Lakonia - Peloponnese Greece
Lakonia ( Laconia ), bordering with Arcadia and Messinia is the southern most point of the Peloponnese. Lakonia is the prefecture in which the famous towns of Mystras and Sparta are situated.
Sparta, the capital of Lakonia, was founded in 1836 by settlers who were made homeless after the destruction of Mystras during the War of Independence.
Today, modern Sparta shows little connection with the city-state of ancient times that was so dominant during the 6th to 4th centuries BC.
Up until the time of Alexander the Great, Sparta and Athens were the two most powerful city-states in all of Greece.
The defence of ancient Sparta was thrust upon the legendary courage and belief of it's warriors, and not on fortifications like their Athenian rivals.
The Spartans also did not build any monuments or great temples, which is why today, it appears to be simply another town amongst the many scattered all over Greece, though historically, it was one of the most important during ancient times.
Mystras, located just to the south-west of Sparta is another site in the Peloponnese that holds significant historical importance, and is visited by many who travel to this region.
Mystras, with it's castle and domes and palaces spread out as though it is the setting for a fairy-tale, is a place of immense interest.
Apart from the historical towns of Sparta and Mystras, there are several other towns and areas in Lakonia which are worth visiting.
The tiny bay of Mezapos is one scattered with ruined towers, Monemvasia, Skala and Yithio are amongst others you can visit.
To the south is the Mani region, which is very popular with holiday makers. With a vast array of beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters, the areas of Kakkala, Yerolimenas and Pyrgos Dirou are destinations that many visitors to the Peloponnese choose to travel to.
As well as the beautiful beaches, there are also many sights worth seeing, such as the Diros Caves, where you will be mesmerized by the colourful stalagmites and stalactites.