The surprising South Laconia

It is not easy to find a region which combines stunning landscapes, unique cultural landmarks, and caribbean-like beaches; Southern Laconia, Greece, is one of those regions. Still not very popular among international tourists and travellers, probably because it is not reachable fast from Greece’s top destinations, this area is surprisingly filled with are-these-really-real? locations which are hard to forget once visited. My suggestion is to set yourself up in either Sparti (a medium-size city with plenty of facilities but not near the main attractions) or Neapoli Voion (a small town in the extreme South of the region), rent a car or a scooter and start to drive around.

The region, specifically the Monemvasia municipality’s territory, offers you different enjoyable locations that make for different activities. If relaxing on a sandy calm beach is your kind of thing then head to Pounta, a village right on the cost from where you sight the island of Elafonissos. The beach is wide and completely free but with no stores or kiosks nearby, keep this in mind and do not forgot any essential thing; you will not want to leave this place for a minute so place what you need in your bag or backpack and do not forget your swimming mask: right under this part of sea, in fact, there is the oldest submerged city of the Mediterranean, Pavlopetri, so snorkelling is highly recommended. It is fascinating to swim inside and around this ancient settlement; alright, do not expect to find full standing buildings or houses, but what has managed to stay intact until now is enough to feed your imagination.

The gem of this area is the city of Monemvasia, a fortified village built right behind a massive rock on the east cost of the region. No matter which way you arrive you won’t realize there is a village behind, you’ll just see a road which seems to lead to the top of the rock. Instead the road ends up at the only door of the city, therefore the name (“mono” stands for “only” and “emvasias” for “entrance”) and is just the first unexpected sight you’ll get. Only after a few steps you realize how impressive is the layout of the city and how much thought was put into creating such a protected village. From each building there is a clear look at the sea in front, the only other way to approach the city beside the road, and the village is entirely fortified with high-end walls. Honestly, you can’t be mad at the original inhabitants for wanting to isolate and protect as much as possible this spot. The feeling of standing in a special place is strong even nowadays.

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