Useful infos about Monemvasia
The town's name derives from two Greek words, μόνη και έμβασις, meaning "the only entrance". This refers to the causeway which is the only entrance. Monemvasia is basically a Byzantine settlement, much like Mystra. The major difference is that it was never abandoned, and people still live here. Anywhere else this would have led to modernisation and the loss of the old town, but Monemvasia had one advantage going for it, and the clue is in the name: it means ‘Single Entrance’. Like Mystra the town was surrounded by walls, and there is only one gateway that leads through them towards the causeway and the mainland. Crucially it was, and remains, too small for cars. The villagers probably cursed this, and many of them moved to Gefyra, the mainland settlement opposite the rock, but it meant that the old style of the town endured.
Above all Monemvasia is for couples: to wander, hand-in-hand, down the cobbled lanes; to browse the small boutiques in search of art or jewellery; to sip cocktails on terraced platforms above tiled roofs. It is still a place of beauty for those on their own, but if you are in love, you have found your Mecca.
In one of the rock slopes is a medieval town wedged belted by walls, ramparts, towers: the famous castle of Monemvasia. Passing through the gates of the castle you enter the medieval town of Monemvasia. Be enchanted by the narrow streets that run Monemvasia from side to side and switch to another era reliving scenes from the battles of the past.
The stone houses, the Byzantine churches, the cobblestone streets, the mansions with its unique architecture and powerful walls untouched by time transport visitors at a time when Monemvasia was one of the most important castles in the Peloponnese, a trade center and a place of historical battles.
In the main alley you’ll find many small charming shops, cafes and restaurants. The time seems to have stopped in the Middle Ages and you’re there. The architecture of the castle testifies the residents during the centuries. The buildings follow a Venetian style with characteristic arches everywhere. At first it seems labyrinthine to navigate in Monemvasia, but the town was made at times that the threat of invasion was visible and the time it would take the enemy to wander the streets would be valuable for residents to move to the top of the rock.The walls of the castle show proof and still awe-inspiring to visitors. In the castle there are about 10 -20 families as permanent residents, however the bridge connect them with thousands of mainland tourists from around the world.
Follow them: Like entering the time machine, you will go into another era and relive scenes from the battles of the past simply by observing the signs of the bullets at the entrance, a dowry of a siege or walking in the stone streets of the medieval town and passes the high arches.
At the beginning you wander through the Down Town. But the city that first was built is the Upper Town in the top of the rock, which was occupied by the rulers and was the seat of administration. The upper town is now deserted, but overlooks the church of Hagia Sophia and rescued the three-dimensional stunning communal wells.
On the other hand, the DownTown with winding alleys is like a small maze, and their homes due to lack of space seem to ride on top of one another. You will be impressed by the architecture of the houses. The middle path is full of tourist shops, restaurants, cafes and bars.
At the left after the small tunnel portal, climb the stairs to enter the and find the house of the poet John Ritsos, with a terrace hanging over Myrtoo Sea.Then you will be lost again and again on the cobbled streets to the mansions, see Byzantine churches (40 in number with each having its own history algae atmosphere) and enter the church of Elkomenos Christ and the archeological museum which is housed in a listed Mosquess building. Definitely visit the desolate Upper Town through the stone uphill path (the ascent takes about 20 minutes). Be impressed by the amazing view from the church of Hagia Sophia that was built by the wife of Andronicus in memory than in Istanbul.
Visit the stone houses, Byzantine churches, cobblestone streets, mansions with its unique architecture and strong walls untouched by time. All of them and the live down town transport visitors at a time when Monemvasia was one of the largest castles in the Peloponnese , trade center and location of historic battles.
Outside the castle there is the graphic new settlement of Monemvasia with many options for dining and entertainment.
In Monemvasia there are many restaurants and taverns to try out local recipes, fresh seafood and drink wine region. In Monemvasia there are produced many traditional sweets of the region including the famous Monemvasia almond, famous samousades, diples, kourampiedes, melitinia and rafiolia. Do not forget to taste and take it with you.
