The location

Overlooking the medieval castletown

kinsterna Location

Hotel Location

Kinsterna Hotel is located in the village of Agios Stefanos, 7 km southwest of Monemvasia in the southern Peloponnese and is built on the edge of the “Ibrahim Bay” estate. The fertile grounds of the estate, now 25 acres in size, includes perennial olives, citrus trees and especially the old orange grove that produces the famous oranges of Monemvasia, fruit trees that have been there since the beginning of the 19th century (and those that had disappeared, replaced by local varieties), imposing cypress trees, oversized historic century-old eucalyptus trees, orchards with horticultural, ornamental and aromatic plants and herbs.
Monemvasia, known to the Franks as ‘Malvasia’, is a historic town in the eastern Peloponnese, in the province of Epidaurus Limiras, in the prefecture of Laconia. It is best known for its medieval fortress, on the homonymous ‘Rock of Monemvasia’, which is a small island connected by a bridge to the current beach of the settlement. The surviving buildings and structures of the castle include defensive structures of the outer wall and several small Byzantine churches.

Looking back to the past

Its name is a compound word, derived from the two Greek words ‘Moni’ and ‘Embasis’, meaning ‘unique entrance’. Monemvasia’s nickname is ‘Gibraltar of the East’, because it happens to be a miniature identical to the Rock of Gibraltar. After Monemvasia was founded (583 AD) by Laconians who moved to the fortress rock due to the Avaroslav raids, the area of Agios Stefanos became inextricably linked to the fate of the castle town. The fertile, coastal orchards of the area provided the inhabitants of the castle with the necessary food stocks. Tower houses, fortified buildings and churches of the Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman periods can be found all over this slope of Parnonas. In the surrounding area there are many Byzantine churches of the 13th – 14th century (Teria, Pantanassa). One of them, the church of Panagia in ‘Lotza’, on the estate of the Ritsos family, is the best preserved church monument (13th – 14th century) and is located 1,500 m from Kinsterna. Monemvasia was conquered by the Franks for only a few years (1246-1259). In 1461 it was surrendered to the Pope and then handed over by the last Byzantine ruler Nikolaos Palaiologos to the Venetians until 1540 (1st Venetian occupation). This was followed by a long period of Ottoman rule (1540-1690). In 1689 the Venetians occupied it again. In 1715 the Venetians surrendered Monemvasia to the Ottomans. The post-Byzantine history of Monemvasia ends on 21 July 1821 when the Turks, after a siege, hand over the keys of the city to Prince Al. Katakouzinos.

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Dare to discover all the coastal beauty that lies hidden along the various coves of this part of the Peloponnese. Some beaches are awarded with a Blue Flag, some provide beachgoers with facilities while others still remain utterly secluded and pristine. The choice on where to start is yours.

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Marvel at the many wonders of Laconia

The southern Peloponnese has a cornucopia of amazing sights, majestic natural wonders and picturesque places to visit by car. Here are our top picks of the region’s most popular attractions. Visit them to uncover history, culture and the generosity of nature in our part of the world.

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