Monemvasia Guide-What to expect from Monemvasia?

Wandering in the castle of Monemvasia, in the Prefecture of Laconia, looks like a journey in the past, in places and times we haven’t lived but have read and heard about them. Spartan nobles, Romans, Turks, Venetians are some of the inhabitants of this place and their presence has remained indelible through the centuries. Churches, fountains, hammam and wealthy merchants’ homes are within the cobblestones of the castle as well as small wooden arched doors reminiscent of the land of Hobbits.

The name of Monemvasia, built on a limestone rock on the southeastern coast of the Peloponnese, about 20 nautical miles from Cape Malai, overlooking the blue of the Myrtoan Sea, is a compound word derived from the two Greek words “Moni” and “Emvasis”. The poet Yiannis Ritsos came from Monemvasia, where his tomb is today. In the area of ​​Monemvasia, Malvasia is also produced, a sweet, sun-dried wine of protected designation of origin (PDO).

The 10 best things to do and see in Monemvasia

Stroll the alleys of the castle
Walk to the south wall
To climb up to Agia Sofia
Visit the house of the Greek poet Yiannis Ritsos
Ancient Upper Town
Square Greek Orthodox Church of Christ Elkomenos
Taste the local wine
Go up at ``Voltes``
Stay at a hotel in the Castle
Sit on the veranda of Camelot


Monemvasia Travel Guide

The alleyways of Monemvasia

Monemvasia Travel Guide

Nights in the Castle

Monemvasia Travel Guide

The colors of Monemvasia

My Basic recommendations for Monemvasia

Accommondation – I would strongly recommend to stay in the Castle, so you won’t loose the magic. I had personally stayed at Kellia Guesthouse, a listed building, right on the recently renovated Chrysafitissa Square and the house where the Greek poet Yiannis Ritsos was born. Another beautiful hotel is Casa Rodanthi right at the entrance of the castle, with sea views and elegant décor.

Food –

Drink –

  • At Enetiko Cafe & Cocktail Bar for the fanciful cocktails. Try the award-winning “Skyfall II”.
  • At scenic Malvasia Cafe to drink your coffee quietly away from the noise.
  • At Vathisfairo, a “house” cafe, where you can have your drink in its different spaces.

Transportation – Inside the castle cars are not allowed, so you can leave it outside the entrance and walk around the castle. Leave your car in the parking lot for free before or after the bridge.

How to get there

By Car: The distance from Athens is about 285 km and the total journey takes about 3.5 hours. The shortest and easiest route from Athens to Monemvasia is the one following the A7 motorway that crosses Corinth and Tripoli. In Tripoli you take the exit for Sparta (sign “Sparta without tolls”) and as soon as you reach Sparta you take the Sparta ring road and follow the signs to Monemvasia. When you enter the new city of Monemvasia, continue on the main road, cross the bridge that leads to the Castle and you will find yourself at the gate of the mythical Castle.

If you have the time (and you enjoy driving), there is another option, much longer (about 330 km, 5 hours from Athens) but it is a journey of scenic beauty, and you will even cross a gorge. Immediately after Corinth you need to follow the picturesque seaside route that passes through Argos, Astros and Leonidio and continues through the traditional mountain villages of Kosmas and Geraki until you reach Vlachiotis, Molasses and finally Monemvasia.

Alternatively: You can reach Monemvasia using the intercity buses of KTEL. For more information see here.

Monemvasia Travel Tips

Days needed: 2-3

Best Season: All year round (the most touristy season is considered the summer). If you want to enjoy the place calmly, go in the winter.

Country: Greece (capital of Athens)

Currency: Euro (Most credit cards accept most)

Political System: Parliamentary Republic

*To get to the Acropolis, at the top of Monemvasia, take about a 20-minute walk (from St. Sophia’s church).

*Monemvasia Winery was founded in 1997, creating an impressive 300 acres vineyard with exceptional quality wine potential of local varieties with successive awards at International Wine Competitions (106 gold, silver and bronze medals in International Wine).

*There is also an archaeological museum, opposite the Church of Christ Elkomenos housed in a mosque.

*If you want to get out of the castle, visit the small seaside village of Gerakas, just 25 minutes from Monemvasia and built in a fjord of unique beauty!

*If you want to get out of the castle, visit the small seaside village of Gerakas, just 25 minutes from Monemvasia and built in a fjord of unique beauty!

*If you go summer and want to bathe, you may be disappointed. Monemvasia has nothing special about beaches. The most interesting option is Vlychada beach, which is 40 minutes away.

*Souvenir prices are pinched inside the castle.


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