The Peloponnesian embrace

The Peloponnesian embrace

The open arms of the Peloponnesian peninsula stretch out into the emerald waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Men travel from the ends of the earth to acquaint themselves with this enchanting land. Peloponnesian products have contributed to the prestige and the charm it exercises on the hearts of travellers. A pilgrimage to the emblematic archaeological sites in Peloponnese, acquaintance with sustainable nature, contact with an authentic way of life and taking part in the feast of flavours in Peloponnesian culture are the dream of a lifetime.

Travellers arriving in Peloponnese have the chance to be initiated into a world of colours, flavours, aromas and age-old secrets. The endless continuation of Peloponnesian existence creates the feeling that the present-day traveller walks in the footsteps of gods, heroes and mystics. Ancient monuments enchantingly existing alongside vibrant reality and the ever-present tradition offer a unique blend of experiences.

Modern tourist infrastructure in Peloponnese is totally compatible with its centuries-old history. The first-rate services one can enjoy, the hospitable nature of its inhabitants, the unparalleled natural beauty and the vitality of Peloponnese present an opportunity for escaping everyday life, as they attract a huge number of visitors every year. Peloponnesos is promoted in global travel culture as an authentic corner of the world, teeming with secrets and wonders.

 

The region of Peloponnese includes the prefectures of Corinth, Argolida, Arcadia, Messinia and Laconia, while Tripoli is the capital of the Prefecture of Arcadia. After the new administrative division (law 2503/97), the region of Peloponnese is constituted by 107 Local Authority Administrations of first degree: 14 Municipalities and 2 Communities in the Prefecture of Argolida, 22 Municipalities and 1 Community in the Prefecture of Arcadia, 13 Municipalities and 2 Communities in the Prefecture of Corinth, 22 Municipalities in the Prefecture of Laconia and 29 Municipalities and 2 Communities in the Prefecture of Messinia.

The main characteristic of the morphology of the region is the big mountains that constitute the 50,1% of its total extent, while only 19,9% of this area is flat and 30% is mountainous. However, the Region of Peloponnese allocates some of the most fertile regions such as Argolikos plain and the plain of Corinth.

The population of the region of Peloponnese according to the inventory of 2001 of the Greek National Statistical Organization amounts in 638.942 individuals, representing the 5,18 % of the total population of the country. The population of the Region of Peloponnese is mostly rural and it is characterized by a constant rhythm of growth of population which is accompanied by the respective ageing of the population.

 

The Region of Peloponnese plays an important role in the economic growth of the country, while it produces the 5,2% of the total Gross Added Value of the country. The main sector of the economic growth is the tertiary sector (with 55,9% of Gross Added Value), then follows thesecondary sector (with 30% of Gross Added Value) and the primary sector (with 14% of Gross Added Value).

The region of Peloponnese that is depending on its rich history and on its natural beauty is turning to tourism which shows an important growth. The total of overnight stays of foreigners and natives in the region of Peloponnese reaches up to 2,5 millions and corresponds to a 5% of the country in total.

The morphology of the Region of Peloponnese provides the potentials for the growth ofalternative forms of tourism. The promotion of tourism, the collaboration of institutions of private and public sector, as well as the support of new investments (www.ependyseis.gr) for the improvement of the tourist product are promoted in the region of Peloponnese within the framework of the tourist growth.

 

Culture

Since Peloponnese had been resided for the first time until today, it has been a vital space of Greek territory.Tied up with the rest of the country but with intensely its own character and geographic configuration, that encouraged a multiform growth of culture, without however losing its singularity, it is one of the most important centers, where the Greek culture was created and has been remained genuine for centuries.

Each region of Peloponnese from the beginning had the particular traits that characterized the life and art in the centuries that followed. Argolida and Korinthia in direct contact with the Greek sea, that linked them with the East were always the regions where the new ideas took their Greek character and were developed permanently in new forms of culture.

Arkadia isolated in the mountains created its own world and remained faithful in its own traditions.Messinia is one of the regions that have been inhabited since the prehistoric era and demonstrated a considerable residential and cultural development during the Mycenaean era. Laconia or otherwise “Ekatompolis”, as it was named in antiquity, due to its numerous cities, had early contacts with Crete and was a center of Mycenaean civilization. Its art workshops became well known during archaic period, under the profound Ionian influence.

 

During the last period of Prehistoric years in the late Helladic or Mycenaean period (1600 – 1100 B.C) Peloponnese reached its highest level of culture and became substantially the center of Greek world.

The last phase of this season (1400 – 1100 B.C.) was a period of big development with the foundation of cities and palaces, the growth of writing and the monumental forms of art.

 

Peloponnese: the Land of Abundance

The region of Peloponnese, looking out over the Mediterranean Sea, comprises a very special part of the Greek state; with its intensely rugged terrain, endless beaches, huge mountains and invaluable rivers, it embraces fascinating towns and vibrant villages.

Human presence in Peloponnese is enveloped in the mist of legend. Arcadian mountains are believed to be the cradle of the human species. Historians’ accounts reveal that the first organized cities were established in hospitable Peloponnese.

The mild climate in Peloponnese, both on the coast and in the mountains, the outstanding quality of its spring waters and its safe and fortified sites favoured human presence. A centuries-old civilization flourished and still flourishes amidst this lush, dentelated terrain.

The exceptional geomorphological diversity of the land helped create a wonderful variety of flora and fauna. Hundreds of herbs, wild greens, trees and plants make up the exquisite, multicoloured habitat for humans, animals and proud birds. The Peloponnesian ecosystem is highly endemic, a fact which contributes to the uniqueness of Peloponnesian agricultural products.

The flavour, aroma and texture of various fruits and delicacies differs from region to region, offering incomparable moments of culinary culture; at the same time producers’ noble dedication to traditional forms of cultivation and stock-raising , along with Peloponnese’ inventive cuisine, assure modern man of the genuine enjoyment of original flavours. A rich table with smoked pork, country-laid eggs, fresh cheese and sweet-smelling vegetables, accompanied by shimmering, red Mantineia wine, is not simply a meal, it is a leap into eternal Peloponnesian culture.