Sparta - the main city in the region of Laconia (south-eastern part of the Peloponnese) is the most ancient city state of ancient Greece. Sparta and its surroundings, in particular the city of Mystras, are a highly interesting place to visit, especially for visitors interested in history. Here the statue of King Leonidas is situated, a huge theatre on one of the hills, the fragments of the acropolis, the ruins of a Byzantine church and the monastery Osios-Nikon of the 10th century, as well as the ruins of the Temple of Athena and a small archaeological museum, owning a collection of Roman mosaics, a marble head of a warrior found on the Acropolis, bas-reliefs depicting snakes from the temple of Apollo, as well as ceramic masks – attributes of ritual dances in the sanctuary of Artemis.
Mystras – a medieval town in Greece, near the city of Sparta, is one of the most important cultural and political centres of the late Byzantine Empire, the capital of the Despotate of the Morea. Nowadays "Mystras" is a small village at the foot of a hill. The "old" Mistra however is an open air museum and is a World Heritage Site, protected by UNESCO. It offers the opportunity to visit the still used monastery Pantanassa, which houses the icon of the virgin "Pantanassa". Also it includes a number of churches, such as the Church of St. Theodore, church of the Hodegetria, famous for its frescoes created in the period from 1312 to 1322, which are masterpieces of Byzantine art, the church of Agia Sophia and the small monastery Perivleptos, where an extensive series of frescoes was saved, which include 25 motifs. The entire archaeological complex of the medieval town of Mystras can be visited.
After a visit to Mystras a way leads through the Taygetos mountain range, demonstrating its grandeur and beauty of the mountains, its serpentine roads and clean air filled with the aroma of mixed forests.