Surrounded by mounts Taygetos and Parnon, Sparta was once the kingdom of Menelaus and his beautiful queen, the most beautiful of all mortal women of her age, Helen. But Aphrodite had promised Paris of Troy the most beautiful woman on earth in return of a favour, so the Trojan prince came to Sparta to claim his trophy. He abducted Helen and travelled back to his homeland. Menelaus wanted his wife back and talked all the other kings of Greece into fighting against the Trojans. That’s pretty much how the most celebrated war of the myths started.
This is Sparta
Broad streets full of trees, large squares, neoclassical buildings and nice hotels, scented by the olive, orange and lemon trees of the nearby valley of the Eurotas River: this is Sparta!
While in Sparta, visit the Archaeological Museum of Sparta. Its exhibits cover a tremendously long period (Neolithic to late Roman age). If you love art, don’t miss the opportunity to visit “Koumantarios” Art Gallery and admire oil paintings of prominent European artists of the 16th to the 20th century. Visit the Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive oil: get to know the culture and technology of a natural product that is inextricably connected with the Greek and Mediterranean identity.
Excursions around Sparta
Take a trip to on the hillsides of mount Taygetos and explore the villages of Ksirokampi, Koumousta and Anavryti with the traditional stone houses and the old stone fountains. In Ksirokampi, visit the church of Agios Nikonas with the frescoes of the 14th century.
Visit the mystical tower town of Mystras, located olny six klm NW of Sparta, and let yourself be captivated by this destination’s medieval splendour. Wander around the castle city and sense through the silence the city’s sheer grandeur: the Palace of the Despots (Anaktora), the Houses of Laskaris and Frangopoulos, the beautiful Cathedral of Saint Dimitrios and the impressive Monasteries of Our Lady Pantánassa, and of Οur Lady Perivleptos.
Take the opportunity to explore the breathtaking tower town of Monamvasia, this mystical stone-built settlement, nestled at the edge of a big rock by the sea, and immerse yourself in a unique medieval atmosphere! Peer into the history of the fortress –the so-called “Gibraltar of the East”–, which was occupied by the Byzantines, the Crusaders, the Venetians, and the Ottomans in the past.
The caves of Diros
A stimulating trip into the eternal magic of shapes and colours. The lake cave of Vlyhada or Glyfada consists of several halls which have been given names with a poetic flair, such as “Poseidon’s Palace”, “The Sea of Wrecks” and “White Chambers”. Your boat tour in the cave will last no less than 45 minutes. The anthropologists will definitely take pleasure in visiting the neighbouring cave of Alepotripa which is proved to have housed a community of people in the late Neolithic age (4800-3200 BC). The Neolithic Museum of Diros at the entrance of the cave hosts all the relevant findings. In the cave of Katafygi the stalactites and stalagmites do not only provide a spectacular site, but also marvellous acoustics in the “Hall of Apotheosis”.
Post Views: 223