Picture your overcritical self in a town where you can’t find a single flaw. Deprived of all ammunition for criticism. A town designed by the wind and the sea and the centuries in such harmony and yet, you can’t stand perfection. This is Monemvassia.
Its name means “only one access” and it is that: A fortress town, climbing up steep paths to a spectacular cliff, stretching down to touch the waves, and only one entrance, one exit. The main gate. As Monemvassia has been protected by the passing of time, so it was protected from shelling and raids in the medieval years when it was a gateway, a kind of Gibraltar of the East, a much desired trophy.
To save themselves from the attacks of passing war ships, the locals built underground passages, which still exist. But what is amazing in today’s Monemvassia, is that it remains intact, totally free from the vulgar touch of civilization, the antithesis of modern Greece, a fortress, sealed forever from the raid of barbaric modernization.
No transportation. Strong feet required. And no posh hotels or sushi restaurants. A humble taverna with a limited repertory of home cooked food, a mom-and-pop store, an impromptu bar. You come here to re-discover yourself and celebrate your decision to live, for a while, where the only access is not there to imprison you – but to protect you.
Monemvasia Must See
- The view from the top. The medieval fortress town at your feet and the infinity of the archipelagos, your colossal backdrop.
- The archaeological museum.
Monemvasia Must Taste
Anything and everything they cook inside the fortress community. If you require more, civilization is but ten minutes away.
Monemvasia Must Do
A visit to Saint Sofia’s church (built in the 12th century) at the top of the hill or any of the small churches that seem to grow out of the rock.
Monemvasia Must Stay
A five star hotel, hidden from the pirate attacks, in the lush hillside of mountain Parnonas, offering magnificent views to the Castle of Monemvasia and the endless blue of the Aegean Sea. The Byzantine era mansion, lost in the perennial silvery olive groves and vineyards, which are cooled by the waters of the cistern in an area of 60 acres, surrounded by the rich history and modern comforts.
The long history of the lovingly restored mansion is distinguished for the authentic architectural and contractual concepts that refer to the Byzantine, Ottoman, Venetian and Modern Greek period of the building. All the amenities of a luxury design boutique hotel are present in all 27 inspired suites and rooms, while hotel services focus on romance, wellness and authenticity.