Monemvasia. The peninsula of endless surprises.
At the southern tip of the Peloponnese, in the hospitable land of Laconia, there is a place of intense contrasts, the area of Monemvasia. In this place, between the endless blue of the sky and the sea, the green plains coexist with the spooky, arid landscapes, the impressive mountains, which rise through the clouds and the picturesque sea states. These contrasts, concentrated in a strip of land, are what make this area so special.
Come and discover together the undoubted beauty of Monemvasia and indulge in the charming atmosphere of the famous castle and the wider area, through separate paths in nature and history, which will cause an expected explosion of emotions.
The central image is the red rock of Monemvasia, which closes behind its walls stone cobbled streets, Byzantine churches, old architectural treasures and legendary historical memories. As a gift given, generously, to every visitor, the area offers one of the most beautiful landscapes in all of Greece and promises to inspire all the senses.
Inside the walls.
Behind the medieval walls of Monemvasia hides a city of dreams and poetry. For many, Laconia begins and ends here, on the walls and the loopholes, on the verandas of the houses, which seem to float above the sea, on the dark arches and on the roofs of red tiles, which reach the sea. The uphill streets of Monemvasia are decorated with palm trees and pomegranates, but also the heavy wooden doors of the houses, which adorn old coats of arms, carved in stone.
Poetry begins, already, from the main street of Monemvasia, with the name of Giannis Ritsos, who was born there. This main street in Kato Poli, built 11 centuries ago, as a kind of shopping street, is called Agora and passes through flowered courtyards, galleries that intersect with stairs, picturesque and beautiful small cafes and shops and leads to the main square. It is dominated by the beautiful church of the Dragged Christ, with the famous icon of the same name, a real masterpiece of ecclesiastical art, which in combination with the rare icons and other works of art of the church, reveals a great cultural treasure. In the central Tapia is the mosque of Monemvasia, which today houses important archaeological treasures, while a picturesque path leads to the equally impressive, Panagia Chrysafitissa, with the miraculous Byzantine icon of the Virgin, as well as the temples of Panagia Kritikias (Myrti) Agios Nikolaos, who contribute, in their own way, to the promotion of the cultural and religious heritage of the place. The walk along the sea wall from Chrysafitissa and to the south is wonderful: on the one hand there are the houses built in the amphitheater of Monemvasia and on the other the sea, which accompanies the gaze and the mind on the open horizon.
If you follow the uphill road and the "walks" you will reach the ruined, today, Ano Poli. Its silent and magical atmosphere will captivate all the senses. In a climate of natural and architectural mystagogy, it is almost certain that every visitor can imagine the medieval atmosphere, which emerges in every corner of the upper city, and listen to the memories of the Middle Ages. Ano Poli is a typical example of a medieval castle and spreads on a large plateau, with endless views of Myrtos, which is breathtaking. The Acropolis on its west side, is a huge fortress with impressive corner towers, which faithfully follow the rules of Venetian fortress architecture. In the upper city are preserved architectural remains of two-storey houses, which testify to the glamor of their aristocratic owners 0 and cause admiration with their elaborate construction. No traces of shops have been found, while of the many churches that existed in the past, one survives today, that of the Virgin Hodegetria - Hagia Sophia, a magnificent ecclesiastical architectural gem. The dimensions of the dome are impressive and undoubtedly awe-inspiring, as soon as the visitor enters the interior, while the frescoes, which complement the interior decoration of the church, are top works of Byzantine art and the church itself, hanging, neat, aside of the cliff, above the waves of Myrtos, offers a view that will not leave anyone unmoved.
Starting from Monemvasia you can make many nearby excursions. Laconia offers a natural environment of incomparable beauty. Beautiful traditional laconic settlements and a number of amazing beaches of crystal clear waters, promise to meet every expectation. The villages of Monemvasia are literally drowned in the green of the lush nature and hide their own beauties each. Gerakas stands out, with its wonderful port (porto Cadena), which is famous for its windless bay - fjord, which is invisible from the sea, being a base for sailing and other boats, which anchor in its safe anchorage and enjoy the warm hospitality of the locals. At the same time, the area offers one of the most beautiful caves in Greece, that of Kastania, a fossil forest, that of Agia Marina, lakes, wetlands and shady gorges, which enchant with their natural beauty, every nature lover. And whoever is lucky enough to go further south, to Cape Malia, at the meeting of three sea currents, along with the foamy waves will see ancient secrets, relics of monasteries and chapels and a lighthouse - a smash of eyes, which the locals saved , placing, deservedly, Monemvasia in the list of the most photogenic destinations in Greece.