Monemvasia - A Stunning Destination!
Following a most enjoyable visit to the idyllic mountain village of Kosmas, Monemvasia . . . a small but commanding island on the southeastern shores of the Peloponnese that houses the oldest continuously inhabited castle town in Europe . . . was the next destination on our amazing road trip with my friend Haldόra Jónsdóttir, last May!
Monemvasia had been on my bucket list destination for a long time so when we left the mountain village of Kosmas and headed towards Monemvasia I was truly excited knowing that within a two hour drive we would arrive at one of Peloponnese’s enchanting places that possesses a rare combination of charm, natural beauty and historic significance!
The main attraction of Monemvasia is undoubtedly the impressive rock with the legendary Castle town that is made up of a labyrinth of winding cobblestone streets . . . that can only be traveled by foot . . . and its numerous medieval Byzantine and Ottoman buildings as well as the oldest Church in southern Greece.
Many of the old buildings in the Castle town have been restored and converted into artisan shops, boutiques, cafés, restaurants and luxury boutique hotels that were a tempting choice for our two night stay in Monemvasia. However, after checking out the hotel options in the area we opted for the Alkinoi Resort & Spa Hotel that we felt was an ideal base for exploring both the Castle town and the neighboring areas . . . as well as covering our sea and sun time during our visit with the hotel’s comfy sun-loungers and large swimming pool filled with sea water.
It goes without saying that after checking into the hotel we sped to the pool for a bit of exercise and a relaxing afternoon by the pool . . . whilst sipping on non-alcoholic drinks and admiring the view!
Since we wanted to spend most of the following day exploring the Castle town, in the early evening we drove to the new town of Monemvasia and before going on an exploratory brisk walk-about we decided to check out the man-made road and stone bridge leading to the castle gate and its majestic Castle town . . . plus the parking facilities that were plentiful in May; but in summer you might think otherwise!
The new town of Monemvasia, a small village on the mainland falls in the shadow of the amazing Castle town but I and Haldóra enjoyed our walk alongside the coastline and ended up sitting down at one of the harbor’s numerous small restaurants called Mateos run by two brothers; one an expert on beers and beverages and the other the chef that cooked for us a simple but truly delicious meal made up of grilled fresh squid and a Greek village salad . . . . . . . . . . accompanied by a bottle of Greek white wine that I really like.
To end our delightful meal we were offered luscious creamy yoghurt topped with homemade spoon sweets . . . that we also really enjoyed, together with the view!
The following morning we woke up early and after a hearty breakfast at our hotel
we set out to visit the Castle town to experience the ambiance of times past, wandering through its alleyways and imagining what life was like for its inhabitants from the stone walls that protected the citadel of Monemvasia in those days for from its various invaders throughout history.
Last but not least, before leaving . . . enjoy some refreshments or perhaps a meal at one of the many inviting places. We sat down to rest at a one of the trendy bars with an incredible view and quenched our thirst with a tasty pomegranate/lemonade that was just tops . . . and then headed to back to our car and drove to the small port town of Neapoli.
There, we were too tired to do much exploring but instead, settled for a light late afternoon meal at the Maestrali seafront tavern . . . before returning to our hotel in Monemvasia . . . happy and ready to dream about more adventures in the upcoming days!
If you missed the first part of our road trip in the Peloponnese check out this blog post; Our Amazing Peloponnese Road Trip!
Until soon again . . . with more from our road trip, including Elafonisos Island, Gythio & Mavrovouni Beach!