What to see in Santorini island | Vacation in Greece by Vida Hospitality

One of the most worldwide well-known destinations in Greece and the most romantic island in Cyclades, is Santorini. The island was inhabited since the Neolithic Period. Known for the amazing sunset, the volcano that actually created Santorini the way it is today, the famous wines and the must destination for weddings and honeymoons!

In ancient times Santorini was known as Strongili, which means round in Greek. A huge eruption of the volcano took place in 1,500 B.C. and some people believe that the eruption with the giant waves that it created were the main causes of the destruction of the great Minoan Civilization situated in Crete, 70 nautical miles away. Due to this eruption and the earthquakes that took place later on the island, a big part of the island was destroyed and this is the reason that some ancient myths connect Santorini with the legend of Atlantis.

In the ancient times, the island was occupied by Lacedaemonians and Phoenicians. Between 1200 A.C. and 1579 A.C. the island was under the Byzantine rule. Its name was given by the Venetians after the Santa Irini, the name of the Catholic Church. All the old times, Santorini, due to its location, was a strong trade center.

Photos HERE

How to go to Santorini

You can go to Santorini either by a ferry or with a plane.

Santorini International Airport connects Santorini with both Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece and with other European destinations as well. You can find more information about flights from and to Mykonos at the airport’s website: HERE

There are ferry connections between Santorini and Athens from either Rafina (Closer to the International Airport of Athens) or from Piraeus (Closer to the city center) and from other islands of the Aegean Sea as well. You can book online your ferry tickets to Santorini HERE.

Ancient Thera

Directions HERE

Ancient Thera is an ancient city and capital on a ridge of the steep, 360m high Messa Vouno mountain in Santorini. The city was founded by the Doric colonists from Sparta, who recognized the strategic value of its location on a rocky ridge, that until then was an unimportant settlement. The city was named after the mythical ruler, Theras, and was inhabited from the 9th century B.C.

The ancient city consisted of a street almost 800m long that was containing several imposing buildings. After about 200m of the street the city expands in an area of about 10,000 m2 on an exposed plateau high above the rocky coast. Into the lower scope there were built a theatre and an agora and around them there was residential area. All the buildings were constructed with local limestone of the mountain.

Photos HERE


Directions HERE

The ancient city at Akrotiri is the most important prehistoric settlement found in Santorini and is very well-known for the famous ruins found from the Minoan period.

On the top of the town there was an old fortress that was destroyed during the earthquake in 1956 and inside the fortress was all the life of the city before the earthquake as the city was located within the walls. After the earthquake the inhabitants built the city right underneath the fortress where it extends right up to the fields of grape vines.

Photos HERE

The Sunset in Santorini

Santorini’s sunset is one of the most amazing and romantic things you have ever seen in your life. There are a lot of different places from where you can enjoy the amazing sunset and below are displayed some of them.

From Oia Castle – Directions HERE

From Scaros Rock at Imerovigli – Directions HERE

From Akrotiri Lighthouse – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

From the Sea – In Santorini you will find a lot of different cruises for the sunset time and some of them offer dinner as well!

Photos HERE

Volcano & Hot Springs

In Santorini you will find a lot of options for cruises that will take to you a tour to the Volcano and the hot springs. You need to be careful as the volcano is still active as the last eruption took place in 1953. The cruises start from the old port of Santorini (Directions HERE) and they have tour guidance that can explain the geology and history of whatever you will see.

The volcano in Santorini is actually the island of Nea Kameni located at the center of Santorini caldera. Nea Kameni was formed around 1570 after a series of volcanic eruptions.

It is surrounded by warm dark waters which are known for their therapeutic benefits due to the iron and manganese which act against many diseases.

Photos HERE

The villages in Santorini

Thera or Fira – Directions HERE

Fira is the capital of Santorini. It sprawls north into villages called Firostefani and Imerovigli that is the highest point of the caldera edge. A path running through these villages is lined with hotels, restaurants and amazing opportunities for photos.

In Fira you can find the Archeological Museum of Fira (Directions HERE), the Folklore Museum (Directions HERE) and the Museum of Prehistoric Thira (Directions HERE).

