Tourism Review News Desk - Mar 19, 2012

Sparta has for many centuries fascinated and inspired a great number of creative minds as well as history fans. It is a gem of a tourist spot which offers a surprising alternative to a main-stream holiday in Greece.

A Greek holiday often means lying on the beach, enjoying the clean warm sea and not moving an inch as one feels this is all they need. Greece is fortunate enough to offer a fascinating number of small resorts which are teaming with tourists for many months each year.

For those, who are looking for an alternative holiday which will have them sample more of the country’s spirit, culture and history and do not mind a less relaxing trip, Sparta is the place to be.

The former glory was recalled recently by the blockbuster movie 300, so once again the notion remains fresh in many minds. Sparta, or Sparti, as it is called today, lies a 3-hour ride from Athens on Peloponnese.

The area is strikingly rich in heritage and especially the Middle Ages have left their intricate mark on the face and history of the area. There is an astonishing number of castles, churches as well as monasteries and charming medieval towns to be explored here.

The original site of Sparta has for centuries been just a small village with little importance. However, its famous past is apparent here and tourists longing to revisit it will enjoy the Archaeological Museum, see the Tomb of Leonidas, the most famous king of the country and naturally explore the ruins of the ancient Sparta. These feature the Rotunda, the Theatre and the Temple of Athena Chalkioikos.

The entire Peloponnese offers striking vistas and Sparta is only one of its many highlights. The magnificent Taygetos Mountains, ideal for hiking, are a treat as are hundreds of impressive historical sites.

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