The Peloponnese is the south most extremity of the Balkan Peninsula and is linked to the Greek mainland by a narrow neck of land, the Isthmus of Corinth. The land is mountainous, leveling out to fertile alluvial plains at the head of inlets and along the coast. The morphology of the area and its favourable geographical situation has played an important part in the history of the Peloponnese, attracting many people of similar or different origins. Today it is divided into seven prefectures, still preserving the names they bore in antiquity and approximately the same boundaries: The Argolid, Corinthia, Achaea, Elis, Messinia, Laconia, and Arcadia. Each region of the Peloponnese offers special interest to the visitor, both because of the unique grandeur and beauty of the scenery and because of many archaeological sites, where the past is so vividly present. A mythical land whose every corner brings to mind some Greek myth. The Peloponnese is composed of images and music, the scent of the sea, of the mountains, of grapes, olives and citrus. The cities, towns and spas of the region were important centres in antiquity, and remain so today. Villages seem to grow out of the grey rock, the wild stones next to the hostile furze. Other villages lie by the vast open sea, but everywhere the people are hospitable and proud.