Photos HERE

Oia – Directions HERE

Oia is the most famous of all villages in Santorini. It is a traditional village with charming houses, blue-domed churches and sun-bathed verandas, known for its beauty and the amazing sunset views!It is located 12kms north-west from Fira and offers and incredible view to the volcano.

In Oia you can find the Maritime Museum (Directions HERE) and the small port of Ammoudi (Directions HERE), which can be reached by a set of 300 steps leading down. Many artists fell in love with the area and settled there and this is the reason that you can find many art galleries in Oia.

Photos HERE

Pyrgos – Directions HERE

Pyrgos is the largest preserved village of Santorini and the island’s former capital. Strategically built in the heart of the pre-volcanic hinterland and at the foot of Mr. Profitis Ilias.

In Pyrgos you can find the Museum Santorini of the past (Directions HERE) and the Pyrgos Castle (Directions HERE). Do not forget to visit the historic church of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary (1660) (Directions HERE).

Photos HERE

Megalochori – Directions HERE

Close to Pyrgos you can find the Megalochori, a picturesque village with historical mansions, traditional houses, pirate hideaways and wine canavas.

While being in Megalochori you should check the houses of Plaka (Directions HERE) built right by the sea, the heart of Santorini (Directions HERE) and the art gallery – 1260 CeramicStudio (Directions HERE).

Photos HERE

Emporio – Directions HERE

Emporio is the largest village of Santorini, located at the center of the south part of the island, 12kms South-East from Fira. It was named Emporio, meaning trade in Greek, because it used to be the center of the commercial affairs in the past.

The big attraction of Emporio is the Mediavel Kasteli (Directions HERE), the Venetian Castle that inside has a church that dates back on the 16th century. Also at the edge of the village you can find the ruins of an ancient windmill (Directions HERE).

Photos HERE

Wineries in Santorini

Santorini has a strong, long-lasting legacy of winemaking, producing some of the most amazing wines in the world. No-one can answer if the magic ingredient of the recipe is the soil, the grape varieties used, the technical know-how that the local winery owners have accumulated over the years. There are a lot of wineries in Santorini and below you can find some of the best.

Gavalas Winery – Directions HERE

SantoWines – Directions HERE

Gaia Winery – Directions HERE

Sigalas Winery – Directions HERE

Koutsogiannopoulos Winery & Wine Museum – Directions HERE

Beaches in Santorini

Caldera Beach – Directions HERE

White Beach – Directions HERE

Red Beach – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Akrotiri Beach – Directions HERE

Vlichada Beach – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Perivolos Beach – Directions HERE

Perissa Black Sand Beach – Directions HERE

Capo Colombo Beach – Directions HERE

Kamari Black Pebble Beach – Directions HERE

Kantharos Beach – Directions HERE

Restaurants in Santorini

On the island of Santorini there are many different options for dining. I would recommend you to check the restaurant before you visit it because on the island there are restaurants for big wallets!!

Aidani Restaurant – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

Armeni Restaurant – Seafood – Directions HERE

Melitini Restaurant – Greek Cuisine – Directions HERE

Rare Greek Restaurant – Greek Steakhouse – Directions HERE

Fistikies Restaurant – Greek, European – Directions HERE

Melina’s Tavern – Seafood – Directions HERE

Le Ciel Restaurant – International Cuisine – Directions HERE

La Colline Restaurant- Seafood – Directions HERE

Il Forno Pizza – Italina Cuisine – Directions HERE

Terra Nera – Pizza – Directions HERE

Aroma Avlis Food & Wine – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

For more articles and suggestions about your next Greek vacation, visit our blog HERE. If you need any kind of support with the planning of your holidays in Greece, you can always live chat with our customer service team HERE.

If you choose to include Nafplio, the most beautiful Greek city, in your plans, we would be more than happy to support with the best accommodation in Nafplio. Vida Hospitality operates the best holiday apartments and hotel serviced apartments in Nafplio. You can explore our properties HERE.

Vida Hospitality Team
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Mykonos island, Greece | Vacation in Greece by Vida Hospitality

A lot of people from all over the world wonder if Mykonos is in Greece or if Greece is in Mykonos. From this statement alone someone can understand how popular is the island in Cyclades called Mykonos, or the Ibiza of Greece as some people say.

