Most of Monemvasia's residents live in the port, which is a modern town on the Greek mainland about 2 km from the Rock of Monemvasia.This port or Yefira is a modern town with a supermarket, travel agency, bus connections and other services.
From the port, the Rock is about a 20-minute walk or a few minutes by car.
Favorite thing: Monemvasia's main square of Platia Dsami is in the center of the old town. The Italian-style campanile at left belongs to the Church of Christos Elkomenos (Christ in Bonds). On the right is a building that has been a church, a mosque, a prison and an early 20th Century coffeehouse.
Favorite thing: The area is inhabited today and many of the ruined buildings have been restored by the 5th Ephorate. The settlement is surrounded by a U-shaped fortification wall with two gates, one on the east and one on the west side, and a small exit to the sea.
Favorite thing: The settlement which is divided into two sections, built at different levels, each with a separate fortification. Remains of numerous Byzantine and post-Byzantine buildings are preserved in the area of the Upper Town which is not inhabited today.
A causeway links mainland Greece with the Rock of Monemvasia. This mysterious Rock was separated from the mainland by an earthquake in 337 AD.
The Rock is about 2 km from the port. Cars aren't allowed inside the walls of old town so you can park it outside the fortifications.
The first building when you enter Lower Monemvasia is a house of Greek poet and writer Yannis Ritsos (1909 - 1990). He was born in Monemvasia in the noble family of landowners. His grave is not far from this house.
I've got a chance to meet relatives of Yannis Ritsos in Athens.
More info about Ritsos: http://www.mikis-theodorakis.net/ritsos_e.html
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.)
It's a sunny town of tiled-roof houses, attractive shops and cafes, pleasant squares, and tiny churches.
Monemvassia is a small place, you can go walking from one side to the other in 15 minutes.
It's all surrounded by walls. At the upper side the cliff and the mountain; at the lower side, cliffs and sea.
I enjoyed walking all round at 7:30am, out of this world!!
The town of shadows, ghosts.... It is one of the most unforgettable places I saw in Greece!
Go to travelogue: "Being a ghost..."
Just be lost in this town! Narrow streets will lead you somewhere to open a new Monemvasia's secret...
Go to travelogue: "Magical place - Monemvasia"
Favorite thing: Church of Aghia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) at the Upper Town. Octagonal, domed, cross-in-square church, identified by some scholars as the Monastery of Our Lady Hodegetria, dated to 1150.
Favorite thing: 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.