The legendary city of Menelaus and the homeland of Leonidas may not be reminiscent of the Ancient Sparta in anything, but it is full of evidence that witness its majestic past. The new Sparta is built south of the center of the ancient city according to the neoclassical urban planning standards. Walk to the National Stadium to admire the statue of Leonidas, stroll until the park and climb up to the Acropolis of Ancient Sparta to enjoy sweeping views of the modern city from above. Also, do not miss to visit Leonidio, the emblem of modern Sparta that houses the tomb of Leonidas, at the north part of the city.
Visit the Archaeological Museum in the center of Sparta to explore unique exhibits from the Neolithic to the late Roman era. Discover the history of the olive oil from antiquity to the present days and learn everything you are curious to know in the Greek Olive Museum. If you are a fan of art, do not miss a visit to Koumantarios Art Gallery to admire the permanent exhibition of oil paintings by great European painters. Visit the awe-inspiring gorge of Kaiades in the lush village of Trypi, just 10 kilometers from the city of Sparta.
Mystras is a ruined Byzantine fortress, just 5 km from Sparta, which dominates on the slopes of Taygetos and overlooks from above the Laconian city and Evrotas valley. A cultural asset of UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1989, this legendary castle city built high up on the green hill will introduce you to history, whispering to yourear the secrets of the Cantacuzinoand the Palaeologus families in every step.
Take a stroll to Kato Chora to admire Byzantine churches of great architecture, visit the Museum of Mystras with the unique exhibits of the Byzantine period and climb up to AnoChora to be enchanted by the palaces of Palaiologos, Hagia Sophia and the panoramic views from the fortress.
The picturesque villages around Sparta and Mystras will introduce you to the relaxed pace of an authentic lifestyle. Visit Anavriti for its running waters, the tiny Pikouliani for the beautiful route between orange groves, the village of Georgitsi for its plane trees, walnuts and chestnuts, as well as the village of Amykles for the ruins of the ancient homonymous city.