The mystic town of Monemvasia offers a calming environment, breathtaking scenery, and a spiritual awakening during Holy Week, and after. This is where ancient traditions, Orthodox customs, and rich Byzantine history blend perfectly with a serene environment.
Founded in the 6th century, Monemvasia is an island town located on the southeastern coast of the Peloponnese, about 400 meters from the mainland (to which it is linked by road.) And though it’s a wonderful spot, and one of the most beautiful to visit in Greece at any time of the year, I may add, Easter here is simply magical.
Surrounded by centuries-old towers and cobblestone paths, you will find yourself whisked back in time to an era of brave knights and fair ladies. And yes, you can actually stay the night inside the castle walls!
Good Friday’s Epitaphios procession takes place at the church of Elkomenos Chritos, during which Easter hymns are chanted, funeral bells ring, and worshippers hold candles in prayer. A main attraction and signature Easter event in Monemvasia is the burning effigy of Judas. Following are Easter Sunday festivities filled with merrymaking and a plethora of delicious local dishes.
Aside from discovering the fortress town by foot, interesting nearby sites to visit while staying in Monemvasia include the Cape Maleas lighthouse, the Castle of Mesochori, the Carved Asclepium, Palaiokastro, Pavlopetri, and the German watchtower. Also of interest are the archeological collection of Monemvasia housed in an old mosque, the Velles and Riechia folklore museums, and the Talanta Watermill.
If you didn’t make it there for Easter, you can still soak in the mystic aura of this unique place.