The site of Sparta is completely surrounded by major mountain ranges. In contrast to other ancient Greek cities, Sparta was not a compact fortified city-state center with monumental civic and religious buildings. It was a loose collection of smaller villages spaced over a large rural area and 6 low hills. The highest of these knolls served as the acropolis and location for the Temple of Athena Chalkioikos. In the Hellenistic period a theatre, stoa and agora were built near the acropolis but the Temple of Athena and the earlier remains at the sanctuary of Artemis Orthia on the West bank of the Eurotas are almost the only archaeological remains from Archaic and Classical Sparta.
The complex of the ruins of Mystras offers the image of a city with a brilliant destiny that was deserted by men and threatened by the return of encroaching vegetation which is splitting the walls and covering the slopes, thus destroying here and there fragile traces of history. In 1989 the ruins including the fortress palace , churches and monasteries were named a Unesco World Heritage Site!Visit the mystical tower of Mystras and let yourself be captivated by this destination’s medieval splendour. Wander around the castle city and sense through the silence the city’s sheer grandeur.
Stroll leisurely through the “Kastro” ( the Frankish Castle ) the Upper Town and Lower Town whose architecture creates a dreamy setting. With your minds eyes visualize Frankish princes and princesses living in palatial mansions;foreign delegations arriving bearing gifts and peasant pilgrims or traders filling the bustling streets.
Monemvasia in Greece is one of the most romantic places in the country. A medieval castle Town exclusively carved on the slopes of a rock. This fantastic place was originally constructed in the Medieval Ages and has been continuously inhabited since then.A World Cultural Heritage monument and a major attraction for every traveller in the Peloponnese and the whole of Greece it has a unique magical atmosphere and a fascinating history. Monuments and churches are scattered through out the old town.
An important archaeological collection is housed in the old mosque in the Square of Elkomenos Christos. Today most of the old mansions have been converted into guesthouses and boutique hotels. Authentic tavernas, fabulous restaurants and cosy coffee shops also add to the spark of Monemvasia. Outside the Rock, there is a new modern town with many tourist facilities. Built in the shadow of the Rock on which the Medieval fortress stands, the new town of Monemvasia has become a lively tourist destination in its own right. A large variety of hotels restaurants and coffee bars attract thousands of visitors all year round . Both within and around Monemvasia are a number of excellent clean,crystal clear beaches.