As much as it was hard for us to leave the fabulous hotel that we’re staying in – Kinsterna Hotel, we had to explore the surrounding area for even just a day and explore the nearby castle town of Monemvasia. Besides, it is the very reason why we were there in the first place.
Monemvasia in the Peloponnese region of Greece is one of those places which I felt like I’ve known so well even before I went there from all the numerous photos I’ve seen and articles/blogs about it that I’ve read. It must be my constant nagging to The Greek Mister that he finally included this place in our holiday itinerary. He has not been in this region as well before so both of us were first timers.
I love places which makes me wonder how it was built and Monemvasia has that same effect on me. An entire town is carved out on the back side of a sea rock during the Medieval times, a time when modern technology is not yet present. We’re not talking about cave houses here, it’s a proper town with proper houses and of course the thing that I love the most about Old Towns – cobblestone alleyways.
The rock used to be a part of the mainland until an earthquake in 375 A.D. separated it entirely and can only be accessed by boat. Being separated worked out well for the inhabitants of the castle town though to avoid enemy attacks. Now, it is connected by a short causeway where it got its name – Moni Emvasi which means single access.
A cruise ship was docked in front of the rock when we visited so I was afraid that it will be packed. Surprisingly, it wasn’t crowded at all and we’re able to enjoy walking around the numerous cobblestone alleyways. There were a lot of churches dotted around the town. Most were already ruins though.
We climbed all the way up to the upper town in the hopes of being able to capture a panoramic photo of the whole town however, my sandals broke on the way there so it was quite hard for me to walk around and find the right spot for that photo. With a broken heart (and sandals) we went back down to the lower town and took more photos of this charming place.
The lower town of the rock offers numerous accommodations, tavernas and cafes. We sat at one of the tavernas which overlooks the sea and a very Medieval atmosphere surrounding us, it was a very unique dining experience. We stayed there long after we’ve finished our meal. It was only when we saw black clouds looming over the rock that we decided to leave and hurry back to our car. We don’t mind the rain really since we’re living in a rain-less place (the Middle East) but it was because of my broken sandals and the slippery cobblestone paths that we have to take to get back to our car. Thankfully, we made it out of the rock as I felt the first drop of rain.
Did I regret spending time outside the fabulous hotel that we were staying in? Definitely not as a visit to the equally breathtaking Monemvasia is an absolute must!
Here’s a travel video I created about our stay at Kinsterna Hotel with bits and pieces of our Monemvasia visit:
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