Well, Mykonos is one of the most famous cosmopolitan islands, a whitewashed paradise in the heart of the Cyclades at the Aegean Sea at the East side of Greece. According to the mythology, Mykonos was formed from the petrified bodies of giants killed by Hercules and it too its name from the grandson of Apollo, “Mykonos”.

How to go to Mykonos

You can go to Mykonos either by a ferry or with a plane.

Mykonos International Airport connects Mykonos with both Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece and with other European destinations as well. You can find more information about flights from and to Mykonos at the airport’s website: HERE

There are ferry connections between Mykonos and Athens from either Rafina (Closer to the International Airport of Athens) or from Piraeus (Closer to the city center) and from other islands of the Aegean Sea as well. You can book online your ferry tickets to Mykonos HERE.

Mykonos Windmills

Directions  HERE

One of the most famous typical highlights of the Aegean Sea and a landmark of Mykonos are the windmills that are located at the west side of the chora of Mykonos. During the 17th and 18th centuries the island had more than twenty windmills, which contributed to the wheat production, a fundamental element of the island’s economic development. Today there are seven of the windmills that are maintained in a decent condition and everyone that visits Mykonos will take at least one picture at this area.

Little Venice

Directions HERE

One of the most popular neighborhoods of Mykonos and one of the most romantic places at the island is the Little Venice. The Little Venice is replete with elegant and gorgeous old houses that are situated on the edge of the sea. One of the most amazing about the Little Venice in Italy is the amazing view to the sunset. Some of the most popular artists from all over the world have used the magnetic beauty of the Little Venice in their priceless artworks, etchings, and paintings thereby promoting the reputation this neighborhood to the outside world. There are plenty of entertainment options such as clubs, bars, cafes and high end restaurants located in Little Venice.

The Matogianni Street

Directions HERE

The heart of the island is known by the locals and tourists to be the Matogianni Street in Chora. The street is very popular for two reasons. First it is the place where all the toursits will for sure pass when visiting Mykonos and second it is the place where an open mall with stores from the most well-known designers is located. It is the paradise for women who love shopping and can find there from handmade jewellery to souvenir shops. In the summer time the stores remain open until midnight and celebrities from all over the world can be seen there.

Mykonos Old Port – Peter the Pelican

Directions HERE

A great area to walk especially in the night time is the old port of Mykonos. There you can find many cafes and restaurants overlooking the sea and you can enjoy amazing walks to the small paths. The old port of Mykonos is very popular also because it is the home of the symbol of Mykonos, the famous pelican that hears to the name of Petros (Peter) the pelican!

The Rarity Gallery

Directions HERE

In the chora of Mykonos is located the Rarity Gallery. This attraction was established in 1995 and the creators mission is to offer an original, selected and carefully composed aesthetic experience to strengthen the appreciation of the contemporary art, while calorizing the artists, their exposure and reputation. At the Rarity Gallery you can expect to discover new artists as well as unique pieces ranging from sculptures to oil paintings that develop a high level of talent.

The Archeological Museum of Mykonos

Directions HERE

At the chora of Mykonos is located the Archeological Museum. Th exhibition of the museum includes a large number of vases, ranging from the prehistoric to the late Hellenistic period (25th – 21st century B.C.) grave statues, stelae and funerary urns from Rheneia and very few from Mykonos. The museum contains the Funerary statues and grave stelae dating from the 2nd/1st century B.C, Pottery dating from the 25th to the 1st century B.C., Clay figurines dated to the 2nd/1st century B.C., Jewellery and small objects of the 2nd/1st century B.C.

The Armenisits Lighthouse

Directions HERE

One of the must-see and the most romantic places on the North-West part of Mykonos, at Fanari area, is the Armenistis Lighthouse that is 19m tall and was built in 1891 and remains in fully functionality today and overlooks the stretch of sparkling blue water between Mykonos and the neighboring island of Tinos.

The decision to build the Armenistis Lighthouse was prompted by the sinking of the British steamship Volta in 1887 at the north coast of the island where eleven people lost their lives in that unfortunate incident.

