Fodor's To Europe!

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Days 8-9
Next stop: Methoni Previous stop: Nafplion Return to full itinerary »

The island of Monemvassia in the Southern Peloponnese has been nicknamed the "Gibraltar of Greece" for its looming presence over the East-West sea routes. Today, many wealthy Greeks have built summer homes here on the rock. This Byzantine town is a charming place to walk around; some streets are only wide enough for two people. Wander through the back lanes and along the city's high walls.
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  • Archaeology
  • Natural Beauty


  • Visit Christos Elkomenos, reputedly the largest medieval church in southern Greece. The carved peacocks on its portal are symbolic of the Byzantine era.
  • For solitude and dizzying sea views, explore Ayia Sophia, located on top of a hill. It was founded in the 13th century and is patterned after the Dafni monastery in Athens.
  • Tired of sightseeing? You can take a dip off the rocks at the base of old town. But for the best beach experience, head to Pori, about 3 mi/5 km northwest of the town center.

Side Trips

  • Take a ferry from Viglafia to the island of Elafonisi, about 22 mi/35 km from Monemvasia. The beaches stretch for miles.

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