The area around Monemvasia is ideal for all watersports and other outdoor activities. A wide variety of beaches ring the promontory, from the steep slopes of Mt. Parnon around Kyparissi on the east coast to Cape Maleas, providing dozens of opportunities. For windsurfing and kite surfing there are some of the best sites in Greece. For divers there are the submerged ancient cities of Pavlopetri and Plytra (where diving with snorkel and diving mask only is allowed).

Its winding coastline makes it an attractive destination for sailing, with safe harbours such as the fjord-like inlet of Gerakas. Depending on the time of year and prevailing winds, sailors will find plenty of enjoyment in both the Myrtoon Sea to the east and the Laconian Gulf to the west.

It would be no exaggeration to claim that the Monemvasia region is a hiking paradise. From north to south there are dozens of trails combining dazzling mountain scenery and sea views among the flora and fauna of the Peloponnese, picturesque settlements and historic monuments from all ages in the region’s history.

Geology buffs will enjoy exploring some of the dozens of caves in the region, particularly the well-organised and easily accessible KastaniaCave. Also not to be missed is the Petrified Forest just past Aghios Nikolaos, near Neapoli.

Rock climbing enthusiasts have two of Greece’s best climbs to choose from – one near Kyparissi and the other at Aghios Nikolaos, near Neapoli.


Eastern coast – Myrtoo
Western coast – Lakonian
Cape Maleas & Vatika

Windsurfing και Kitesurfing
Scuba Diving

Nature Hikes
Geologial Explorations:

Kastania Cave
Petrified Forest
Rock Climbing:

Fauna & Flora:

”Strongyli” Lagoon
Gerakas Wetland
The Larnaka Gorge

Kastania Cave

Kastania Cave

One of the most impressive caves of Greece can be found near the village of Kastania on the southern tip of the Peloponnese, just minutes away from Neapoli. The route follows the winding mountain road leading to the forest-covered eastern slopes of Mt. Parnon.

Rich in density and variety of shapes, colors and figures, Kastania Cave is classified as second of its kind in Europe. Nature needed three million years to create this fantasyscape with its unparalleled décor and numerous impressive formations such as enormous red and white “waterfalls”, the gigantic columns, the “curtains” and the “sheets” that overflow like waxwork from the roof, “octopuses” and “corals” nest, “elephants” and “mushrooms”, “birds” and caricatures, “exotic plants” and monumental creatures…

Standing out among the numerous attractions of the cave are geological rarities such as discs, flat stalagmites, eccentrites and elictites. With a little luck, visitors may meet the cave’s noble resident insect, the deaf and blind dolichopoda.

The cave’s surface covers 1,500 square meters separated into two levels and the visitor is guided along a 500-meter route. The cave was formed from limestones of Jurassic age (195-145 million years old) as a result of geological turmoil and chemical reaction. The stone décor owes its seven-color palette to crystalline carbonate lime enriched with several metal oxides.

A café operates right outside the cave and nearby is the old church of St. Andrew, scarred by pirates and conquerors

The cave can be accessed by following the circular route that connects Neapoli with the mountain villages Kastania, Ano Kastania, Faraklo and Mesochori. Busses and other large vehicles should take the road through Mesochori and avoid the route passing through Kastania.

Parking space can be found at the entrance of the cave.


Kastania near Neapolis
Days and hours of operation:
From 24/12/2016 until 31/05/2017 every Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 to 16:00
First tour at 10:30-last tour at 15:30

In addition the cave will be open during the same hours on the following days:

  • From Friday 23/12/2016 until Friday 06/01/2017 daily, except Sunday the 1st of January
  • On Monday 27/02/2017
  • On Friday and Saturday 24 and 25/03/2017
  • From Thursday 13/04/2017 until Friday 21/04/2017 daily except Sunday Easter day 16/04/2017
  • On Monday the 1st of May 2017

Tours every hour. Each tour lasts 30-40 min.

Guided tours are provided in Greek and English. Written tour information are available in French, Italian, Spanish,German and Russian.
Τickets prices:
Adults: 7.00 Euros
Adults as part of a group: 5.00 Euros
Children and students: 3.00 Euros
For group visits (clubs, schools etc) and information call at the following telephone numbers: +30 2734360100-115, +30 6986555444 (Ms karvouni) or visit:

– Τhere is a Cafeteria available and good access for large buses.




The Larnaka Gorge

«There are some beautiful springs and gardens at Molai and two or three large towers which, like those at Paki, are more stoutly built than the usual Turkish towers,» (W.M. Leake, 1805). 

The town of Molai is split by the Larnaka Gorge, so named because of the depression in the ground («larnaka») where water is collected for livestock that come to drink at three connecting watering holes.

The gorge begins at the top of Mt. Kourkoula (916 m. at its highest point, called Strongyla). In the past it used to reach right down to the plain. Today, however, the only section of it still untouched is from the centre of town up towards the mountain.

The gorge now serves as a recreation area for those wanting to enjoy nature.  The lower part of the gorge has been built over and has become a road leading to the hospital.

It was once in fact the heart of the region’s economy, as it was the site of 11 watermills, the last of which was closed during the 1970s when economic conditions changed.

From the geological point of view the gorge consists mainly of  slate and then limestone. There are also deposits of bauxite, granite and pyrites.

The gorge’s steep sides are thickly wooded and display a wide range of endemic flora, decorative shrubs, grasses and aromatic-medicinal herbs, berry trees and various species of mushrooms, among other species.

It is also a refuge for wild birds and animals – weasels, ferrets, foxes, hares, badgers, rodents, bats, tortoises, hedgehogs, foxes, feral cats, reptiles and amphibians such as frogs and crabs.

Mt.Kourkoula and the gorge are a Special Protection Zone for birds. A number of bird species nest there, such as peregrine falcons, Bonelli’s eagle, nightingales and eagle owls. It is also on the route of migrating birds such as doves,  quails, falcons, sparrows, pigeons, robins, larks, goldfinches, crows, blackbirds, woodcocks and thrush.

Next to the gorge at the top of a reddish rock (looking west and towards the mountain) is Molai’s old tower, a small fortress built in a rather inaccessible position with a view over the valley and the road that used to lead to Monemvasia. According to historians, it was either built by the Byzantines or the Turks, and plays a part in many a local myth and legend.

Behind the tower and a little lower down is the ruined chapel of Aghia Eleni. Next to it on the right, looking towards the west and the mountain is a later church of Aghia  Eleni which however was never consecrated and is also now in ruins.

To the left, looking towards the old tower, is the miracle-working church of Aghia Paraskevi, patron saint of Molai. On the saint’s day, 26 July, pilgrims gather here from far and wide. Opposite it to the northwest is the town’s home for the elderly.