Churches in Mykonos

Church of Panagia Paraportiani

Directions HERE

The church of Panagia Paraportiani (Virgin Mary) is among the most photographed churches in the whole world. It is located at the entrance of the Kastro neighborhood, right by the sea and its name means standing next to the entrance door, meaning that the church was next to the Castle door. The special thing about this church is that it consists of five small churches that were built one next to the other. The church of Agios Efstathios is located in the center of the complex and is surrounded by the churches of Agios Anargyros, Agios Sozon and Agia Anastasia. On top of the four churches, there is the church of Panagia Paraportiani, which looks like a dome. The churches were constructed between 14th to 17th century and there were renovations till 1920.

Agios Nikolaos Church

Directions HERE

Agios Nikolaos is a small Orthodox Church that was built during the 4th century in honor of Saint Nicholas, the protector of sailors and fisherman. It is located at the old port of Mykonos right next to the sea. It belongs to the post-Byzantine era and has a minimal interior with a few icons of the Virgin Mary and the Apostles. The exterior of the church is in harmony with the traditional architecture of the islands as it consists of a picturesque white building with a blue dome.

Paleokastro Monastery

Directions HERE

Close to the village Ano Mera in Mykonos on top of a hill is located the Paleokastro Monastery. It is a nunnery (female monastery) and it dates from the 18th century. Its architecture is the typical on of the Cycladic and it took its name from the remains of the Gizi Castle right next to the monastery that was also known as Paleokastro.

The Monastery of Panagia Tourliani

Directions HERE

Another monastery that is located in Ano Mera village is the monastery of Panagia Tourliani. The monastery was originally built in 1542 by two priests and was initially named after the Presentation of Virgin Mary. The monastery was restored in 1767 and took its present name after an icon of the Virgin Mary found in the nearby are of Tourlos. At the yard of the monastery there is a marble fountain while in the interior there is an impressive wooden iconostasis and are icons of apostles and saints on the iconostasis as well as scenes from the New Tastament.

The Archeological Site of Delos

The uninhabited island of Delos is a World Heritage Site and one of the most important archeological sites of Greece. It is just a short ferry ride from Mykonos, with departures from Mykonos town in the morning and return in early or mid-afternoon. You can book a ticket from Mykonos to Delos HERE.

According to the Greek Mythology, Delos was the birth-place of Apollo and Artemis. The first evidence of habitation on the island dates from the 3rd millennium B.C. In the 7th century B.C. Delos was already known Ionic center because of its religious importance as the birth-place of Apollo. Athenian influence was inhabited on the sanctuary with the first purification of Delos by Peisistratos in 540 B.C. but it gradually developed into a proper domination lasting until the end of the 4th century B.C. The independence of the island lasted until 166 B.C. when Romans gave it over to the Athenians. The second Athenian domination started with the expulsion of the Delians to Achaia, in the Peloponnese.

During Mithridates wars against the Romans, Delos suffered severe damage in the raids of 88 and 69 B.C. Since then the island prosperity gradually came to an end. In the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. only a small settlement existed on Delos and, as Christianity had gradually replaced the ancient religion, the island finally lost its importance.

The Agora of the “Hermaistes” or “Competaliastes”.

One of the main markets of the Hellenistic city, the Agora that is dated to the last quarter of the 2nd century B.C., is an open square abutting the Sacred Harbour, paved with large flat stones. On the north side lies the Portico of Philip and a small Ionic temple dedicated to Hermes, the god of commerce while on the east and south sides of the market there were shops and workshops. At the center of the Agora stand one square and one round marble monuments that are dedicated to Hermes.

The Temple of the Delians

The latest and largest of the three temples dedicated to Apollo is the Temple of the Delians od The Grand Temple. The construction of the Tempe started in 478 B.C but stopped around the middle of the 5th century B.C., when the treasury of the Delian League was transferred to Athens. The work was never actually finished even it resumed during the perod of the Delian independence. The architecture is peripteral Doric with six columns on each of the narrow sides and thirteen on each of the long ones.

The Minoan Fountain

The Minoan Fountain, dedicated to “Minoan Nymphs”, is a public well hewn in the rock. The fountain was covered by a square building that was open of the south side. The water level could be reached by the stone steps on the south side. The fountain was constructed in the 6th century B.C. and remained in use until the late Hellenistic period, when it was converted into a house.

Terrace of the Lions

The marble lions, dedicated to Apollo by the Nexians in 7th century B.C. stand in a row facing eastwards, toward the Sacred lake. Even originally there were total of sixteen lions, nowadays only five lions and the remains of three more stand at the site. The lions were the eternal guardians of the Sanctuary and were bordering the west side of the road leading from the harbor to the Temples.

