……an historic journey back through the ages!
The Byzantine fortress town of Monemvasia, the “stone ship” referred to by the poet Yiannis Ritsos, stands sentinel on the south-eastern coast of Laconia. Castles, walls, old mansions, narrow cobbled lanes, churches, low arches and vaults, coats of arms, imperial marble thrones, Byzantine icons all give the impression of a town untouched by time……
Its official name is Monemvasia, although there are some slight variations in Greek, along with different forms of pronunciation – such as Monovasia. This Greek name is derived from the two words meaning single entrance, that is, the only entrance to the fortress town.
The old town of Monemvasia is a perfectly preserved medieval settlement still inhabited, an world cultural heritage monument and a major attraction for every traveller in the Peloponnese. It has a unique, magical atmosphere and a fascinating history.
Monuments and churches are scattered throughout the old town. An important archaeological collection is housed in the old mosque in the Square of Elkomenos Christos.
At the other end of the causeway on the mainland is the new town of Monemvasia. Along the coast to the south is the settlement of Nomia.
Neighbouring Agios Ioannis is recommended for those who would like to try authentic local dishes.
Both within and around Monemvasia are a number of excellent beaches.
Noteworthy sights further inland include the watermill at Talanta and the Velies Folklore Museum.
Religious monuments outside the old town in the surrounding area include the twin churches in Teria and the church of Agios Nikolaos in the village of the same name.
Romantic Escapes: Monemvasia has become popular in recent years for couples looking for a romantic holiday, firstly with Athenians who kept coming back for weekends in summer and winter. Now visitors come from all over Greece and from abroad. The idyllic setting is complemented by numerous bars and taverns, both within the fortress town and in many other parts of the area. Special mention should be made of the delicious local wine.
Getting to Monemvasia
Car: The easiest and quickest route from Athens to Monemvasia is via the highway A7 to Corinth and Tripoli. The distance from Athens is approx. 285 km., total driving time +/- 3,5 hours.
Ferry: During the summer season you can reach Monemvasia by ferry boat from Piraeus port.
Kalamata International Airport – approx. 160 km distance (2.5 hours)
Athens International Airport – approx. 285 km distance (3.5-4 hours)