This tour by motorcoach will cross the plain of Laconia
through its orange and olive groves, with the mighty Taygetus Mountain
(7,897 ft.) in the background to arrive in Sparta
, which today is a big, modern town. As the original Spartans cared little for buildings and lived a “Spartan” existence in barracks, their ancient architecture was simple and basic. Today, its scanty remains reflect little of Sparta’s ancient renown. Four miles west however, sits the medieval town of Mystras,
a UNESCO World Heritage Site
, with its churches and houses, monasteries and palaces lining the steep narrow streets. For 200 years, from the middle of the 13th century, this Byzantine town flourished. From the mid-15th century to the beginning of our century, the town was in constant decline, with the exception of a few years during which it was under Venetian control. However, the magnificence of the Byzantine architecture
, remarkably preserved and sensitively restored, gives you the impression you are entering a whole different age.
The site is located on a very steep hill so flat rubber shoes are recommended.