Welcome to Laconia
Laconia lies in the south-eastern part of the Peloponnese and it combines contrasts and breathtaking landscapes. The fertile valley of Evrotas and the stone built Mani, the inaccessible rock of Monemvasia, and the glorious cave of Diros, the wonderful beaches and traditional villages, the history of ancient Sparta and religious monuments altogether fascinate and enchant visitors. Sparta was the town of Menelaus and his wife Helen, the most beautiful woman that brought the war to the town’s walls.A great cultural ancient and byzantine treasure can be found in the area surrounding the town. Taygetus is the highest mountain of Peloponnese offering mountainous spots ideal for alternative tourism. In the byzantine town of Mystras visit the churches with the magnificent frescos, the manors, walk on the roads and learn about the king that still waits in the palace of his ancestors. Take a nostalgic walk among castles, fortresses, knights and princesses in Monemvasia, one of the most romantic spots in Peloponnese. The laconian region of Mani is at the present one of the most popular traditional settlements. Gythio offers a breathtaking view, traditional architecture and charming beaches…. Enjoy the crystal waters and sandy beaches in Elafonissos.Visit Kythira the Aphrodite’s Island! Being laconic is a virtue but not when it comes to describing beauty….!
Laconia at a glance
Combines history, civilization and natural environment any lime of the year either for quiet and relaxing holidays or interesting sightseeing tours…….
Start with Sparta and the surrounding areas. Somewhere in the alleyways of the city is the tomb of Leonidas, the famous king of Sparta. It is a funerary monument dating back to the 5th century B.C. called “Leonidaion”. In the city you will also see some ruins of Roman buildings. Right outside Sparta, to the north of the city, you will find the ancient theater, the sanctuary of Melenas and Helen (known as “Helen the Beautiful”), the Temple of Artemis (Diana), and the Temple of Athena Poliouchos. Unfortunately, their state of conservation is not very good. Most of these are just ruins. Let us now explore the rest of the region. Climb the mountains and seek Epidaurus Limera.
Laconia is a vast plain featuring olive and orange trees. The river Eurotas and the valley of the same name bring life to it. Take the river and instead of fresh juice, drink from its water! Hiking and rock-climbing are an experience not to be missed. In Mount Taygetos and Mount Parnonas you will find shelters, trails and climbing paths perfectly well signposted. Also, European hiking trail E4 goes through the valley of Laconia, ends in Gytheion, and resumes in Crete. We also recommend an off-trail vehicle safari in the mountain villages in the area. And lastly, sailing along the coast in a private craft offers a view on some breathtaking landscapes, especially the eastern coasts of the two peninsulas.
Wherever you go you will find some beautiful beaches, fresh and well prepared food, small spots to rest in the countryside, as well as a wide variety of leisurely activities you might want to try out. Experience Laconia to the fullest.
The outstanding features of Laconia are an abundance of medieval Byzantine and Venetian castle-towns, the stone towers of the Mani, barren landscape with rugged mountains, rocky shores, strong winds and a history whose roots go back to the Neolithic era (6000-3000 BC).
Laconia’s first inhabitants were the Lelegians, who were succeeded by the Ahaians, the Ionians and the Dorians, who based themselves in the vicinity of Sparta around 1100 BC.
Until the time of Alexander the Great, Sparta and Athens were the biggest city-states in ancient Greece.
In 146 BC the region was conquered by the Romans, while in the 13th century it again fell to Westerners led by the Crusader Guillaume de Villehardouin, remaining in the hands of the Franks until 1262 when the Byzantine Palaiologos rulers regained control and founded the Despotate of the Morea.
In the 17th century, the whole of the Peloponnese surrendered to the Turks, who occupied all of southern Greece till 1821. The revolution to throw off the Turkish yoke had its start in the Peloponnese or Morea.
Laconia combines history, civilization and natural environment in such a way that it is worth visiting any lime of the year either for quiet and relaxing holidays or interesting sightseeing tours.
Byzantine and Frank forts, fascinating Mystras, the rock of Monemvasia, the legendary Mani with its traditional stone towers, the unique Dyros caves, and historic Sparta, are some of Laconia’s major sights that attract tourists all year round.
The rock and castle of Monemvasia
Medieval City Of Mystras
Cape Tenaro, the mythical gates of the underworld
Mani – Famous Travel Writers and Movies
Discover the best kept secrets in Mani
One needs 3 days just to cross Mani, 3 months to wander around it and 3 lives to understand its soul. One life will be spend to investigate its sea, one to get its mountains and one to get to know its people!
Mani is one of the most traditional regions in Greece, with 800 towers and tower houses, more than 1,000 Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches, 6 fortresses, 98 of the 118 traditional settlements in the Peloponnese and more than 100 caves, the best known of which are the caves of Diros. To the Greeks, Mani is a very special region with its own distinct character. It’s an isolated and beautiful area, with very distinct local traditions that set it apart from the rest of Greece. This region is definitely a treasure trove of churches, castles and stunning scenery, which make any visit here unforgettable. Tower houses and fortified family dwellings dating from the Ottoman occupation dominate the picturesque villages spread across this peninsula, which is an ideal destination for travellers all year round!
Mani is located on the south Peloponnese occupying the north-western section of the Laconia region and the north-eastern part of the Messinia region with the Taygetos Mountains in the centre. It starts 4 km northeast from the city Githion its village Verga borders in Kalamata. Mani stretches along the middle finger of Peloponnese and reaches the most southern tip of Greece at cape Tenaro. On the West it is watered by the Messinian bay and on the East – by the Laconian one. The length of Mani is 75 km; its area equals 1800 sq.km. High rocks and inaccessible siliceous shores of Mani complete the picture of a wild and deserted place.
Laconian Mani and Messinian Mani: Administratively Mani belongs to two regions: those of Messinia and Laconia. It consists of about 250 sun lit villages and sites with plenty of olive trees and cactuses. Mani is one of the most traditional spot of Greece!