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Tourist Guide of Lakonia

The extremely interesting acquaintance of Laconia consists of the castle of Mystras, the rock of Monemvasia, the Frankish fortresses, the chateaus of Mani and the Byzantine temples stretched throughout the area. Unique natural beauties such as the caves of Diros, the landscape at Tenaro Cape, the canyon of Kardamili, Taygetos mount, attract every year more and more visitors without showing a massive crowdness.
At the same position that ancient Sparta was, is now the modern city - the capital of the prefecture. This is one of the most beautiful cities in Greece with a lively nightlife, many teenage hangouts, good layout, avenues with trees, parks and public buildings of a splendid beauty.
 It is worth visiting the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Annunciation at Sparta and of Agios Nikon, the Statue of the legislator of Sparta, Lycurgos, the statue of Leonidas, the municipal market, the Koumantarios Gallery, the ancient Sparta, the Temple of "Orthia" Artemis and "Amyklaios" Apollo, the Meneleon, the Byzantine churchs of Agios Ioannis, of Agios Nikolaos and of Prophet Elijah, the Church of the Assumption and the monasteries of Koubari and of Katafygiotissa.

You can also visit the village of Anavriti with the running waters and the magnificent views of Evrotas valley and also the dual substance church of Agios Nikolaos and of Agios Dimitrios and the monastery of Faneromeni. Near them is the gorge of Skotia, a green landscape of special beauty and running waters that leads to Mistra. Beautiful is also the scenic village Hrisafa as well as the mountainous villages Kastri and Kastorio. Like an eagle nest is the village of Georgitsi with trees, walnut trees and fountains with running waters and the reputed perennial plane tree at the square of Agios Athanasios. Historic villages are the villages Pellana and Logkanikos. You'll be amazed from the route Sparta - Kalamata through Taygetos. On the same road, at the limits of Messinia, is woth visiting the mountaineering park of Lagadas. In November, every year at Sparta, is celebrated the Orange Festival and also every year takes place the Spartathlon, with the participation of athletes from many countries of the world, as a commemoration of the route which the Athenian herald and first marathon athlete, Feidippidis had run.
On a rocky plateau is built the Areopolis with imposing towers and buildings. Starting from Areopolis you can browse through the Laconian Mani and admire the gray rocks of the region. At Areopolis is worth visiting the church of Taksiarxes, of Agios Ioannis, of Virgin Mary the Georgianiki, of All Saints, of Agios Polycarpos, of Virgin Mary the Tsipiotissa. A traditional hotel of EOT operates in the tower Kapetanakos and is also worth visiting the towers Barelakos and Pikoulaki and the home of Mavromichalis and the statue of Petrobey Mavromichalis.
Historic seaport of Aeropolis is the Limeni, one of the most beautiful and most picturesque coastal villages in Mani. Also, it is worth seeing Apidima, where, in cavernous hollows in the coastal this area, were found stone and bone tools, traces of fire, numerous remains of animal bones and important information on the treatment of the dead and the burial customs of Paleolithic humans. Also, the investigations led to the discovery of two fossil skulls that belong to an earlier anthropological type of modern man.

Archangelos is a coastal fishing village with beautiful beaches and turquoise waters. You can swim in Limanakia of Archangelos bay or at the beaches Pilas, Charakia and Marathia of Elika.
Traditional treasures of the old state of Mani in Vatheia are the representative towers that many of them have been restored and transformed in hostels by a team of architects of EOT. Beautiful villages near the sea are Marmari, Porto Cayo, the village Layia and is worth visiting Cape Tenaro which is the southernmost end of Peloponnese. Vlachiotis is an inland village in which operates a camping. You can swim in Kyani Akti, in Asteri beach and in Kokkinia beach.
In Vresthena you can visit the Monastery of Assumption of the Virgin of the Vrestheniotissa and the village Karyes. Gerakas is surrounded by a rugged and majestic landscape. Its port is located within a wonderful natural fjord. Geraki is situated in the foothills of Parnonas and is a rich historical place with a long tradition in weaving.
The only greenery of the picturesque village of Gerolimenas in Mani, is the prickly pears and the olives trees. In Gerolimenas you will meet the village Kita with old houses, combat towers and Byzantine churches, the Mezapos bay and the island of Karavopetra.
Commercial port with many neoclassical buildings is Gythio with its churches and monasteries, the Mavrovouni, a resort with modern hotel complexes that is offered for holidays and villages with deserted houses and towers: The Homeric town Las, Ageranos, Skoutari. You can swim at beaches Serinitsa and Mavrovouni, Valtaki, Vathi of Ageranos and in Skoutari beach. An exhibition of textiles and sacred things operates in the Monastery of Virgin Mary of Eleousa Zermpitsa at the inland village of Daphne. The village is known, among the other local events - festivals, for the representation of the Vlachs marriage on Shrove Monday.

