A town of rustic, lyrically romantic beauty, Monemvasia boasts a glorious natural setting - perched on a colossal rock island, which rears spectacularly from the waves. A truly unique castle city, the island is linked to the mainland by just a single solitary causeway. It is hard to imagine a better – and more impenetrable - setting for a fortress town than this, and the rock is laced with tight cobbled streets, exposed stone masonry and pretty Byzantine churches.
Known as the Gibraltar of Greece, you would be forgiven for assuming that the limestone monolith was unoccupied as you approach from the seas. Look a little closer, however, and you’ll begin to pick out the ancient walls and terracotta roofs of the quaint town clinging to its steep, dramatic slopes - and the walls of the fortress crowning it. A natural stronghold of overwhelming romantic beauty – the rock is said to lend couples wedded here extra strong foundations to build from.
Arrive on the island to wander the historic knot of streets of a true Adriatic wonder. Encounter gorgeous, tree-shaded terraces, which look out across the rippling blue waves. Visit the picturesque Church of Christ Elkomenos, where you can shelter in the cool interior, and see storied religious iconography. A historic paved pathway twists back on itself, rising sharply up the slope on a daunting ascent to the now uninhabited upper fortress. The views from here are even more incredible, as you look down across the rustic domes of the lower village’s churches and stone-paved streets below.