If you’re planning a trip to Greece and want to experience a place that’s a bit more untouched and unique than the usual suspects (Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, etc.), you might want to consider taking a day trip to the hidden fortress town of Monemvasia, Greece.
The island is located just off the East coast of the Peloppenese and is connected by a 700 ft. causeway. While at first glance Monemvasia doesn’t look like much, it is such an authentic Greek treasure and I recommend it to anyone.
What makes Monemvasia so incredibly unique is that, since it’s surrounded by a fortress wall, the town can only be accessed through one entrance.
See that road leading from the Peloponnese, around the island and into the city? That’s the only way you can get into Monemvasia.
When you reach the fortress wall, you will see this entrance. At this point, I admittedly was a little doubtful of the town on the other side…
…But when you walk through the tunnel to the other side, and you will be transported into a world of peach beige buildings, ancient Stucco roofs, quaint squares and beautiful churches. I was completely blown away.
Here is Monemvasia’s main square, which houses the Elkomenos Christos Church and a small museum of archeological finds.
One of my favorite things about Monemvasia is that it offers an incredibly authentic Greek experience. Every inch of the town is the equivalent of a side-street in Athens, meaning that every restaurant here has amazing and authentic Greek cuisine.
You also won’t find nearly as many English speaking locals here and the quaint shops aren’t selling those gimmicky souvenirs found in Athens. Instead, locals offer gorgeous handmade jewelry and leather goods.
In terms of dining, I recommend sitting outside at Emvasis Cafe and enjoying a Greek coffee & this view:
And I recommend Matoula for lunch or dinner. Fish really does not get any more fresh than this, so make sure you order it!
While you’re here, walk the steep path up to the upper part of Monemvasia. While it’s an exhausting climb, it’s only 15 minutes and the view of the rooftops & the sea are beyond rewarding.
And go to the Kastania Cave. We didn’t do this during our day trip to Monemvasia and I seriously regret it (mostly because I have a weird love for caves).
In terms of how to get to Monemvasia, you can take a bus or ferry! Go here for more specific travel options.
Have any of you ever been to Monemvasia? Recently visited any secret towns like this one?
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