A giant rock sitting in the Aegean Sea – and a hidden hotel gem just 7 km away. Greece`s best kept secrets.
This was my second visit to Monemvasia. A scenic 3.5 hour drive from Athens to one of the country`s most beautiful regions – and one of the least known. After driving through a lovely landscape with hills and mostly untouched nature you suddenly discover that giant rock in the sea – wow! My first stop though was in the new part of Monemvasia, an enchanting village with a nice beach (pebbles, no sand) and some lovely cafés just next to a little marina. Get a coffee, take a deep breath and – enjoy, you are in Greece! My favorite spot is Dodo`s Café – excellent espresso, delicious Greek yoghourt and free WiFi which works ;-)!
Photo: A stroll through the charming historic village of Monemvasia
From there it is a 7 km drive to one of the most spectacular hotels I have ever seen – a century-old mansion that was turned into a luxury hotel! The Kinsterna is much more than just accommodation, it is an experience. I have already described it in my blog „A hidden gem“ so let me just summarize my most important points:
- A great location in the middle of vineyards and olive groves overlooking the Aegean Sea
- Only 42 accommodations (rooms, suites, residences) – some of them with a private jacuzzi, how cool is that?
- A first-class service and ambiance far away from mass hotels
- Lots of culture and history
- Inspiring activities such as assisting in the production of wine, olive oil, bread baking
- Delicious meals with many homemade food items (I love the pie of dried tomatoes and the bread!)
- Beautiful relax areas with two pools in the gardens
- A small but nice spa to enjoy relaxation after an exciting day of exploring the region
Just have a look at my images – a photo says more than 1,000 words!
Coming back to that incredible rock. Take the causeway from „downtown“ Monemvasia and leave your car at the end of the street. From now on you will have to WALK! You don`t find any car, moped or motorbike in this little enclave – thanks to the Greek gods!
Believe me, you need your best walking shoes. Once you have entered the historic village, you will have cobbled paths and staircases in front of you. And charming boutiques, cafés, restaurants and even tiny little hotels – a little microcosm out of this world. Stop by Edodimopolio (yes, Greek is a bit tough...) to taste local honey, olive oil and honey-wine (the shops`s flyer mentions an „erotic aroma“ ... interesting!). The natural wax cream is supposed to rejuvenate – so I bought tons of it! Fotini, the nice owner, will be happy to tell you all about it and ... to sell ;-)! See the little churches, patios and take pictures of the endless sea. Remember that this place was first inhabited in the year 583 and could not be conquered for a long time. And if you need some more exercise and the Greek sun is not too strong, go up to the Citadel on the top of the rock (194 m) – a marvelous view will make up for the effort.
Photo: Shopping at Fotini`s place
For more photos just visit my Monemvasia image gallery!