• Don’t miss going to the Byzantine Castle City of Mystras where you can visit the palaces of the Despots of Moreas, more than 25 churches, the walls, the castle, the manors, the Metropolitan church of Agios Demetrios; visitors can receive a guided tour at the Museum
• Visit Monemvasia, the castle city that has been constructed on top of a 300-meter-high rock and was under Byzantine and Venetian rule. The city, in the duration of a 1000-year period experienced its peak, fame, sieges and occupations
• Take a trip to Mani, a land of austerity, and to the many scattered traditional settlements with the high-rise tower houses in a wild and dry landscape. In Mani, one can also visit the Diros Lake Cave, one of the most amazing caves in the world
• Visit Gytheion, the charming nautical town with the colourful neoclassical buildings. To the south, visit the Epidavros Limiras Peninsula with the beautiful beaches and the picturesque little villages that are scattered up to the Cape Malea
• We recommend a trip to the exotic island of Elafonissos with the golden beaches; the most well known are those of Smos and Sarakiniko
• In summertime, attend theatrical and musical performances and other cultural events at the Sainopouleio Amphitheatre of Sparta
• At the end of July in Gytheion, do not miss the local festival with ancient drama performances, concerts and other events
• On the 29th of May, attend the “Palaiologeia” festival in Mystras
• In the town of Asopos, in the end of August participate in the festival of the fig; in September, catch the festival of the marida in Elafonissos
Perfecture of LAKONIA
Region of Peloponnese Capital town: Sparti Area: Population:
Setting off from Sparta, the capital of the Prefecture, visit the castle city of Mystras whose Byzantine grandeur essence is still intact. In the middle foot of the Peloponnese rise tower-houses in the settlements of Mani; begin your tour at Vatheia.
A few kilometres outside Areopolis, the Diros Cave forms amazing aquatic subterranean routes. In the cove of the gulf lies the town of Gytheion with an insular style and wonderful neoclassical buildings that have preserved their former nobleness.
Right in the middle of the Myrtoon Sea the Rock of Monemvasia rises out –the other Laconian castle city that had been a target of many conquerors due to its strategic location. Nowadays Monemvasia constitutes one of the best travel destinations
The first inhabitants of the area had been the Leleges, which were of Pelasgic descent; later on, they intermingled with other tribes. Laconia was conquered by the Dorians in 1100 BC. In 195 BC, the “Polity of Lacedaemon” was formed excluding however the city of Sparta, and in 146 BC the area was conquered by the Romans.
In 395 AD, Sparta was brutally looted by the Gothic King Alarichos. During the Byzantine Era, Slav tribes were located in Laconia unti 1206 when the area was finally conquered by the Franks. In 1458, Mohammed occupied the area and the Ottoman rule was preserved until 1828.