A large number of historic monuments are scattered throughout the Municipality of Monemvasia. As in the rest of the Peloponnese, there are numerous reminders of the region’s turbulent history of invasion and wars, but also of its human achievements.

Its past history emerges in the writings of that traveller of antiquity, Pausanias, who described in detail the most important monuments in the region, such as the town of Epidaurus Limera, still prosperous when he visited it, and traces of which still stand facing Monemvasia. Ruins of other ancient towns still remaining include Ancient Kyphanta, at Kyparissi, and the fortress of Zarakas, at Gerakas.

The Municipality of Monemvasia is perhaps one of the only places in the world where there are not one but two submerged ancient towns – the prehistoric settlement of Pavlopetri near Neapoli and the ancient town of Plytra, at Asopos, both now largely under water as the result of seismic activity throughout the Maleas peninsula. The ruins of both are visible to swimmers using goggles and snorkels.

The existence of a number of fortresses shows that the region was subjected to repeated invasions. From antiquity, but particularly in the Middle Ages, the local population was forced to fortify its settlements in order to survive the repeated wars, invasions and pirate raids. The most important of all – and one of the most beautiful medieval towns in the Mediterranean – is the fortress of Monemvasia, for many centuries an invincible bulwark but also a place of prosperity and culture.

Smaller fortresses and fortification works worth visiting include the fortress of Aghia Paraskevi near Mesochori, and the ruins of Palaiokastro at Papadianika.

A military monument from the more recent past is the German Watchtower built during the World War II occupation above the village of Velanidia, near Cape Maleas.

Reminders of more peaceful times include the watermill at Talanta and the folklore museums at Velies and Riechia. Finally, the recently restored Cape Maleas lighthouse is a sight not to be missed.

Talanta Watermill

A plentiful supply of water in Talanta kept the town’s 11 watermills busy for decades and provided a good living for the townspeople. Thousands from the surrounding region used to come there to grind their wheat. The water was channeled as far as Plytra on the coast. Even the town’s name is an indication of its former wealth (talanta is an ancient word for a unit of weight and for a monetary unit).

The mechanisation of milling led to the abandonment of the water mills and their eventual collapse.

Eventually however, through the efforts  of the village cultural assocation, one of the former mills in the Balis Gorge was restored in 2006. Every Sunday the millstone is set in motion again to give visitors a taste of what was once a way of life. The flour ground from local varieties of wheat is also on sale.

The mill is situated in an idyllic setting, known to locals as Paradisos, of shady plane and walnut trees and shrubs, running water and rocks sculpted by the flow of water.

The mill is also the starting point of a hike through the gorge that terminates at Harahias beach near Daimonia.

Guided tours and hiking to the gorge are provided by: alt


The watermill is a five-minute walk from the main square in Talanta.

Alternatively, although not recommended, the mill is accessible by road from the upper village.



Days and hours of operation :
Every Sunday year round from 10:00 to 14:00. For group visits, call 6977212475.


Website:  http://www.talanta.gr

Free entrance


Ruins of a fortress stand on a hill southwest of Papadianika. There are historical references to a fortress and settlement called Asopos that belonged to the Despotate of the Morea.  After 1463, it was occupied consecutively by the Venetians and Turks.

It was used by the local population as a place of refuge during raids by pirates and in Turkish attacks, and was much admired, particularly by naturalists travelling in the area.

The view is unique, taking in the entire Gulf of Laconia from Gytheio to the island of Kythera.



Two kilometres along the road from Papadianika to Demonia, the hill is easily recognisable. A sign at the side of the road indicates the beginning of a relatively short and not very arduous walk (30-60 minutes) to the site.

Papadianika – Asopos


Always open

Free entrance