The Greek island you have to visit in 2016

"Arkadia", Peloponnes, Greece; June 2005 Stemnitsa 1100 m früher Glockengießer- und Kupfer+Silberschmied-Handwerk Wolken h+10, k+10 Schneeberge h+10,k+10 zu dunkles grün h+30, k+30 usm 80,0.8,0

When it comes to the Greek islands it can be hard to choose which one to visit. Whether it’s beautiful coastline, the quaint towns or the dramatic landscape it’s easy to see why they are among the most popular destinations in Europe.

However, there is one part of the country that rises up above the rest – the Peloponnese. As part of Lonely Planet’s annual list of where to visit in the coming year it topped the bill despite being somewhat overlooked by holidaymakers in favour of the likes of Athens and many of the other islands.

The capital may have the iconic Acropolis and the Parthenon but the Peloponnese is home to the ancient sights of the Olympia, Mycenae and Mystra. Then there is also the medieval castle town of Monemvasia which is one the most unique parts of the world. Sat on its mini island it has a wealth of winding streets and many Byzantine churches.

Lonely Planet explains that 2016 is the perfect time to visit the Peloponnese as it recently opened the Menalon trail, stretching over 70 kilometres between Stemnitsa and Lagkadia providing an excellent route for hikers. Divers will love the shipwrecks off the Navarino coast while it would be rude not to sample the delicious tipple from the Nemean wine region.

Aside from the Peloponnese, the travel guide publisher’s list included a few of old favourites and along with a number of new, left-field additions. The likes of Venice, Tenerife and the Dordogne region of France featured in the list; there was also a nod to some destinations that may raise an eyebrow.

The Danish city of Aarhus was named the second best place to visit in 2016, home to innovative architecture and fine cuisines, while Lviv in Ukraine and Texel in the Netherlands both featured high up in the list. There were also mentions for the Extremadura region in Spain while Northern Dalmatic in Croatia was praised for boating some of the “cultural highlights” of the Adriatic.

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