressive views of the red tiled roofs of Nafpoli and the Argolis Gulf. The Ottoman fountains, Venetian buildings and abundance of bougainvillea hanging from every archway and balcony makes it one of the most romantic cities in Greece. It’s the perfect spot to wander around without a map or sit and sip a Freddo cappuccino in one of the many sidewalk cafes.
After hiking through the countryside, we arrived at the Avgo Monastery. Built on the side of a cliff, it has seen its fair share of history. The monastery of Avgo is recognized as an exceptional Byzantine monument and a preserved archaeological site. Built over 1000 years ago, its contains murals dating back to the 11th century and at one time was home to 30 Byzantine monks. The members of the monastery participated in the revolution of 1821 against the Ottoman Empire. It is currently under restoration and its pristine location boasts expansive views of the valley and sea.
After exploring the interior of the 11th century Byzantine monastery, we enjoyed a delicious gourmet picnic lunch with the lush valley serving as a dramatic background , a true Blue Parallel touch.
We stayed at the luxurious Amanzoe, situated on a hilltop on the east coast of the Peloponnese. Photo credit @Amanzoe
The resort offers exceptionally personalized service, private pools in all pavilions, and expansive views of the countryside, the Aegean Sea, and the island of Spetses. The sleek, modern design combines with classic Greek architecture surrounded by olive groves to make for an unparalleled experience. The Amanzoe embodies modern luxury travel and is an integral part of any Blue Parallel Experience.
Main Photo Credit – Amanzoe