Travel guide publisher Lonely Planet has released its annual list of top European destinations to visit in 2016, naming the southern Greek region of the Peloponnese as its Number 1 choice.
“Now more than ever the Peloponnese is the perfect destination for absorbing traditional Greek life, compelling history and inspiring landscapes,” Lonely Planet says on its website.
“Travelers to Greece tend to flock to the myriad islands or marvel at the iconic Acropolis, but one of the country’s most diverse, vibrant regions is often forgotten: the Peloponnese. It remains an affordable enclave of magnificent ancient sights like Olympia, Mycenae and Mystras, which are scattered across a rich landscape of stone villages, teal seas and snow-capped mountains,” it says.
The Top Ten experiences it names are visits to the seaside town of Nafplio, the shipwreck dive in Navarino Bay at Pylos, catching a show at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, bird-watching at Gialova Lagoon, a ride on the vintage rack-and-pinion railway between Kalavryta and Diakofto, partying at the Patra Carnival, exploring the Medieval walled town of Monemvasia, tasting the region’s famed olives, crossing the Corinth Canal to the Nemea wine region and touring the Peloponnese’s archaeological sites.
The second destination Lonely Planet recommends is Aarhus in Denmark, named European Capital of Culture and European Region of Gastronomy in 2017, followed by Venice, the Dordogne in France, Lviv in Ukraine, Warwickshire in England, Extremadura in Spain, the east coast of Tenerife, Textel in The Netherlands and Croatia’s northern Dalmatian coast.