In the south (of Peloponnese). Where the legends of the Ancient Spartans, of Leonidas and his 300 men, of Lycurgus and Menelaus still resonate.
Where the two imposing mountains of Peloponnese, Taygetos and Parnonas, meet. Where the sun bathes with its dazzling light the stone houses of Mani. There, in Laconia.
The southernmost prefecture of the Peloponnese needs time, as it won’t be revealed to you that easily. Mani cannot be explored in three days (or in three lives, as a matter of fact) and in Monemvasia, the “stone boat” as our poet, Giannis Ritsos, calls it that floats in the seas of centuries, no stone-built alley is the same. Mystras is a proper time machine that will take you back to the Byzantine emperors’ years and Gytheio is the ultimate island state on land.
And if you ever run out of options with the obvious, surprises begin: The only fjord in Greece, Gerakas. Frozen in time villages of Taygetos. Secret paths that cross beautiful forests in Parnonas. Sunken cities and the fossil forests around Neapoli. Rivers baptized with mythical names and crossing enchanted creeks. Lace- like beaches that nest on windless bays. Villages that you’ve never heard before, but when you discover them they will become your personal haven far away from everything and everyone.
Then it’s the food: Some of the finest products of the entire Peloponnese are produced here, and star in the unique local recipes of the Laconian cuisine. Like olive oil, siglino (smoked pork cut), citrus fruit and vegetables, pure honey and dairy products, unique handmade pasta, chestnuts and famous sausages. Every meal in Laconia is an experience on its own.