Heading for Monemvasia - The First entry!

Trip Start May 08, 2010
Trip End Jan 23, 2011

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Flag of Greece  , Peloponnese,
Thursday, September 2, 2010


Monemvasia lies on a small peninsula off the Peloponnesian east coast.

The whole day I was waiting for this moment, to come here, - one of the most romantic resorts in Greece.

The unique thing about Monemvasia is the way it has been built. You see, the region around it, is particularly wild and barren. The rocky landscape gives an austere characteristic to the region.  There is not much cultivation in the area, except for olive groves.

We have been here once or twice but I had never had the chance to pass the bridge and get to the old town.

The town is actually carved on a huge rock into the sea.  The rock is not seen from the mainland and its entrance faces the sea.  A narrow pathway connects it with the mainland.

It is indeed just how they call it, - a Byzantine and Venetian jewel.  What a beautiful place to come to!

I am amazed once again, and we are told that we are to get off our coach and get in a local bus that will take us up to the entrance of the town. I can't wait!

From the mainland the rock appears uninhabited.  I had no idea that behind the heavy door of the entrance and the walls of the fortress I would find a town that is full of life, with so many people coming and going, so many restaurants, and coffee shops, bars, souvenir shops and so many churches!!

Oh…I should indeed return here for at least 2 or 3 days! This is what I have to do.  It is so beautiful, but again the time here is so short.

I have to hurry again and get to see as much as possible. Some friends offer to buy me a cup of coffee and they have already found a nice café bar with a panoramic view, but I tell them that I am moving on.

I really cannot understand some people……we are in such a beautiful place and the only thing they care of is a cup of coffee, and they would probably not bother to move forwards and see the rest of the place at all.  I really wonder why bother come out here in the first place! They have been walking for 5 or 8 minutes and this is it !?

I have left the other ladies behind and I am walking and climbing walls to get to the very small courts of houses and everything is so picturesque here! The entrances of some houses are so low, and the small courts have wonderful designs.  They remind me of the small courts in Santorini, but here there are very different of course.  Even the colours are not the same. In Santorini it is blue and white, while here the coulours ranging between grey and pink tones and the style is very different. 

Unfortunately there is no time to climb up the top of the town but at least I have time to walk up towards the walls. Getting to the top can be an interesting stroll in the zig-zagging pathway and the view could be really great, but I will do that next time.

The attraction of this location lies on its interesting ruins, which include not only this defensive structure, but also the many Byzantine churches of the adjacent town. There are 40 scattered churches with arches, along these narrow streets.

Wherever I look there is a small church!

Right in the edge of the bay, next to the castle’s entrance there is a cemetery where the grave of Yianni Ritsos lies.  He was a famous Greek poet.  I find where his house used to be and I go there, but I find it closed.

Oh by the way…regarding the name of this place…..Monemvasia derives from the Greek words "Mone" and “Embasia” which means “Single entrance”.  It is also called “Malvasis”, the Gibraltar of the East” or simply “the Rock”.

This Rock is 3.000 metres high and 1.8 km long occupying this steep rocky islet which is connected to the coast.

Unfortunately it is time to leave…..

The local mini bus that does this route up and down the hill is waiting for us.

We get in the coach and we are off leaving behind beautiful Monemvasia. Everybody is excited, -some more and others less because they have just enjoyed a cup of coffee and bought a few souvenirs again. Nothing else!

The stereo is on, and all of a sudden the coach driver stops because some of the people have got so excited that they want to dance!

Unbelievable but true! 

I am not in the mood of dancing at this moment, and all I want is to get back to Sparti and go and buy the pair of shoes I saw yesterday.  To avoid dancing  I promise to dance the following day at lunch-time when we are supposed to dance after lunch, before we drive home.

I have a quick shower the moment we get back and I am out again to get to the shoe shop and buy that pair of shoes I saw yesterday. On my way I wish I find my size because it is number 35, which is so small that usually I cannot find shoes especially during the Sales period.

Yes!….I am lucky.  I buy them and meet Yianni and some friends and we decide to have a pizza tonight so we are out seeking to find the one best pizza restaurant that some people told us about.

It was indeed another interesting day here in the Peloponnese.

One city is better than the other! I love every minute of this trip.

So, tomorrow we are visiting Tripoli and Vitina.  I cannot wait!


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tony55 on

u have done an excellent write up and fantastic photos
I wish I was there

hope to make this trip in the near future

laorfamily on

Great write and fantastic photos

Janet on

Excellent photos of an extraordinary spot in Greece. I shall have to visit one day as it is one of the few spots I have not managed to see. Your photos, however, remind me of the architecture in Mystras, the Byzantine city above Sparti. Well done Popi!

venoth on

This place is unique, beautiful and nothing like anything which I have seen before. An absolute beauty. I just dropped everything and was just glazing at your pictures, specially the one that shows the rock protruding out in the middle of the sea. I surely want to go there sometime.

tony195555@gmail.com on

the time is getting very close and I think I will make this trip in JANUARY 2012
I met with a group os 5-6 people from MONEVASIA that have stayed in my hotel and they have a restaurant there
We had a fgreat time
I think a visit will be worth while


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