Mystras (July 2017)

If you are going to visit the Peloponnese, it is almost impossible to avoid some of the most impressive archaeological sites in Greece, none more than Mystras.  Mystras was founded by the Franks in 1249 and later inhabited by the Byzantines.

The modern town of Mystras lies below the archaeological site, when I visited, I parked there and walked up towards the sites’s main entrance.  It is possible to park outside the main entrance and also further up by the castle.  Entrance, as for many of the museums and archaeological sites in Greece, cost €12.  When heading for Mystras, aim for Sparti first, Google Maps took me via a dirt track through an olive grove, which was definitely too narrow for the motorhome.

I walked from lower Mystras through upper Mystras to the castle and back, I’m not a slow walker by any means, but I was shattered by the end of my excursion.  Which left me with mixed feelings about Mystras.  Whilst it is clearly a site of historical significance and lovely to visit.  I found it quite hard work walking up what is quite a steep hill, midday in July, wearing sandals.  Not that the walking shoes, I left in the motorhome would have made the experience much better.  The ground is very uneven and the polished stone ground is very slippery in places.  Again and again, I almost went down, which didn’t enthuse me greatly.  When walking on shiny stones, remember to look for uneven ground, it tends to hold ones footing better.

Most of the old town is in ruins, apart from several churches and palaces.   I enjoyed seeing architecture of the churches and also the frescoes inside.  The views from the castle of the countryside are well worth the effort it takes to get there.  As they say, a picture paints a thousand words, so on that basis, I’ll leave you with some of my favourite pictures from Mystras, until next time.

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