The Peloponnese played an important role in ancient Greece and included many city-states with great history and mythology. In Percy Jackson, a team visits four cities in the Peloponnese to collect the ingredients for 'The Physician's Cure'.
The Peloponnese, also called Peloponnesus, is the peninsula to the southwest of central Greece and Athens. While many cities in this region were bustling metropolises during ancient Greece, they are much quieter in modern times, so a nice place to visit to escape the hustle and bustle of Athens and the islands.
In The Blood of Olympus, the fifth book of the second series, The Heroes of Olympus, Percy, Annabeth, and five other demigods visit four cities in this region to gain information and gather ingredients for the “Physician’s Cure,” a potion that can supposedly bring someone back to life. They need this potion in order to defeat Gaea, the earth goddess attempting to take over the world.
Olympia is probably the most famous of the ancient cities in the Peloponnese region. It is the birthplace of the Olympic games, which, according to mythology, were founded by King Pelops, whom the region is named after. Each Olympics still begins with a flame being lit in Olympia!
The Olympics in ancient times were also held every four years, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. People from all over the ancient world would come to compete. The games would honor Zeus and his statue at the site considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
The archeological site of Olympia - Photo Credit: Rachel Logan
Olympia is also where the characters in The Blood of Olympus spend the most time out of all the cities in the region. Leo, Percy, Frank, and Hazel visit the site and search for the goddess Nike, who forces them to stage competition in the ancient stadium.
Olympian Stadium - Photo Credit: Rachel Logan
Less popular as a tourist destination, the town of Pylos is still rich in mythological history. According to Homer’s epics, King Nestor ruled Pylos as a sage elder. The cave named after him, Nestor’s Cave, is said to be where the god Hermes hid 50 cattle he stole from his brother Apollo. The cave is about a 15-minute walk from the parking lot of Voidokilia Beach, but worth it for the breathtaking views of the sea.
“Nestor’s Cave” - Photo Credit: Rachel Logan
In The Blood of Olympus, Piper and Frank explore the seaside town of Pylos to find “Pylosian mint,” one of the ingredients of the Physician’s Cure. Frank finds it in Nestor’s Cave.
Sparta is another famous city, known for various movies including 300. Despite its historic popularity, the archeological site leaves some to be desired. In The Blood of Olympus, Piper describes it as a “field of rubble.” There is an archeology museum that gives you more of an idea of what Ancient Sparta would have been like.
Sparta Archaeological site - Photo Credit: Rachel Logan
In The Blood of Olympus, Annabeth and Piper explore the town, the archeology museum, the ruins, and even the Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil. They fight Ares’ sons, Phobos and Deimos, at the archeological site in order to secure another ingredient for the Physician’s Cure.
The entrance to the Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil - Photo Credit: Rachel Logan
In Greek mythology, Epidaurus was home to Asclepius, a son of Apollo and the god of medicine. The city was a major healing center in ancient Greece—people from all over the Mediterranean would visit.
Epidaurus is also home to what is considered the best-preserved ancient theater in Greece. Open to explore the many seats, the theater’s acoustics are astounding. Percy Jackson fans will be reminded of the amphitheater at Camp Half-Blood.
The theater in Epidaurus - Photo Credit: Rachel Logan
In The Blood of Olympus, Epidaurus is the characters’ last stop on the peninsula. Leo, Piper, and Jason enter the Tholos, a circular building possibly used for healing in ancient times, and meet the god Asclepius. They convince him to make the Physician’s Cure for them.
The Tholos at Epidaurus - Photo Credit: Rachel Logan
While the characters don’t visit or mention Mycenae in the books, it is still an interesting site to visit! The Greek hero Perseus, whom Percy Jackson was named after, was said to have founded Mycenae.
According to mythology, Perseus commissioned Cyclopes to build the walls of the city so that no man could destroy them. Percy Jackson fans will remember that Percy is very close with a particular Cyclops named Tyson, whom he considers a brother since they are both sons of Poseidon.
A section of the “Cyclopean Walls” of Mycenae - Photo Credit: Rachel Logan
Corinth is another city not directly related to the series, but another that is still worth visiting. Like Delphi in Central Greece, Corinth was once home to a major temple to Apollo, and some of the columns are still standing.
The Temple of Apollo in Corinth - Photo Credit: Rachel Logan
Make sure to also visit the Corinth Canal. You may see some boats passing through that remind you of the Argo II, the boat the demigods sail in The Heroes of Olympus!
The Corinth Canal - Photo Credit: Rachel Logan
Whichever of these unique and memorable cities you decide to visit, Greek Mythology Tours can help! We have a variety of tour packages sure to meet your individual needs. Send us an email to get started planning your trip to Greece!