The cuisine of Monemvasia, Vatika and Zarakas is distinguished by the simplicity in which the dishes are prepared in order to highlight the natural goodness of the ingredients.

Locals have become used to the freshest products and avoid heavy sauces that mask the natural aromas of vegetables, meat and seafood.

So the recipes are simple, easy to follow, healthy and above all, delicious!

In the righthand column are just some of the recipes Laconians have been using for centuries.

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Monemvasia Saitia



750 g pastry flour

2 tbsp olive oil

300 g lukewarm water

Juice of half a lemon

1 tsp salt


500 g goat’s cheese

1 kg spinach

1 lettuce

1 bunch kafkalithres (or other wild greens)

2 shallots

Half a bunch of dill

150 g olive oil

Mix the flour with water, salt, oil and lemon juice, kneading until you have a soft, pliable dough.

Cover with a clean towel and leave for about half an hour.

Divide the dough into 3 pieces and roll out into thin sheets about 70 cm x 70 cm. Cut each sheet cross-wise to make four equal squares.

Mix the greens with the cheese and the olive oil. Place 1/12th of the mixture on each of the 12 squares and fold to enclose the mixture. The dough should be thin enough so that the filling is visible. To avoid breaking up the pies when it comes to frying them, place each square on a plate before adding the filling, then turn the plate over to flip the pie into the pan.

The saitia must be cooked immediately, ideally on a very hot metal plate to make the dough crisp and the filling soft. Otherwise use an oiled non-stick frying pan over a moderate heat, frying the saitia for 4-6 minutes on each side until golden.


Recipe by: Traditional Taverna ‘’ To Patriko’’, Aghios Ioannis

recipe “garidopetoules”

In the shallows of the Gerakas lagoon, local fishermen still use an ancient method of collecting the tiny endemic shrimp, simply by dipping branches of shrubs such as the mastic bush or kermes oak into the water, and waiting for the shrimp to attach themselves to the branches.

These delicacies are the basis for one of the regionʼs specialities, served at the waterfront tavernas in the port of Gerakas.



500 gr. shelled shrimp
1 bunch finely chopped dill
5-6 finely sliced shallots
salt, pepper
a little flour



Put the shrimps in a bowl and add 3 cups of water, the dill and shallots and enough flour to make a runny paste.Place spoonfuls of the mixture into very hot oil and fry until golden.