Europe's most ancient capital has sashayed into the new millennium in style after a decade of primping for the 2004 Olympics. For a change of pace, the Saronic islands are close by, and excursions north to Thebes and Delphi are easy, while just over the Corinth Canal lies the majestic, enigmatic Peloponnese, garden of Greece and cradle of her oldest myths. Names such as Olympia, Sparta, Arcadia, Mycenae and the River Styx hover on the fine line of a dream. The author's intimate knowledge of southern Greece will put you on the inside track, whether you want to visit five-star attractions, relax on a beach or discover secret places out of time.It has a dynamic new two-colour layout for easy navigation. It features a new magazine style, combining stunning photography, tailored itineraries and a personal take on the country. It includes clear, newly-designed two-colour maps throughout for increased ease of use. These are the only guides with full-colour touring maps of the whole region. There are extensive listings of hotels and restaurants - all personally recommended for a really local flavour.It also includes 'Top Don't Miss' sights for each regional chapter, plus 'Author Choices' of personal favourite places to stay and eat.
Excerpt: Mount Lykaio: Haunt of Ancient Werewolves
Et in Arcadia Ego. As the expression goes, death exists, even in Arcadía. But even without stories of werewolves and human sacrifice as an incentive, the isolated top of Mount Lykaio, or ‘Wolf’ Mountain, would be worth visiting. From Lykósoura, drive up past Áno Kariés to the top of the mountain. Much of the road is unpaved after Áno Kariés, but it is a good road. You can drive there, or it’s about an hour’s hike.
Think of the entire mountaintop as a shrine complex, albeit a sparsely built one. The setting itself inspired the worship. The stupendous view reveals at least a third of the Peloponnese on a clear day, giving the sensation of being on top of the world. and a slightly alien world at that. The dome-like summit, the traces of deserted terraced fields, stone walls and slate grey huts, all combine to create an austere backdrop for a shrine that goes back to some of the earliest Greek rain-making rites. ...click here to read the rest
Enthusiastic and knowledgable, /5
Our family used this guide for a one week tour around the Peloponnese and found it great fun and very useful. We spotted one mistake - a hotel that was east not west of a village - but otherwise the enthusiasm for everything from the mythology to the food of the region was terrific. We didn't need another guide for the sites or history and the hotel and restaurant information was pretty accurate.
Good, but...., /5
When it comes down to the nitty gritty this book is exactly what you want while exploring the Pelopponese.A detailed guide to every town and site worth mentioning in the area.
There are just two drawbacks. Firstly the order of the entries is not always logical so the index is the way round this book. That is just a minor quibble. A greater irritant is that the style can be very odd indeed. This may be that something is lost in translation or that the authors are using phrases common in Greek but not normally used in English...Sometimes a description can be great but sometimes it is all a bit overwhelming.
Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org