ABOVE: Cafés and shops line the main
pedestrian street in Monemvasia's old town.
The town today
Monemvasia consists of three parts:
The old or lower town of Kástro,
which lies within stone ramparts on the Rock of Monemvasia's lower slopes. To
reach it, walk or drive across the short causeway from the mainland to the
entrance portal in the walls. Walk the few steps through the tunnel, and you'll
emerge into a sunny town of tiled-roof houses, attractive shops and cafés,
pleasant squares, and tiny churches.
Most of the old town's buildings
are made of the local stone, and many have been renovated as summer homes for
wealthy Greeks and foreigners. (Restoration work is closely supervised by the
archaeological authorities to keep TV antennas, air conditioners, and other
modern intrusions out of sight.)
The upper town or citadel,
which you can reach by climbing a steep path from the old town. The ruins high
on the rock include the old fortress or Acropolis and the Agia Sofia church.
The port, or Gefira/Yefira,
a modern town with a supermarket, travel agency, bus connections, and other
The town is quite compact, and
everything of interest is within walking distance. (Note: Cars aren't allowed in
the old town, but you can park outside the entrance.)
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