|A trip to the castle of Monemvasia
One of the loved tours for the motorcyclists in Athens is the route
from Athens to Monemvasia. It is preferred when you have 3 or more days
to spend. That is what we did in 27-2-98 until 2-3-98.
We started at 12.00 with no rush from Athens then we took E-94 to Konith
after Korinth E-64 and then from Tripoli E-961 to Sparta the well known
city of ancient Grecce. Then road 86 to Monemvasia. Total distance 310
The road from Athens to Tripoli is primary dual carriage way with toll.
The distance Athens Tripoli can be done in a little more than one and half
The road is in good condition with 3-2 lanes. After passing Tripoli
town E-961 is mountain road with good curves and relative good asphalt
where you may enjoy driving. The last part From Sparta to Monemvasia is
a secondary road with not a good quality of asphalt, it is sleepy even
dry, high banking angles are not recommended. After 5 hrs we arrived in
Monemvasia, with a ¾ stop in Sparta.
The castle or the rock of Monemvasia was build in the 6th century from
Spartas inhabitants witch where hunted from barbarian tribe’s. They builded
their town in top of the cliff (300m), it was named upper town. Then they
builded a neighborhood close to the sea also protected from walls which
was named lower town. The castle fall to the Franks after 3 years of surrounding
in 1249 but they had to hand it buck to the Byzantines in 1262 after the
battle in Pelagonia. The Byzantines kept it until 1460. Those two centuries
where the golden age for Monemvasia. The Monemvasians where trading a sweet
red whine called Malvasia, produced by them from surrounding area. The
people of Monemvasia where very wealthy at that time due of trading, privileges
they had from the emperors in Kostantinoupole(Instabul), and due to the
fleet they had. When Greece was occupied from the Ottomans (Turks) the
monemvasians preferred to pass their town to the Venicians and that was
the first occupation from the Venecians 1464-1550. During that period the
Venecians transplanted the wine Malvesia in Creta Italy and Malta
where you may find that kind of wine with small variations. The castle
passed after that period to the hands of the Turks. A small period of Venician
occupation followed 1690-1715 and finally Monemvasia was liberated in 1823
during the Greek revolution.
Today Monemvasia is a tourist attraction specially during the summer
time. You may stay in some old buildings inside the castle, but during
high season it is very rear to find a resort inside the castle. But in
small distance there is the new town of Monemvasia, where plenty rooms
to rent are available as well camping place. The distance between old town
and new is 1Km. In the new town of Monemvasia it is worthy to taste the
octopus fried with Ouzo. Inside the castle there is the Café Angelo
which is at night a bar and in the morning is offering breakfast, with
the sound of classic music and a wonderful view.
A very neat place to visit is Porto Geraca 21 km far. A small village
which landscape reminds someone to small Fiord of the south. Here you may
find a lot of small Tavernas with sea food.
Leaving Monemvasia we decided to come back from a different way through
Agios Kosmas A little village in the mountains this route is passing through
a forest. In Agios Kosmas we rested for lunch at Navarchos (Admiral) a
very friendly person and a good cook,
From there we took we took the road to Leonidion a very nice road to
enjoy driving in curves with your motorcycle. In the middle distance on
your right hand its a monastery builded in a rock.
The rest of the way back is the route from the shore until Argos a
nice way with views to attractive beaches and nice curves.
| Entrance to the castle
Inside the alleys in the castle
(Right mouse click to view map)