Around the first headland to the north of Monemvasia there is a small inlet that looks as if it just goes into the cliffs. When you enter and turn the 'dog-leg' to starboard the village of Ierakas appears in a channel that then opens out into a shallow lagoon. We decided to look in as we were passing and found a delightful setting with a space 'side to' on the old ferry quay. The weather still gave us time to stop so we tied up in what was a very peaceful backwater.
The road ends at the harbour and occasional cars would drive down, stop a while to walk or swim off the 'concrete beach' prepared there, a few holiday makers staying locally came to swim but otherwise only a few other boats came in and it was a great location to relax. We walked along the village and part of the lagoon that afternoon, went snorkeling around the rocks and then enjoyed a 'fish supper' at Taverna Remetzo and were offered a rather unusual homemade wine based liquor with cinnamon which doesn't have a name!
Looking towards the lagoon from the hill above the village
The waiter was keen that we climbed the hill behind the village to the ancient Acropolis and gave us a pamphlet about it, so the next morning's excursion was set. Another climb but again worth the effort, it only takes 20 minutes and the scale of the stonework is surprising and great views from the top. Constructed of the rocks that literally cover the landscape here the fortifications are extensive and clearly designed defensively to spot incoming threats from the sea.
Ruins in the Acropolis at Ierakas
The site was constructed during the Hellenic era around the third century BC and was at times fought over and controlled by the Spartans and other Greek kingdoms and later by the Romans and Byzantines. It's all a far cry from the sleepy village it is today but a very interesting place to visit whilst you relax in the current more peaceful surroundings!
Main photo: the quay at Ierakas