In the castle and the new town you will find several places to enjoy your meal, all with beautiful views of the castle walls and Myrtoo Sea that lies ahead. There are also many cafes and bars to enjoy a drink in perfect harmony with the enchanting environment and just outside the Bridge with direction to Athens there is an outdoor club for dancing and fun.
- You may visit the Byzantine churches and monuments of the Castle, the Church of Christ Elkomenos and Panagia Grisafiotissa with the large enclosure that hosts many cultural events during the summer.
- You may visit the archaeological museum in the castle square with findings from the Byzantine period.
- You may hike in the alleys of the Castle and parallel to the walls. Be enchanted by the narrow streets that run Monemvasia from side to side and switch to another era. In the main alley you’ll find many small charming shops, cafes and restaurants. The time seems to have stopped in the Middle Ages and you’re there.
- You may hike in the Upper City and enjoy the breathtaking view
- Running and cycling out of the town streets
- Hiking to the Lighthouse at Kavos Maleas, the southern part of Peloponnese
- Swimming (see beaches near Monemvasia here)
- You may visit the fjord of Gerakas
- You may visit Kiparissi village
- You may visit the Larnaka Gorge at Molaoi
You may visit the Caves of Diros and the Cave of Kastania
Our staff is available for you for any additional information regarding to any possible activities to the area
Kakavos is the main beach of Monemvasia. It is covered with pebbles and located on the left of the bridge against the backdrop of the castle of Monemvasia. In this beach apart from the clear water you will also have the convenience of direct access to nearby cafés and bars.
Great beach area at the exit of Monemvasia to Sparta (about 3 km from the hotel). It combines the shade of many trees and pine trees in the clean sea. Ideal for water sports, has several tavernas overlooking the Myrtoo sea and the rock of Monemvasia.
Great beach area at the exit of Monemvasia to Neapoli with fine gravel (about 5 km from the hotel). The area has in turn bays ideal for swimming, while the region has several taverns.
There are many restaurants, cafes and bars for your entertainment in the city and in the castle of Monemvasia.
You will find taverns with fresh fish and great restaurants with amazing appetizers and homemade food prepared from fresh local ingredients. Try the famous gogles, tsaitia, chicken in wine sauce, kokkinisto and baked-grilled delicious meat.
Starting from Monemvasia you can visit and explore the surrounding villages and pristine beaches.
A unique fiodr, one of the largest natural harbors in Greece, which forms an important wetland, lagoon, which hosts rare birds. Gerakas with its port, the Port Geraka are one of the most picturesque villages of Laconia.The houses, the island colors, taverns, and the tranquil waters of the enclosed lagoon is a landscape that will surely impress you.
A picturesque village with amazing beaches
Kastania Cave: The terrestrial cave ranked second of its kind across Europe and has a great diversity of formations, shapes and colors. Nature took three million years to create the incomparable decoration.(Approximately 80 minutes from Monemvasia – you can visit daily from 10:00 to 18:00).
Beautiful resort with sandy beach and taverns. Near the ancient city of Asopos, which sank in 375m.Ch. by a powerful earthquake. The ancient city is distinguished as you walk the rocks near the beach Pachiammou.The most impressive part of the underwater city is visible to the naked eye (20 minutes from Monemvasia).
A small coastal town with a huge sandy beach. Worth a stroll at dusk in the pedestrian seaside street.
Small island, across from Neapolis. You can reach the island through small ferries that route every day and very often. On the island you can find unique beaches with exotic color and one of the most famous and beautiful beaches (Simos beach) of the Mediterranean with crystal clear turquoise waters (60 minutes from Monemvasia).
At the edge of the Dirou bay there are the famous Alepotrypa caves, Katafygi and Vlychada that are considered the oldest lake caves in the world. In Vlychada you can see by boat the amazing stalagmites and stalactites in colorful designs and shapes.
Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport
Prefecture of Laconia
Weather in Monemvasia
Municipality of Monemvasia
Info: Everyday, small bus route running from the bridge of the Monemvasia Castle (about 1 km), every 30 minutes.