Monemvasia means “single entrance,” and as you cross the narrow bridge separating this fortified fist of land from the southeast tip of the Peloponnesus, you can see why.

Visitors usually fall for Monemvasia’s combination of nature and history, its serene view of the velvet-blue Mirtoon Sea, its collection of quirky, open-hearted locals offering a plate of "amygdalota" (almond cookies dusted with powdered sugar) or a glass of Malvasia white wine.

 

Highlights:

  • Vaulted alleys
  • Byzantine churches
  • Venetian mansions
  • The medieval castle of Monemvasia
  • Rich local cuisine
  • The Upper town
  • Romantic scenery, straight out of a fairytale

Monemvasia is a year-round destination that has to offer historical and artistic nerve center, always alive, always photogenic, independent of the weather. 

The total absence of vehicles combined with the strict regulations set by the Archaeology Services concerning the construction and reconstruction of buildings inside the Castle, render Monemvasia a fine example of an exquisitely preserved medieval settlement; untouched by time and thoughtless interventions that could have easily altered its character, the way they have in numerous other places across the country. The Castle of Monemvasia is built on a tiny island linked to the mainland by a 200m long causeway; that explains its name which derives from the Greek words “moni” and “emvasis”, meaning “single entrance”. It’s also called “Gibraltar of the East” due to its resemblance to its larger counterpart. The castle town of Monemvasia never ceased to be inhabited throughout the centuries. Its strategic position caused it to play an important role throughout history as a major trade and maritime center, claimed by many a conqueror. Nowadays, its former glory is omnipresent both in the Lower Town where the heart of the modern town beats and in the Upper Town whose relics have fascinating stories to tell.

The main cobbled street, “Kalderimi” as the locals call it, looks exactly as it did during the Byzantine Times, when it served as the trade center of the Castle. Not much has changed since then as all the shops and the majority of restaurants, hotels and bars are located along the “Kalderimi”. Nowadays, its official name is Yianni Ritsou street, in honor of the great Greek poet. Take a stroll and soak in the beauty surrounding you. Towards the end of the street you will find yourself at the Castle’s main square; sit back on the stone low wall and enjoy one of the most breathtaking views you have ever witnessed.

Don’t miss Christ Elkomenos Church on the main square, Agia Sofia Church, the only almost intact building in the Upper Town and The Church of Panagia on magnificent Chrysafitissa square; the latter is adjacent to the southern fortification of the Castle, right above the crashing waves.

Follow the signs to Portello; this used to be the gate for those entering the castle from the sea. The views and the feeling of calmness mingled with awe that you get once you pass this small gate are hard to describe. It’s just you, the black rocks and the sea. Then, back to Chrysafitissa square; go past it, exit the Castle walls and walk towards the lighthouse.

The Upper Town is also worth a visit and although it is uphill and tiring, the views are more than rewarding. It is uninhabited yet very interesting.

 

What to expect

  • Vaulted alleys
  • Byzantine churches
  • Venetian mansions
  • The medieval castle of Monemvasia
  • Rich local cuisine
  • The Upper town
  • Romantic scenery, straight out of a fairytale

Who it's for

Our trips are designed for private and corporate groups looking to explore the beauties of Greece while enjoying a ride.

Itinerary

  • 4 nights accommodation in a traditional guesthouse or 4* hotel, bed & breakfast basis
  • Maps and detailed travel information
  • Transfers from and to the airport
  • All taxes and service charges
  • 24hrs Assistance phone number

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