What to Do When Visiting the Ancient Village of Mystras
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Deep in the hills of modern day Sparta, there lies an ancient, fortressed village named Mystras. Located in the heart of the Taÿgetos mountain ranges, this village is one of those places where time seems to stand still. In fact, time really has stood still – the village hasn’t been inhabited for some time and what remains is now open for visitors. Here’s more information about this village and what you should do when you get there:
Getting to Mystras
If you decide you want to visit Mystras, you have a few options for how to get here. First, you can rent a car when you arrive in Greece at the Athens airport and drive here yourself. Although this is the easiest option, it may not be the best choice for some people. It is also possible to take a bus or even a taxi from any other places in the area. There are actually buses that depart from Athens daily. In the summer, it is also possible to fly into Kalamata, which is a lot closer to Mystras than the Athens Airport. However, the Kalamata Airport is only open during peak tourist season.
Learn the History of Mystras
Mystras has had a rich history, which is one of the major reasons why you should visit here. At one time, Mystras was the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of Morea, which gave it a prominent position in the region. Because it was prominent during the Byzantine era, evidence of this can be found in the architecture and churches that are in the village and the surrounding area. In order to really learn about the rich history of this village, it is a good idea to take a tour if you’re given a choice once you pay the entrance fee. The tour guide will tell you everything you want to know about this ancient place, including the history and the details of each of the buildings.
Enjoy the Gorgeous Scenery
Even if you aren’t necessarily interested in going into detail about the history, Mystra is worth a visit just for its spectacular scenery! If you are fit enough to handle the walk, while you’re on the property, you should hike to the top of the ancient fortress so that you can see the view of the mountains and the village itself. In fact, the whole village is charming and picturesque and lined with gorgeous vegetation. You definitely won’t want to forget to bring your camera so that you can snap a few pictures! In fact, even if you don’t want to hire a guide to show you around, you should still walk as much as you can so that you can enjoy its beautiful.
Back in the 14th and 15th centuries A.D., Mystra was the flourishing capital city of the Despotate of Morea. After that, however, it fell into disrepair. Now, visitors from all over the world flock here to witness this little piece of history.
Categorized in: Greek Travel Guide
This post was written by GreekBoston.com