The Theatre

Originally the theater was constructed in the 3rd century B.C. from marble and later on it was replaced by a wooden one. The first raw of seats, as at all the other theatres of the Ancient Greece, was reserved for officials and dignitaries. On top the first raw there were twenty-six stone tiers in the lower part and seventeen more in the upper part (epitheatron) of the theatre. The theatre could accommodate almost 5.000 spectators. In front of the round orchestra, the remains of the stage-building (skene) are to be seen.

The Temple of Isis

At the archeological site of Delos is a small Doric Temple within a sanctuary shared by the familiar triad Serapis, Isis and Anubis, located on a high terrace by the foothill of Cynthus. It was constructed in the beginning of the 2nd century B.C. and it was repaired by the Athenians in 135 B.C. and still contains the cult statue of the goddess. Isis, known by a variety of cult names, gave people good health and fortune and protected the sailors.

The Temple of Hera

The Temple of Hera is a Doric Temple that was constructed in around 500 B.C. under its cella were revealed the foundation of an earlier temple, dating back to the beginning of the 7th century B.C.

Beaches in Mykonos

Korfos Beach – Directions HERE

Kapari Beach – Directions HERE

Ornou Beach – Directions HERE

Psarou Beach – High End Area – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Platis Gialos Beach – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Paradise Beach – Party – Directions HERE

Super Paradise Beach – Party – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Kalo Livadi Beach – Directions HERE

Ftelia Beach – Directions HERE

Agios Sostis Beach – Directions HERE

Restaurants in Mykonos

On the island of Mykonos there are many different options for dining. I would recommend you to check the restaurant before you visit it because on the island there are restaurants for big wallets!!

Kalita Restaurant – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

Blue Myth Restaurant – Seafood – Directions HERE

To Apomero – Greek Seafood Cuisine – Directions HERE

Yialo-Yialo – Italian Cuisine – Directions HERE

Local Mykonos – Steakhouse – Directions HERE

Lyo Sushi Bar – Sushi – Directions HERE

Kazarma – European Cuisine – Directions HERE

Vegera – Greek Cuisine – Directions HERE

Compass – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

Nammos Restaurant – Very Popular – Directions HERE

For more articles and suggestions about your next Greek vacation, visit our blog HERE. If you need any kind of support with the planning of your holidays in Greece, you can always live chat with our customer service team HERE.

If you choose to include Nafplio, the most beautiful Greek city, in your plans, we would be more than happy to support with the best accommodation in Nafplio. Vida Hospitality operates the best holiday apartments and hotel serviced apartments in Nafplio. You can explore our properties HERE.

Vida Hospitality Team
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Kyparissia, Peloponnese | Vacation in Greece by Vida Hospitality

At the west side of the Peloponnese region, on the slopes of a hill is located a small village called Kyparissia (Directions HERE) that was one of the largest cities of the Kingdom of Nestor, King of Pylos. Kyparissia got its name from the abundant cypress trees (in Greek the Kyparissia) that would grow there, or from the name of King Kyparissios.

There is no harbor upon the Messenian coast north of Pylos, but Leake remarks that the roadstead at Kyparissia seems to be the best part of the coast and in ancient times the town probably possessed an artificial harbor, since traces of a mole may still be seen upon the sea-shore.

In the Middle Ages it was called Arkadia, a name which was transferred from the interior of the peninsula to this place upon the coast. In 1460 Kyparissia came under Ottoman control and remained until the Greek War of Independence with the exception of thirty years on Venetian Rule.

Photos HERE

The Castle of Kyparissia

Directions HERE

The castle of Kyparissia or the Castle of Arcadia as some people call it is one of the most well-known sights in Kyparissia. The castle was built by Frankish on the site of a previous Byzantine fortress. The Byzantines had built four bulwarks at the four corners of the castle. Of these four bulwarks only one is preserved today, the one named Loustianos after the great Byzantine emperor.

The Franks had the castle under their occupation for almost two centuries after they attacked it in the 13th century. In 1460, the Castle of Kyparissia was conquered by the Turks, until 1820 when the Greek War of Independence se the town free.

