Just a few miles west of Sparta is the medieval Byzantine ruined city of Mystra. It was abandoned in the 1830’s when the modern city of Sparta was built. Its setting, on the side of a mountain, is spectacular and so is its size, it is not just a few houses or streets but a whole town with churches, a palace and a castle.

Pantanassa Monastery

It is best explored in sections – the Lower Town with it’s 14th Century monastery and 15th Century Pantanassa Church and adjacent convent. The Upper Town has even more churches and The Palace of Despots and finally the Castle at the very top.

The site is wonderful and the views are spectacular, especially from the castle, but it can be an exhaustifying [sic] experience and you need to come prepared. There is little shade, so bring snacks or a picnic and plenty of water and wear good shoes and sun cream. There are a couple of cafes on the site but it’s best to have your own provisions with you.

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