This Little Town In Greece Is An Underrated Destination For A Romantic Getaway

Couples hoping to enjoy a romantic getaway often turn their travel sights to Greece with good reason. Brimming over with fantastic flavors and stunning views, it's a vacation destination for two that's rich in culture and inspiring landscapes alike. For many, strolling hand-in-hand through the Acropolis in Athens is a delight. Time lingering on the sand in Santorini promises to be unforgettable. However, if you're a couple who connects over a shared passion for history and ancient architecture, there's no place on the Greek map quite like Monemvasia.

Deciding to enjoy a romantic getaway to Monemvasia means you'll become part of a story dating back to the sixth century when this medieval castle town was established by the Byzantines. Situated on an island on the southeastern coast of the Peloponnese, Monemvasia was strategically carved on the backside of a towering sea rock making it virtually impossible for enemies to reach other than by water. Today, only a bridge connects Monemvasia to the mainland providing couples with a retreat that feels refreshingly off-the-beaten path.

Spending time in Monemvasia is very much like traveling back in time. Once you enter the castle, you'll have access to the Lower Town and Upper Town which still authentically reflect the era they were built to accommodate. You'll enjoy strolling along narrow, cobblestone streets that wind their way between fascinating medieval facades. These original structures have been meticulously restored and transformed into charming cafés, shops, hotels, and restaurants just about everywhere you look.

Spectacular sightseeing opportunities

For history buffs looking for a romantic escape that's one-of-a-kind, it's hard to beat the opportunity to stroll down roads that the Crusaders, Turks, and Venetians all walked at one point or another over the centuries. According to the Municipality of Monemvasia, the island was home to around 8,000 residents between the 13th and 14th centuries. This was when many of the stunning churches were built as well.

Exploring architectural marvels is a must during a romantic getaway to Monemvasia. If you begin your adventure in the Lower Town, you can tour Elkomenos Christos which is a beautiful Byzantine church that occupies a space right in the main square. You can also explore the Archaeological Museum which sits in the heart of an ornate 16th century mosque.

If you venture to the Upper Town of Monemvasia, you'll find the Agia Sofia Holy Orthodox Church standing proudly on a scenic hilltop. Founded in the 12th century, the church not only showcases impressive architectural design standards but comes with breathtaking views over the town and water too. Couples looking for an equally impressive view won't want to leave the Monemvasia Lighthouse off their romantic sightseeing list. Built in 1896, the lighthouse lamp sits about 50 feet above water level and is still operational. Guests can savor the sights and follow it up with a visit to the adjacent lighthouse museum.

Beach hopping, dining, and shopping experiences

Rich history abounds across Monemvasia, as does natural beauty. Here, you won't find sand beaches in the immediate area, but you will find pebbled shorelines that provide prime access to blue waters ideal for an afternoon spent swimming. The secluded setting is refreshing and the water's clarity is great for snorkeling. Travelers who choose to enjoy time at Pera Kakavos Beach will only travel a little over a mile from town to settle into deck chairs and enjoy views of the impressive sea rock from a distance.

When swimming and snorkeling have left you with an appetite, Monemvasia is a destination with plenty of romantic dining options to enjoy. Restaurants like Matoula Taverna provide guests with gorgeous patio seating overlooking the water. The menu features traditional Greek dishes but the wine list is a testament to global flavor offerings. If you're looking to enjoy a romantic evening of handcrafted cocktails instead, Enetiko is a charming café and bar with a great terrace that's open until 3 a.m. on select days of the week.

If you're hoping to add some shopping to your romantic retreat when you visit Greece, Monevmvasia is home to the Malva Gallery. Here, you can admire paintings by a local artist and purchase prints and silkscreens of your favorite. At Edodimoplio you can browse olive oil and honey-based goods that are locally produced and range from cosmetics and pasta to wines, soaps, and sweets.