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Mystical Mystras

Dominating the foreground is the fortified town of Mystras, fought over by Franks, Venetians, Byzantines and Ottomans, and now a UNESCO World Heritage site whose Byzantine splendour of impressive churches, palaces, fortresses and cobbled paths continues to transmit its mystical energy as strongly as ever.

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Beyond the valley of citrus groves and olive trees is modern Sparta, just south of the ruins of the ancient city of the same name that gave birth to so many legends of fearless courage and the benefits of living abstemiously and in perfect balance with nature.

Some believe that the bones of the kings of Sparta and the heroes of Thermopylae lie buried here, while the bust of Leonidas – the most famous king of the militarist city state – dominates the front of the National Stadium. Nearby, the ancient acropolis and the Roman theatre are worth visiting, as is the city’s Archaeological Museum.

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