Mystras - the Last Byzantine Stronghold
Duration: 6 hours
Tour Code: mnv-001
Driving northward from Monemvasia towards the village of Sparta, you will come upon the ruins of the ancient city of Mystras. Its strategic location on the steep slopes of Mount Taygetos made it difficult for enemies to invade the city walls, inspiring William II to erect a citadel there in 1249. The city had two entrances, the Monovasia gate and the Anaplon gate, which were connected by a road that bisected the city - the northern portion for nobility; the southern part for the townspeople. Stopping at the top, you will have time to take a photo of marvelous Mystras below, considered Greece's best-preserved Byzantine city. The walking tour commences in the city, where you will gain great insight regarding Mystras' impressive churches, restored palaces, vaulted alleys, and city walls, a reminder that it was once under constant siege. Upon reaching the summit of the Kastro, a 13th century castle, you will behold one of the most stunning panoramas in Mystras. If you don't wish to make the climb, we suggest admiring the magnificent fresco-adorned churches, such as Aghios Dimitrios, the Evangelistria and the Pantanassa. However you may choose to simply stroll around Mystras, now a ghostly city virtually defined by its rich history. On the return trip, you will stop for lunch at a picturesque tavern that affords one last sweeping view of the stunning countryside surrounding Mystras.
Please note: this tour includes approximately two hours of walking and/or standing - at times on uneven ground. There is also considerable uphill climbing and/or steps. The tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Light-weight clothing; sun caps; sunglasses; sunscreen and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested.