Where to stay? We stayed at the Moni Emvasis suites. This three-room hotel is a little slice of heaven on earth. The proprietor / host / restauranteur, Nektarina, was amazingly welcoming. So much so, that we never ate a dinner or breakfast anywhere else. Each morning at breakfast she’d ask us what we wanted for dinner and would go get us fresh fish from the fishermen at the docks for our dinners. I mean, seriously, if you go to Monemvasia, this is the place you have to stay.
We started our tour on the island of Monemvasia which was separated from the mainland by an earthquake in 375 B.C. The history of the town is very cool. Rather than retype it here, check it out on Wikipedia. When you stay in the lower town (the upper is currently closed and under construction), you feel like you are back in its early days, with internet access and without the threat of invasion, of course.
What to do:
We spent two days in town. We toured the lower old town in the morning, complete with dodging some of the most enormous spiders we’d ever seen, and then made our way to the mainland and the modern town. We swam with the turtles (for real) in the port and spent a couple of hours pre-siesta eating amazing food at Scorpio’s Taverna. A must-do. Everything we ate was incredible. The greek salads adorned with beautiful creamy slabs of feta cheese (not unique to Scorpio’s incidentally), octopus and prawns.
On day two, we continued to tour around Monemvasia and its amazing church. We swam in a pool in the Aegean. All around town are ladders that drop right into the sea and are perfect for swimming. We spent the afternoon at Byron’s Kamara, which we’d read about on Trip Advisor. Byron makes you fresh snacks to pair with each glass of wine you order. Stay long enough (which we, of course, did) and Byron might even partake with you. His company, conversation, food and wine were a highlight. Byron’s is easy to find, just follow the yellow-painted signs you can find around town.