Cruise Port Atlas | Monemvasia, Greece Day Trips | Attractions

Monemvasia, Greece Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Monemvasia: Star Clippers, Voyages to Antiquity, Windstar, Crystal, Seabourn

Recommended Attractions: Gefyra, Monemvasia, Agia Sofia, Malmsey wine, Elkomenou Christou, Mystras, Sparta

Monemvasia

Tender to Lower Town - 1.3 KM, 3 minutes, 17 minute walk
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Monemvasia's strategic importance has made the fort at the top of the hill an historic site. More recently, summer residents have renovated the shells of the Byzantine lower village to create a clean and lovely tourist town, something like the residential and commercial areas on France's Mont-St-Michel. While some lines offer tours here, it is so compact that it might be just as good to strike out on your own, especially if you don't mind a vigorous walk. And for the more adventurous, there is the upper town with its medieval fortress and Agia Sofia (13th Century). The upper plateau was once covered with vineyards that produced Malmsey wine. In the lower town, the most famous buildings are the lovely Aghios Nikolaos and Elkomenou Christou churches.

The Fort and two Churches   Byzantine   Majestic Views from the upper town   The Rock  

Strenuous Walking    No Wheelchair Accessibility

Upper Town Walk

Photo of Monemvasia Square by Jean Housen, photo of Monemvasia Upper Town by Idler

Gefyra

Tender to Gefyra - 0.5 KM, 2 minutes, 8 minute walk
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Gefyra (which has the same name as another town on the Peloponnesian peninsula) is a small, rustic, coastal town with incredible views of the Rock that juts out into the Aegean. You cannot see the town of Monemvasia. Gefyra is popular with Greeks and Germans as a summer resort area. The area is sometimes called the hottest spot in Greece. If you just want to relax, or perhaps do a little swimming in the Aegean, this is a wonderful spot.

Sandy Beaches, Scuba and Snorkeling   Views of the Rock   Tavernas along the coast and beach  

Uneven surfaces and hills    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

Mystras Palace

Mystras and Sparta

Port to Mystras - 92 Km, 1 hour 50 minutes
Port to Sparta - 88 KM, 1 hour 45 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Mystras and its fortress were the last holdouts against the invading Ottoman Turks in the late 15th century. It was an important center for late Byzantine culture until it was surrendered to the Turks in 1460. It then became a seat for a Turkish sanjak. It was abandoned after Greek independence in 1821, but has since been rebuilt. The Peribleptos Church and Monastery from the late 14th century has late Byzantine frescoes considered seminal to that style of art. Other churches from the same era will feature prominently on tours including Agios Demetrios and Evangelistria church. The fortress is known as the Palace of the Despots. It is very well-preserved and definitely worth a visit.

Sparta is worth a short visit. The powerful Spartans spent their energy on military might and discipline, not building structures that would leave a mark. Soak up the atmosphere and take a few pictures of what is left of the once mighty city-state.

Sparta Theater

Photo of Mystras Palace by Aeleftherios, photo of Sparta Theater by Nickthegreek82

Views from the hill   Byzantine Art   Byzantine Holdout against the Ottomans   The Castle   The Castle  

Flat Walking    Not Wheelchair Accessible

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible