Today’s Sparta is built south of the ancient city, which was among the strongest of Mycenean fiefdoms from 1600 to roughly 1100 BCE. It was the seat of Menelaus, husband of the beautiful Helen, whose kidnapping by Paris triggered the Trojan War. Around 650 BCE, it became Greece’s leading military power, famed for its steely discipline and heroism.

Ancient Sparta, in contrast to other cities that were abandoned, continued to be populated until the 6th century CE.


Singlino (pasto pork, which is smoked and then boiled with oranges), and pork in general in all its forms (skewered whole pork, sausage, etc.) are, together with the excellent quality olive oil, the hallmarks of Laconian cuisine.

Try kolokithokorfades (zucchini flowers in the pot with onion, garlic, tomato and mint leaves), bardouniotikos rooster (in the pot with tomato, onions and white, hard cheese), pitarakia or pitaroudes (pita with filo thin pastry sheets stuffed with spinach, wild horta, onion leaves, lettuce and mint), boiled horta, kagianas (eggs fried with tomato and cheese), lalangia (strips of dough folded in spirals and fried), tsigarolachana (aromatic wild horta fried with onions, tomato paste, olive oil, salt and pepper).

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