Beautiful beaches, plenty of fresh fish, and a large tourist development are the features of Elafonissos. It is worth visiting the church of Agios Spyridon built on a rock and the islands of Virgin Mary from where the sunset will enchant you. The Sarakiniko has exotic beaches and is a peninsula surrounded by dunes with crystal clear turquoise waters.
 In Kontogoni there is the beach of Virgin Mary, the beaches Lefki, Simos, Punta and Viglafia where you can swim in crystal clear waters.
The stony land gave the name to the coastal village of Kotrona. The Loukadika villages are the balconies of the area with towers and prickly pears. You can swim in the coves of the village, in the beaches Soloteri and Kokala and in the port of Agios Cyprianos.
In a green area full of trees and running waters is the settlement Koumani, near the village of Krokees, that is renowned for its tile-roofed houses.
Panoramic views, steep cliffs, caves, forests, streams and deep blue sea are the features of the picturesque seaside village of Kyparissi. From there, through a landscape of unique natural beauty, you can visit the village Charakas.
Molai is a rural town and its port is Elia, a picturesque fishing village with country houses and beautiful beaches around. At Molai is worth visiting the mosaics near the site Halasmata, the road full of trees of eucalyptus, length of 7 km from Molai to Sikia, and the village Sikia. You can swim in the beach of Elia, in Makris Gialos, in Tigani and in Germanika.
In the region dominates the Monemvasia, the historic town, the rock of Monemvasia with the castle. Just one kilometer from the castle is Gefyra (Nea Monemvasia), which is a modern tourist center. You can swim at beaches of Gefyra, of Pori, of Ksifia, of Castella and of Agios. Focas, and also many cultural events are held in Monemvasia.
Now ruined, built on the slopes of the Taygetos, the castle of Mystras is one of the largest and most important residential borders of our country, a monument of world heritage. Within walking distance from the castle is Neos Mystras, which includes four villages: Slavici, Pikoulianika, Taygeti and Vlachochori. It is worthwhile to visit the Byzantine state, the church of Agios Ioannis of Buffalos, the Krini, the monasteries of Zoodochos Pigi and of the Virgin Mary the Zagouna and also Keadas, which is a natural entrance to the ravine Lagada and has many caves and precipices, from where it is said that the Spartans threw their disabled children.

Neapoli is a coastal town. The broader area has been known since the earlier times by the name Vatika. At its southern end lies the famous Cape of Maleas (Cape of Malias). In Neapoli is worthwhile to visit the statue of the Sailor, the Medieval castle in Agia Paraskevi, the village Paradisi full of trees, walnut trees, streams and water mills, the ruins of the buildings and the temples of the ancient Vion, the German mines of iron at Koulentanio of Pyrgos, the church of Agii. Anargiri, the monasteries of Agia Irene and Agios Georgios at Kavomalia, the picturesque village of Prophet Elias, the picturesque villages of Agios Nikolaos, Belanidia, Faraklo, Kampos, of Lachi, of Mesochori, Kastania, Agii Apostloli, Elika, of Pantanassa and Agios Georgios. It is worth visiting the petrified forest of palms in Agios Nikolaos, the cave of Agios Andreas in Kastania, the five-domes Byzantine church of Pantanassa in Monemvasia and also the round lake in Agios Georgios (Viglafia), an important natural habitat. You can swim all over at the organized beach, at the boundary of the village and at the picturesque bays of the area and at the beaches of Nerantzionas, of Kampos and Viglafia.

Itilo is built on a steep hill. The seaport of the town, near to Limeni, has well-built houses and an extended beach. It is worth visiting the monastery of Dekouli, the ruins of the castle of Kelefa, the Kryoneri village that overlooks the port and the surrounding area, and also the route Itilo - Kalamata, via the picturesque villages of West or Messinian Mani, will impress you.
Ruins of ancient Asopos are still submerged in the sea area south of the village of Plytra.
With towers, remarkable Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches, the absolute mountain of Mani of the tower of Diros, is renowned for the famous caves, Alepotripa and Vlychada. The fortified complex of the chieftain Sklavounakos in Petrolakko, the old churches of Agia Marina and of Taxiarhes, and the villages of Pentada with numerous castles and chateaus. You will see the Dryalos, Paleochora, the Bambaka, Mpriki, the Mina, the Polemita and Karynia.
At Skala it is worth visiting the churches of Sotira, of Agia Triada and of Agia. Paraskevi, the patron saint of the town, the Kampo, the ruins of the ancient city, the village Stefania and Paleomonastiro.

If you visit the prefecture of Laconia, do not miss to taste siglina, rafiolia, sakousades, noodles, frumenty, lupina, citrus fruits, honey, and do not forget to buy textiles.

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