“Monemvasia is the sea and the sky, dark and light shades of endless blue. It’s the sound of the waves, the feel of the wind, the smell of bougainvilleas and delicious food. It’s not only the white of the Cyclades, it’s red and gray and stone. It’s ancient but it’s still there. It’s peace and magic and a good time. It’s home.”
From Kalamata airport I drive straight to my first destination which is immediately my personal highlight of this trip and worth a share: hello castle-rock town Monemvasia.
Monemvasia is located in the southeast of the Peloponnese on the Aegean coast in Greece. Why did I find this place so enchanting? Well, this old establishment town is located on a high rocky peninsula connected to the mainland via a narrow strip. The rock is only one and a half kilometers long and about six hundred meters wide and from the mainland you don’t even see the town: it is located at the back of the rock and therefore has a fantastic view over the sea. It’s like I’m stepping back in time; it’s a magical place.
The city consists of winding streets, beautiful Byzantine houses and churches, an old castle ruin and a handful of taverns, terraces and shops. When you walk into the big gate, you feel like you are stepping into the Middle Ages.
The old town is divided into the lower city and the upper city, both parts framed by walls or high abyss: they are real fortresses. Through narrow alleys and rocky stairs you can stroll through the cozy town, where beautiful flowers and bougainvilles grow everywhere. We climbed the path to the highest point of the rock and from these ruins and the church on top you have a beautiful view over the terracotta roofs of the city and the azure sea.
Also a tip: taste the Malvazia (derived from Monemvasia) wine! The wine was so well known in earlier times that it was even mentioned by Shakespeare. It’s a sweet wine of white and red grapes coming from. Yum!
Monemvasia is a truly magical and romantic place. We were there late summer (end of season) and it was wonderfully quiet. A gift from the Greek gods!