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Gythion is a historic town and port situated on the southern Peloponnese in the Laconic Gulf. Gythion first appeared in history in the 5th century BC and means "Land of the Gods" and this because once Hercules and Apollo in the building of the city came into conflict because of the magic tripod of the oracle of Delphi. The fight not declared the winner; eventually following the conciliation between them instead of Heraclea or Apollonia the town called "Earth of the Gods" consistently honored both in this city. According to mythology the island "Kranai" on the south side of town, is now joined to the coast, overnight Helen - Menelaus's wife - with her lover Paris, after the exodus from Sparta before the trip to Troy. Leaving, Paris forgot his helmet,(in Greek kranos) and so named the Kranai. In 375 AD was a great earthquake, where the tidal waves engulf Gythion in Laconian Gulf waters submerging or burying its inhabitants, so from the old city left only a section now called "Paleopolis." Over the centuries the layers of the surrounding hills streams and buried the last vestiges of the ancient city. During the Middle Ages Gythion was completely forgotten. In 1685 began to inhabited again. The Contemporary Gythion rises amphitheatrically at the eastern foot of the ancient "Mount Larysios" just above the main port from which made exports of citrus fruits, olive oil, olives and other derivatives thereof.

This tour includes a private vehicle with driver, and an English-speaking escort

• Please keep in mind that your English-speaking escort can enter in archeological sites with you but the tour for those will precede the visit. If you want a licensed-authorized guide to tour the sites with you, you can hire one at an extra cost.
• The price of this tour does not include any food, entrance fees, or gratuities.
• In SHARED tours the escort must maintain schedule for a fair and successful day for all.
The Byzantine state of Mystras may only be accessed by walking uphill. It is a strenuous walk and you must be in good physical condition. There is a pathway, but there are also step.
• Use comfortable shoes and please keep in mind that the weather may be very hot during summer.

The program for a full day excursion in Laconia, which lasts 8 hours, consists of visiting the following points, (after driving 1 and a half hour from Gythion port to Mystras):

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1. MYSTRAS                                                   Duration of visit: 1 and a half hour

Mystras - Mystras was a Byzantine state in Peloponnese. The story of "the dead city" of Mistra begins from the mid 13th century, when completed the conquest of Peloponnese by the Franks. After the defeat of the Franks in 1259, the castle of Mystras, was granted by the Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus. In 14 century Mystras became the capital of the Byzantine Peloponnese. In 1460 Mystra surrendered to the Turks and then begins the decline of the last Byzantine state while in 1825 began its’ final abandonment. In 1989 by decision of the Committee of Unesco, Mystras entered as a cultural asset in the list of World Cultural Heritage. The most important and best preserved monuments of the city are:
The citadel and the fortifications of the castle town of Mystras; b. The Church of St. Demetrius, founded in 1270; c. The Church of Pantanassa inaugurated in September 1428; d. The temple of Perivleptos, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, built in mid 14th century; e. The temple of Saint Theodore, was built shortly before 1296 by the monks Daniel and Pachomio; f. The temple of Hodeghetria, was built by the Prior Pachomio in the early 14th century; g. The Church of Saint Sophia, in the neighborhood of the palace that was founded in mid 14th century by the first despot of Mistra Manuel Kantakouzinos; h. The Palaces complex; i. The Church of Saint Nikolaos in the neighborhood of Palaces; j. The houses of Mystras; k. The archeological museum. Entrance fees: 5€ in Archeological site.

After driving 20 minutes from Mystras we will reach Sparta

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2. SPARTA                                                                    Duration of visit: 3 hours

Sparta - was city-state in ancient Greece that was built on the banks of the river Eurotas in Laconia. It has become known in history for military strength, discipline, heroism and the large number of slaves. It is also known for the myth of Helen, wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta. Her abduction from Paris and transfer of Troy was the cause of the Trojan War. In 480 BC 300 Spartans led by King Leonidas held a legendary battle to the bitter end at Thermopylae against the Persian army of colossal proportions, causing numerous casualties. Sparta fell into decline after a crushing defeat of the army of the Thebans of Epaminondas at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC. This was the first land battle that lost the Spartan army in a full quorum. In 396 AD Alaric, the leader of the Visigoths destroyed Sparta. In 586 AD during a Slavic raid the last residents of Sparta abandon it for a safer location. In 1834, decided by the regency of King Otto the construction of the city of Sparta in its ancient position. In Sparta we will visit the following points:
a. The archaeological Museum of Sparta which is the first Greek museum built in a provincial town (1874-1876); b. The museum of Olive and Greek Olive Oil which is unique in Greece and the main purpose is to highlight the culture and technology of olive and olive oil, which is inextricably linked to Greek identity; c. The Art Gallery of Sparta which welcomed the public in 1982 and operates as a branch of the National Gallery; d. The statue of Leonidas; e. We will visit a traditional restaurant to have lunch with local dishes.
Entrance fees:
2€ in Archeological museum; 2€ in Olive museum; Free in Art Gallery.

After driving 1 hour from Sparta we will reach Gythion

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3. GYTHION                                                            Duration of visit: 45 minutes

Gythion - There you will have the opportunity to visit the island of Kranai in order to see the following monuments:
a. The Lighthouse of Gythion; b. The Historical and Ethnological Museum of Mani; c. The small church of St. Peter and Paul.
Entrance fees:
2€ in museum.





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