Cobbled medieval streets, Byzantine architecture and soaring sea views, in Greece’s Gibraltar of the East: Monemvasia!
It is one of those places that you say “I want to get lost for two days and rest”.
Monemvasia is a castle town suspended in history.
This small piece of land with the unsophisticated beauty calls you to meet it, any season of the year. It usually enters the agendas of those who love excursions.
This is why on weekends in gets swarmed by people, who come to meet the most beautiful castle-town in Greece, or maybe even in Europe.
Is it an island or part of the mainland?
Probably something in-between, as it used to be a part of mainland Greece, until it was detached after a powerful earthquake.
The old Monemvasia, namely the rock, is about 1,500m long and 200m high. As you stroll the maze of cobbled streets, you will notice many elements of the Frankish, Byzantine, Venetian, Ottoman and Greek influences in terracotta-roofed buildings, domed churches, and stone mosques.
If you climb up to the old town and turn your gaze to the Myrtoon Sea, you will feel like you are standing on the bow of a ship, as said by the great poet Yannis Ritsos.
Settled in the 6th century thanks to its strategic location as it was only accessible by sea and not visible from the mainland.
The Rock, as locals refer to it, adding to the feeling that it comes from another time, and it is tethered to our world by a simple short causeway.
Its medieval fortress town is enclosed within thick walls that have stood for centuries.
Walking down towards the “lively” new town, you will get swept away by the magic of the narrow streets and you will feel you are inside a fairytale…!