All the battles that took place have destroyed a big part of the castle with the bulwarks the walls and the cistern been destroyed. In 1970 the Greek Government tried to restore the Castle and this is the time that they built an open-air theatre that hosts evens mostly durin the summer time.

Archeological Site of Kyparissia Peristeria

Directions HERE

Aprox. 10kms to the North-East of Kyparissia is located one of the primary centres of the First Mycenaean Civilization in Greece, the archeological site of Peristeria. The site was un-known to the modern Greeks until 1960 when the site first excavated by the famous archeologist Spiros Marinatos.

The archeological site was a city in the ancient times and today someone can find the ruins of the palace and the residences with four vaulted graves as well. The tombs on the site were built for the local rulers as rich grave gifts were uncovered beneath the floor. They have a typical circular chamber with a corbelled roof.

Gorge Stalactites

Directions HERE

At the right side of the archeological site of Peristeria, there is a path that leads to the famous Gorge Stalactites. It is a 20min walk path through the small pine-forest that ends at the spring with the fresh running crystal water.

The Arcadian River runs along certain parts of the route. Keep in mind that in order to go to the stalactites you will have to walk to the source of the water as the springs enter the gorge through rocks. The locals call it Stexeorema Gorge, because they believe that nymphs Nereids-Fairies live there.

The Old Watermill

Directions HERE

Next to Kyparissia, at the North-East and about 5 min drive is located a small village called Muloi. At this village is located one of the old watermills of Greece. The Old Watermill of Kyparissia was constructed and started operating before 1850. It is the 10th out of the watermills that were constructed and were operating the same way. Even all the other mills were abandoned the Old Watermill of Kyparissia was operating since 1974 when the Mayor of Kyparissia paid the owner in order to ensure that there would be enough water supply for the town of Kyparissia.

The Church of Holy Trinity

Directions HERE

Right underneath the Castle of Kyparissia at the upper town – Ano Poli – is located the church of Holy Trinity – in Greek the church of Agia triada. The church is dedicated to the Holy Spirit, the saint protector of the town and celebrates every 40 days after Easter. The church was built on the ruins of an ancient temple and its location offers an amazing view of the sea.

Beaches Near Kyparissia

Lagkouvardos Beach – Directions HERE

Agia Kiriaki Beach – Directions HERE

Stomio Beach – Directions HERE

Ai Lagoudis Beach – Directions HERE

Kartela Beach – Directions HERE

Kalo Nero Beach – Directions HERE

Vounaki Beach – Directions HERE

Agiannakis Beach – Directions HERE

Elea Beach – Directions HERE

Restaurants Near Kyparissia

Palia Agora Restaurant – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

Arcadia Gefsipoleio – Greek Cuisine – Directions HERE

To Petrino Balkoni – Seafood – Directions HERE

Stathmos Agiannaki Restaurant – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

Taverna Platanos – Greek Cuisine – Directions HERE

A great way to explore Peloponnese is by using one major place as your base and explore the region on daily trips. Nafplio, which by the way is one of the most beautiful Greek cities, is ideal to be your base for this amazing experience. Find all the options you will have for daily trips – to explore Peloponnese HERE.

For any kind of support or assistance with your Peloponnese vacation, feel free to live chat with our customer service team HERE.

For the best accommodation in the town, you can always check our properties HERE.

Vida Hospitality Team

Pylos, West Messinia, Greece | Explore Peloponnese by Vida Hospitality

Pylos is a town located at the South-West of the Peloponnese region. Historically known as Navarino has been inhabited since Neolithic times. During the history it had different names such as the French name Port-de-Jonc and the Italian one, Navarino.

Pylos was a significant kingdom in Mycenaean Greece, with remains of so-called “Palace of Nestor”, named after Nestor the king of Pylos in Homer’s Iliad. It had an important role during the Peloponnesian War and became the site of the Battle of Pylos in 425 BC. During 13th century it became part of the Frankish Principality of Achaea. Pylos became under control of the Republic of Venice from 1417 until 1500 and during 1685-1715. There was a Russian occupation between April 10th of 1770-1771 during the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774 and under the Ottoman Empire until the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in 1821.

The Neokastro

Directions HERE

Strategically located at the west of the town, the Neokastro or Niokastro of Pylos was built in blocks of stone by the Turks in 1573, when they dominated Greece in order to guard and protect the southern entrance of the bay of Navarino and defend the port and the region.

