Even Greeks themselves would say Greece is one vibrant and very dynamic countries. Especially when it comes to tourism. I’ve found some places which are full of peace or bit more calm from all those tourist crowds.
My favourite destination in Greece, for the second year in a row is beautiful, peaceful and amazing Monemvasia. There is also Elafonisos paradise beaches. This year I’ve also discovered new city called Nafplio.
Before I explain about my adventures and about the beauty of the Greece from my perspective, I have to say that there are not many places and cities to which I want to return and Greece, Monemvasia and Elafonisos are defiantly the places I want to return again and again.
So let’s start with Monemvasia
History of Monemvasia
The town and fortress were founded in 583 by inhabitants of the mainland seeking refuge from the Slavic and the Avaric invasion of Greece. A history of the invasion and occupation of the Peloponnese was recorded in the medieval Chronicle of Monemvasia.
From the 10th century AD, the town developed into an important trade and maritime centre. The fortress withstood the Arab and Norman invasions in 1147; farm fields that fed up to 30 men were tilled inside the fortress.
1464 the inhabitants found the Pope’s representative feeble and the Pope unable to protect them; they admitted a Venetian garrison. The town was fairly prosperous under Venetian rule until the peace of 1502-3, in which it lost its farm lands, source of its food supply and of Malmsey wine. The food had to come by sea or from Turkish-held lands, and the cultivation of wine languished under Turkish rule. The rock was governed by the Venetians until the treaty of 1540, which cost the Republic Nauplia and Monemvasia, her last two possessions on mainland Greece. Those inhabitants who did not wish to live under Turkish rule were given lands elsewhere. The Ottomans then ruled the town until the brief Venetian recovery in 1690, then again from 1715 to 1821. It was known as “Menekşe” (“Violet” in Turkish) during Ottoman rule and was a sanjak (province) centre in the Morea Eyalet.
Town and the island
Town nowadays is pretty small. Don’t expect any cars or bikes or any other transportation as it has stone walkways and lots of steps. Wear comfy shoes as high heels or fancy shoes won’t give you any comfort.
You can also find hidden paths to walk around the island. Look into water as you can see turtles, tuna, some small finishing boats and fancy yachts. We did the walk once and will do it again next time.
This time we claimed up to the cliff as there is also town which is actually bigger than Monemvasia itself. This place is made as a museum. And it worth seeing. Though it involves lots of steps get up. Pure nightmare for smokers.
We stayed in the nice apartment with an amazing view towards the sea. You can find many of such apartments all around the town. I would really advise that as hotels might be overpriced and might not give all the privacy. First time we rented the house and now nice apartment.
This is the best restaurant in the whole island. At least from my perspective. It has amazing food and amazing service. I am always laughing that over the two years’ specials at this restaurant haven’t changed but still specials are just amazing. It is home-made food and has amazing feeling, especially when the owner comes and sits with you talks a bit. Most likely you won’t understand a thing but feeling is still nice. She is very sweet and welcoming.
We eat breakfast just in the front of Maryanti. At the Biscuit café, they have perfect crepes, very nice coffee and orange juice which are few most important things in the morning.
Rooftop of Emvasis
This bar is our choice every single evening. You can watch the moon which shines in the sea, some boats which are going into the port and some getting out of the port. Amazing stars and calm music. Drink some ouzo and don’t miss the chocolate cake. It is really to die for.
City beach is located just few minutes away from every corner of the island. It has a small gate to the beach. It just on the cliff with steps to the water. It has a shower which is pretty amazing to wash the layers of salt after swim. Take your snorkelling stuff with you as the view under the water is spectacular.
Even though I hope you enjoyed till now, I hope you will read this and will forget about this town as I want to keep it just for myself. I know this is selfish but you know the feeling.
There are also few nice places on the way and around Monemvasia.
Time by time we are taking time off from Monemvasia and enjoy the sandy beach. Elafonisos is considered one of the Paradise beaches of Greece. And surly it is one. You can choose many of beaches there. Some are very peaceful, some are crowded with children and loud people but more you go further the more peaceful it will be. Don’t miss it! Take into mind, that to get to Elafonisos involves a boat ride so if you go by car (actually there is no other way to get there) know you will have to wait in the line, try to be as early as possible. Island itself also provides you nice restaurants and bars if you want to chill after the beach.
On the way back from Monemvasia to Athens we stayed in Nafplio. We didn’t have much expectations just wanted to explore something new. City itself is nothing special until you enter old town you will surly have “WOW effect”. Venetian style buildings and squares. Lots of cafes and shops. Tiny streets that will lead you into the romantic feelings. Now I know why it is considered as one of the most romantic cities in Greece and it was really worth it to visit.
So that’s was my little trip into mysterious Poliponese in Greece.
Main picture from romeoshouse.com