According to travel experts from around the world

By Marisa Spyker
July 18, 2018
Darren Robb/Getty Images

From the craggy English seashore to the sun-kissed beaches of Croatia, Europe has some pretty stellar coastline. But where, exactly, is the absolute best place to set up your beach towel?

According to the World Travel Awards—sort of like the Oscars for the travel industry—it’s not Nice or Ibiza or Santorini, but another Greek locale you might not have immediately guessed.

Peloponnese, a region perhaps more known for Hercules and the Olympic games than it is for its beaches, took top honors in the “leading beach destination” category this year, beating out finalists such as Cannes, Majorca, and three-time champ The Algarve, Portugal. The win is certainly worth noting, as it’s voted on by travelers and travel industry professionals from around the world.

Related: The Cheapest Places To Travel Each Month of the Year:

The Peloponnese peninsula, located at the Southern tip of Greece, is often visited for its history—it’s most notably home to ancient Olympia, as well as many other archaeological sites, Byzantine churches, old settlements, and castles.

Slawek Staszczuk/Getty Images

But, really, where would Poseidon be without an ocean nearby? Just a quick javelin throw from Olympia, Peloponnese boasts gorgeous exotic shorelines, from quiet fishing villages to resort towns with crystal clear water. And when afternoon hunger strikes, fresh fish plucked straight from the Mediterranean Sea, plus local wines made on the coast, are on the menu. Sounds like a gold medal-worthy vacation to us!