History of Asopos:

According to one theory, the name Asopos derives from the name of a hero who came to the area with the Heraclides; another links it to the river that runs through the plain. The latter is the most likely, since the name Asopos is given to other rivers in Greece, such as those in Corinth, Attica, Boeotia.

The town was prosperous during the Roman period, when along with 18 other coastal towns in Laconia it belonged to the League of Free Laconians.

Near the village of Finiki are the ruins of the temple of Apollo Hyperteleatum, considered the most important temple in the Free Laconian League.

The town enjoyed considerable autonomy (for example it was self-governing and issued its own coins), although not fully independent.

Asopos also played a large role during the Byzantine period, but this ended when Laconia was overrun by the Turks in 1461 AD.

During the Venetian-Turkish war in 1669, a large number of Cretans settled there, as evident by the many Cretan surnames ending in “-akis” among the population. The latter called the village Conte-Vianika, referring to the Cretan place name of Vianos. Around 1821 many inhabitants moved out of Asopos to found the neighbouring village of Papadianika, named after the large Papadakis family.

The site of the village of Daimonia has been identified as the place where ancient Kotyrta once stood; According to one theory it was the town of Aphrodisias, whose inhabitants helped found the ancient town of Boeae.


The administrative centre for the Municipality of Monemvasia, the town of Molai is built on a south-facing slope of Mt. Kourkoula, overlooking a large fertile plain that has been the basis of the region’s farming economy.

A modern market town that serves as a commercial as well as administrative centre for the broader region, it has an excellent general hospital, a home for the elderly and the chronically ill, a town planning authority, police station, taxation bureau, justice of the peace, forestry authority, citizens’ service bureau, fire department, public library and three banks (Agrotiki, National and Emporiki), as well as a football stadium.

Its busy central square is surrounded by cafes, bars and restaurants at all hours of the day. Next to the square is the entrance to the small heaven of the Larnaka Gorge. A walk up through the town to the church of Aghia Paraskevi is worth it for the views over the town and valley below.

Antiquities found in the area dating from the Neolithic period are witness to the long history of human settlement here.



The town of Molai is virtually the gateway to the Municipality of Monemvasia. It is 270 km from Athens and 63 km from Sparta.