It is called the "Gibraltar of the East" because if seen in miniature it is identical to the Rock of Gibraltar. We thought of a trip to this beautiful place which is not your typical summer destination, but it’s well worth the visit.
Monemvasia stands out for its Castle, which has two settlements and is among the most beautiful sights in the country. If you look at the photos, you immediately understand why.
In the Castle, there are 40 churches, the most famous of which are those of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, Panagia tis Kritikia, Agios Nikolaos, Agios Stefanos, Agios Pavlos, and Agia Anna.
Monemvasia is divided into two parts: the Upper Town - which was built first and is not inhabited - and the Lower Town which is inhabited nowadays and hosts important attractions. The great Greek poet Giannis Ritsos, whose tomb is located there, also hails from Monemvasia.
It is located in the prefecture of Laconia and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places. The historic castle state of the South is a wonderful destination for any time of year as the unique atmosphere is unbeatable!
Monemvasia constantly attracts visitors from all over Greece and the world, to get to know its diversity and its multiple and varied elements against a romantic backdrop, while it is ideal for all seasons of the year, for weekends or multi-day getaways, for relaxation or action!
What you must do in Monemvasia – our 10 Stops
Monemvasia easily meets every visitor's requirement and desire, but beyond what you will want to see and do, here is a list of 10 things that one should do when visiting the area!
- Stop at the two amazing squares, Elkomenos Christos and Panagia Chrysafitissa, in the Lower Town. The landscape and surrounding atmosphere will not only enchant you but will "transport" you back in time and the history of Kastropolitia.
- Walk to reach the Upper Town and tour the neighborhood revealed by recent archaeological work. A visit to the temple of Agia Sophia is more than mandatory. The view of the Lower City and the endless blue is simply a unique experience.
- Look for Ierakas, not only for the wetland and the tavernas with local flavors but also to meet the unique fjord in Greece and tour the once famous Byzantine port, from where the famous Malvasia wine was exported, which also gave the name Porto Delle Botte, i.e., "port of the barrels"
- Don't forget to take the highly impressive route that will take you to Kyparissi. The delightful course on the wild and steep mass of Parnonas and the amazing view of the Myrtle Sea will give you the feeling that you are moving in the air. At the end of the route, Kyparissi, the sheltered Aegean settlement will reward you with excellent images.
- A visit to Monemvasia without a stop in seaside Neapolis is not complete. Look for the new Archaeological Museum to get a taste of the area's historical heritage and the Maritime Museum to feel the Vatican's ties to the sea. Wander through the alleys of the city and its beachfront and organize your excursions to the neighboring village of Faraklo, from where you can enjoy the panoramic view of Neapolis, the Vatican plain, Elafonisos, and even Kythira.
- The cave of Kastania is also a unique experience. Hidden somewhere between the villages of Kastania and Ano Kastania, in the shadow of the eastern end of Mount Parnon, the cave, a geological "miracle" that is approximately 3 million years old, will surprise the visitor, leaving him to choose the games of imagination and emotions with which he will enjoy this "jewel" of Monemvasia.
- Among the most impressive destinations of Monemvasia is the Petrified Palm Forest of Agios Nikolaos. This is another unique creation of nature and an amazing landscape of incomparable beauty, where trunks from the former palm forest (palms, conifers, and broadleaves) - some of which emerge from the sea - are mixed with rare imprints of shells, algae, against the background of the wild landscape of Kavomalia and the deep blue waters.
- Follow the most famous hiking route in the area, from the beautiful Velanidia to the famous Cape Malea. The path through a natural landscape distinguished by its wild beauty ends at the stone lighthouse of Malea, which was built in 1860 and is one of the most famous and important lighthouses in the Greek lighthouse network.
- Monemvasia is the municipality with the longest coastline in the whole country. The road trip in the Laconic gulf from Elia to Neapoli will offer you unique natural landscapes, such as Plytra with its sunken state, Archangelos with its extraordinary beauty, and Viglafia with its tropical waters.
- Move to the "heart", inland of Monemvasia and discover its dozens of large and small villages, which preserve the identity and traditional colors of the place unchanged. The Larnaca Gorge in Molai, the traditional watermill in Talanta, and the footsteps of Yiannis Ritsos in Velies are just some of your options.