In the Neocastro the is the hexagonal acropolis that was used as a prison up until 1900 and during the World War II. The Navarino Castle was used as a base for the invasion of Crete during the opening stages of the Cretan War.

Old Navarino Castle

Directions HERE

On the Northern edge of the bay, on top of the 200-metre rock formation is located the Old Navarino Castle. Although there are no physical barriers to access, the castle ruins have been declared “closed” because the structure is considered dangerous. The Castle was built by Nicholas II of Saint Omer, the lord of Thebes, who in c. 1281 received extensive lands in Messenia in exchange for ceding his wife’s possessions of Kalamata and Chlemoutsi to the princely domain.

The Castle remained unimportant until the naval battle in 1354 between Venice and Genoa and an episode in 1364, during the conflict between Mary of Bourbon and he Prince Philip of Taranto, due to Mary’s attempt to claim Principality following the death of her husband, Robert of Taranto. In 1423, Navarino, like the rest of the Peloponnese, suffered its first Ottoman raid, led by Turakhan Bey, which was repeated in 1452.

The Bay Course Navarino

Directions HERE

The World-Class Golf Course of Navarino is operating since October of 2011. It is an 18-hole, 70 par seaside Bay Course at Navarino Bay that is designed by Robert Trent Jones II. The course provides both fund and experience at all levels of golfers. Golfers experience four different Seaside greens framed by a scenic backdrop of the tranquil waters of the Bay of Navarino. The bay’s natural beauty is showcased on hole #4, a short and strategic par 4 directly fronting the bay with the town of Pylos visible in the background. This challenging hole offers tremendous visual appeal.

The Rene Puaux Exhibition

Directions HERE

The Rene Puaux Exhibition is a Museum located right next to the port of Pylos. It is a red mansion that was donated by Rene Puaux (1878-1937) who bequeathed porcelain, engravings and lithographs on the condition that the be exhibited at Pylos , near the battle’s location. In the museum there is. collection with exhibits from the War of Independence with a focus on the Battle of Navarino.

Costa Navarino Resort

Directions HERE

One of the best resorts located in Greece, focused on family vacation and high-end tourism is located at the Peloponnese region close to Pylos. The area with the buildings and the villas consists of 256,000 m2. In addition, there are several areas close by with private sports centers and golf courses.

Beaches Near Pylos

Gialova Beach – Directions HERE

Divari Golden Sand Beach – Directions HERE

Voidokilia Beach – (Highly Recommended) – Directions HERE

Glossa Beach – Directions HERE

Romanos Beach – Directions HERE

Vromoneri Beach – Directions HERE

Restaurants near Pylos

Katerina’s Tavern Restaurant – Seafood – Directions HERE

Taverna o Koukos – Seafood – Directions HERE

Poseidonia Restaurant Café – Greek Cuisine – Directions HERE

Taverna to Spitiko – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

Navarino food culture by Trichordo – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

A great way to explore Peloponnese is by using one major place as your base and explore the region on daily trips. Nafplio, which by the way is one of the most beautiful Greek cities, is ideal to be your base for this amazing experience. Find all the options you will have for daily trips – to explore Peloponnese HERE.

For any kind of support or assistance with your Peloponnese vacation, feel free to live chat with our customer service team HERE.

For the best accommodation in the town, you can always check our properties HERE.

Vida Hospitality Team

Monemvasia, Peloponnese | Vacation in Greece by Vida Hospitality


Monemvasia is a small town located at a small island that is connected to the mainland by a short causeway 200m in length at the South-East part of the Peloponnese region.

The town’s name is a synthetic word deriving from the two Greek words, mone and emvasia meaning “single entrance”. People worldwide know it with the nicknames of the Gibraltar of the East, the Rock, the Italian Malvasia.

The town was founded by inhabitants of the mainland in 583. From the 10th century AD, the town developed into an important trade and maritime center. Monemvasia was a part of the Byzantine Empire and remained until 1460. It was the seat of an imperial governor, a landing place for Byzantine operations against the Franks, the main port of shipment for Malmsey wine, and one of the most dangerous lairs of corsairs in the Levant. It seems that in 1419 the rock had become the possession of Venice, though it soon returned to the Despot. The town was fairly prosperous under the Venetian rule until the peace of 1502-3, in which it lost its lands source of its food supply and of Malmsey wine. The Ottomans ruled the town until the brief Venetian recovery in 1690 and then again from 1715 to 1821 at the Greek War of Independence.

