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You’ll be hard pushed to tour the Peloponnese without a hire car, though devotees and non-drivers could manage on buses and trains.
Buses are efficient if charmless, linking all major towns and villages. Buses from Athens start at the main bus station called KTEL Kifissou, and have regular services to Nafplion, Tripoli, Kalamata, Sparta, Pirgos and Patras, plus occasional services to other towns.
Trains are slow but scenic, with one line across the middle from Corinth – Tripolis – Kalamata, and a second following the north and west coasts from Corinth – Patras – Kalamata, thus making a loop possible. If you take the second, make sure to include the spectacular detour along the rack-and-pinion railway line, which threads up the Vouraikos gorge from Diakofto to Kalavrita.
Cars can be hired locally in Kalamata, Patras, Tripoli and (in summer) the major resorts around Nafplion and Stoupa. If you enjoy scenic drives, don't miss out on the Kosmas pass (between Sparta and Leonidion) and the Langada pass (between Sparta and Kalamata). See our car rental recommendations.