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:: LAKONIA

The county of Lakonia offers all the elements that can make you your winter holidays unforgettable. In the capital of the county, Sparti, you can visit the archeological museum, which is housed in a traditional neo-classic building. There you will find many of the singular treasures of Ancient Sparti. Areopoli, in the western side of the county and 73km. from Sparti, is the key place for exploring Mani. It has been characterized as a preserved settlement; it is only 25km from Githio and has many reconditioned towers. It was the home base of the Mavromihaleo, and their tower is now used as a museum. It is also worth it to visit the church of the Taxiarhon in the centre of the town. After Areopoli, the visitor has already been introduced to the general picture of Mani, but a surprise awaits them at the village of Vathia, (33km from Aeropoli) which completes the experience of Mani. Vathia is a one of a kind village that is been renovated now. There are sky scraping towers and the wonder-feeling a visitor gets while walking through the small laneways of the village is due to the rich history is small village has. At a distance of 24km. from Areopoli, you will find Gerolimena, a traditional seaside village with a few accommodation establishments and taverns on the beach. North of Areopoli and at a distance of 92km you will find Pirgo Digou, a classic Maniatic village that has the singular benefit of the hidden underground river with the most beautiful cave in the world, Glyfada, with stalagmites and stalactites. This impressive cave gathers a large amount of tourists. It is found next to Alepotripa, a second cave, where ancient pickaxe brought to light more findings of the Neolithic period. Just 42km. from Sparti is the picturesque Githio with its beautiful centre square and the little port. In the Holm Kranai you will Tzanetaki Tower, which has been renovated and now houses the New Age History in the area. In the south of the county and 75km from Sparti, you will find the small town of Molai that leads to headland of Malea, which was famous for its watermills. The settlements of Elia and Plitra offer amazing beaches for summer vacations. Monemvasia (95km from Sparti) the Byzantine and Venetian jewel of the eastern shores of Peloponnesse that is only 26km. from the Molaous. This castle town has about forty churches; many decorated with arches, with the intersecting cobble paved laneways that are full of tourists. It is built on the bulky rocky holm that is connected to the opposite side by road. Behind the heavy gateway and the high walls, a visitor will find many cafes, restaurants and mansions that will give them the chance to experience what the medieval times left like. On the west of Sparti and just 5km away, you will find Mystras, built on the high hill of Myzithra and offers are fantastic panoramic view of the valley. This medieval town was developed little by little just under a Franciscan Castle, which is proven by the second wall that was built to protect those who took residence just outside the first wall. There were many churches built, during the two centuries that Mystra was a major Byzantine centre of Moria. Many of these churches are still in very good condition. On the first wing of the town you will find the Byzantine Museum of Mystra. The churches of Aghion Theodoron and Odigitrias are found in the middle of the settlement and are fantastic examples of Byzantine architecture. The monastery of Pantanassas in the only one that currently working at the moment.

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