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The castle town of Monemvasia was carved right into a huge rock in the sea along the south-east coast of the Peloponnese Peninsula in order to protect it from invaders. From the mainland, it looks like a giant rock, hidden from view. Today, a small causeway links it to the mainland and the new town called New Monemvasia. An array of wonders can be discovered by those who enter the gates of the medieval fortress, including cobblestone streets to stroll, historic mansions, lovely churches, and squares.
Monemvasia At A Glance
Average Flight Time from the UK to Monemvasia 3 hours to Athens or Kalamata & then a journey by road
Population of Monemvasia 22,000
What to See in Monemvasia Visit the Archaeological Museum of Monemvasia, Explore one of the 15 churches, Sample the local wine
Towns or islands to visit near Monemvasia Athens, The Peloponnese Region, Nafplion, Stoupa, Kalamata, the Saronic Islands
Things to do in Monemvasia
The Archaeological Museum of Monemvasia.
A must-visit, this museum is housed in a 16th-century building constructed by the Turks. Located in the castle, it was originally a Muslim mosque before taking on a number of different roles, including being a Frankish and a church prison. Today, it showcases an impressive archaeological collection that includes the remains of temples, walls, homes and a fortress as well as a wide range of items used in daily life, ceramic objects and sculptures.
There are about 15 churches in Monemvasia today, though there were around 40 that existed here at one point. They include the gothic-style Panagia Myrtidiotissa, Panagia Chrysafitissa. Christos Elkomenos and the 12th-century Byzantine church of Agia Sofia. The latter is arguably the most popular to visit, accessed via a narrow stone path. While it’s a strenuous climb, it’s worth the effort to view the impressive restoration work and the sunlight that streams in, illuminating the church’s interior. Visitors can also look forward to spectacular views from its vantage point atop the cliff overlooking the Myrtoan Sea.
The Peloponnese is one of the most historic wine regions in Greece, and Malvasia wine may have the richest history of all, with its reputation reaching far beyond the region and attracting many nobles from throughout Europe. In the Middle Ages, Monemvasia was particularly renowned for its wine, with merchants traveling across the Mediterranean to trade it. A sweet wine, it has honey aromas, a bouquet of orange confit and candied fruit, and a caramel color. Wine enthusiast visitors can look forward to sampling this centuries-old vino in the town’s wine bars as well as the tasting room at Monemvasia Winery which also hosts a cellar and vineyard. Visitors can purchase bottles of wine in its wine shop which offers discounted prices and some wines that aren’t available on the market.
Trips to Monemvasia
FROM $2,950 PPA 9 day luxury Greek islands small ship cruise visiting the key highlights of Greece including Athen...
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FROM $3,995 PPExplore Athens, Delphi, Acropolis and the Greek islands of Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, Hydra and more...
FROM $2,890 PPAn 8 day luxury Greek islands small ship cruise visiting the best of Greece including Athens, Santor...
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