The Castle

Directions HERE

The Castle in Monemvasia is divided into a lower and an upper town. Many ruins of the original 800 houses and only four out of the original forty churches can be found in the lower town. The upper town is built on top of the rock and is protected by walls. There are the ruins of the Byzantine houses and public buildings and a vast cistern that ensured a water supply at times of siege. A fortified zigzag path from the upper town leads to the Fortress of Goulas on the summit overlooking the town of Monemvasia. At the entrance there is a tunnel that still retains its gates. Among the ruins of houses and christens of the acropolis of the upper town stands St. Sophia, a Byzantine church found on a plan similar to that of Daphni in Athens.

Archeological Museum

Directions HERE

The Archeological Museum in Monemvasia is located at one of the best-preserved buildings that was a former Muslim Mosque. At the Museum there are findings from the history of Monemvasia, such as remains of the fortress, walls, temples and houses.

In addition, findings that were used in the daily life of the inhabitants of Monemvasia and ceramic objects, sculptures and marble temples present the permanent exhibition of the Museum. The former Mosque was built during the 16th century and was converted into a Frankish church, a prison and a Greek Kafeneion through the years. From 1999 until today it is the Archeological Museum.


The Church of Elkomenos Christos

Directions HERE

Right next to the Archeological Museum of Monemvasia is located the most famous church of the castle town, the Church of Elkomenos Christos. The church is dedicated to Christ who was led chained to Crucifixion, which is why it celebrates on Hoy Thursday in Easter.

The church was constructed in 1697, probably on the site of a former church founded in the 6th – 7th century. At the entrance of the church there are two thrones at the left and at the east that were dedicated to the Byzantine Emperor and Empress. Inside the church there are Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, including the icon of Christ in chains before He was crucified and the Crown of Thorns on His head.

Church of Agia Sophia

Directions HERE

At the top of the hill is located one of the oldest and most important Byzantine churches of Greece, the church of Agia Sophia. The church was originally established in the 12th century by the Byzantine Emperor Andronicus II and was dedicated to Panagia Hodegetria, which means the Virgin who leads the way.

After the Greek Independence it was dedicated to the Wisdom of God and then it took its name Agia Sophia. Even if during the history time and wars had caused serious damages to the church, it was restored in the 20th century and stands at the point from where you will enjoy the most amazing views to Aegean Sea.

Church of Panagia Chrysafitissa

Directions HERE

At the edge of the town of Monemvasia is located the church of Panagia Chrysafitissam a beautiful 17th century whitewashed church that operates even today.

The Lighthouse of Monemvasia

Directions HERE

Another must-see monument of the town of Monemvasia is the historic lighthouse that is located at the very end of the hill. The lighthouse was built by the British in 1896 and automated in 1960 the lighthouse has been recently renovated.

The tower is seven meters (23feet) tall and its focal plane is 15 meters (49 feet). The original stone tower, ruined during World War II, was built near the remains of the Venetian fortress of Monemvasia.


Monemvasia Swimming Area – Directions HERE

Monemvasia Beach – Directions HERE

Pori Beach – Directions HERE

Ambelakia Beach – Directions HERE

Restaurants in Monemvasia

Voltes – Mediterranean cuisine – Directions HERE

Oinomelo Castle – Mediterranean cuisine – Directions HERE

Mateo’s – Seafood – Directions HERE

The Cannon – Italian cuisine – Directions HERE

Skorpios Restaurant – Greek cuisine – Directions HERE

Chrisovoulo Restaurant – Seafood & Wine Bar – Directions HERE

Monemvasia is one of the greatest places that deserve your time to visit once in Peloponnese. For those of you who choose to explore the Peloponnese region, you can use Nafplio as your base and explore many great places on short distance from the city. Find your full guide HERE.

Find many articles and advices for your next Greek family vacation in Peloponnese at our blog HERE. For any kind of support, feel free to live chat with our customer service team HERE.

For the best family apartments in Nafplio, check our properties HERE.

Vida Hospitality Team
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