Sparta Travel Guide

Read this comprehensive tour guide for Sparta to discover the best places to visit, things to do, food and drinks, where to stay, and more!

Introduction to Sparta

Located in Laconia, in Peloponnese, Greece, Sparta is a city with a rich and legendary history. It is a popular destination for travelers who want to immerse themselves in ancient Greek culture and history while also enjoying the natural beauty of the area. The city is surrounded by the Taygetus Mountains and offers plenty of options for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and trekking.

In this comprehensive tour guide for Sparta, we will go over the best places to visit, things to do, and where to stay and eat. This guide will help you make the most out of your trip to Sparta, ensuring you have an unforgettable experience in this historic city.

List of Places to Visit in Sparta

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Archaeological Museum of Sparta

One of the most popular museums in Sparta, the Archaeological Museum is home to collections of artifacts that date back to the prehistoric era. You can find pottery, weapons, and sculptures that are well-preserved when exploring the museum.

Ancient Sparta and the Acropolis

Traveling to the Ancient Sparta and the Acropolis are must-visit spots for tourists. Here, you can witness the history and legacy of the ancient Spartan civilization. In the Acropolis, there are remnants of the ancient theater, where Greek plays were staged, and the Temple of Athena.


The town of Mystras is where the Byzantine empire settled after the fall of Constantinople. It is renowned for its stunning architecture, promenade, and hilltop castle. An essential element of Mystra is the historical buildings and chapels of various architectural styles.

Natural Attractions of Sparta: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Taygetus Mountains

The Taygetus Mountains offer a natural scenic view of the Peloponnese, with its highest peak at 2,404 meters. You can partake in hiking or trekking adventures and enjoy the various mountain ranges, such as the Tzoumerka, Pindus, Rhodope, and more.

Eurotas River

The Eurotas River is another popular spot for nature enthusiasts. It is a peaceful and tranquil place to swim, paddleboard, or fish.

Mani Peninsula

The Mani Peninsula is an extraordinary location, with its contrast of rocky and sandy beaches. Visitors can explore the region on foot, and in so doing, they can discover the wealth of outdoor beauty that Mani has to offer.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Sparta

If you’re an adventure enthusiast or enjoy outdoor activities, Sparta provides incredible hiking routes in the Parnonas Range and Taygetus Mountains. Here are some popular trails:

The Taygetus Summit Trail

The climb to Taygetus is not easy, but it is worth the hassle due to the stunning views from the top. Tourists can choose to start and end their trek in any of the three starting points of the route, with each offering varying sights of the valley.

Parnonas Trail

The Parnonas Trail is one of the most popular hiking routes in Sparta. This route takes tourists through dense forests, and visitors are treated with plenty of wildlife, including goats, deers, and boars. The traditional Greek village of Vresthena is also home to the Monastery of Malevi, an important historic religious building.

Best Things to Do in Sparta: Activities and Tours

Dance to Greece’s Folk Music

One of the popular traditions of Sparta, Greece, is the folkloric dance. Visitors can take part in the traditional Greek dance, enjoy the fellowship, and drink to their heart’s content while touring the region.

Olive Groves and Olive Mill

Greece is renowned for its rich olive oil. In Sparta, visitors can tour the town’s olive groves and learn how the olive oils are produced in an olive mill. It is an excellent opportunity to learn the olive oil trade’s history and journey, and visitors can purchase the olive products from the farm shop afterward.

Week-Long Itinerary for Sparta

Day Activity
1 Explore the Ancient Sparta and the Acropolis
2 Visit the Archaeological Museum of Sparta
3 Take a hike to the Taygetus Mountains
4 Learn to dance the traditional Greek dance
5 Swim or paddleboard in the Eurotas River
6 Join an olive farm tour and learn about olive oil production
7 Relax and enjoy the scenic drive to the Mani Peninsula.

Food and Drink Scene of Sparta

Must-Try Dishes


Pastitsio is a popular traditional Greek dish, consisting of pasta and ground beef cooked with tomato sauce, topped with a layer of béchamel sauce, and baked until golden brown.


Souvlaki is Greece’s most popular fast food, consisting of tender cuts of grilled meat and vegetables served with salad, tzatziki, and pita bread.

Local Beverages


If you’re in Sparta or anywhere in Greece, you must try Tsipouro, the traditional alcoholic drink made from grapes and flavored with anise.

Greek Wines

Greece offers a wide array of Wines, including dessert wines as well as red and white dry wines.

Where to Stay in Sparta: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Citta dei Nicliani

Citta dei Nicliani is a luxurious hotel in the heart of the Mani Peninsula, with incredible views of the sea and mountains. It is an oasis of harmony and tranquility, standing out with its traditional architecture and modern amenities, and perfect for visitors in search of relaxation.

Byzantion Hotel

The Byzantion Hotel in Sparta is an elegant guesthouse located within walking distance of the town center. The hotel boasts of its warm hospitality, traditional ambiance, and perfect for people traveling on a budget.

What to Buy in Sparta: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Sparta is well known for its agricultural production; some of the must-bring-home products are:

Olive Oils

Olive oil is an indispensable product in Greece, and it is the preferred oil in the Greek cuisine. You can purchase the olive oils directly from the olive farms or in the local shops around Sparta.

Handmade Ceramic Artifacts

Several local shops in Sparta are selling handmade ceramic artifacts. The symbolic representations of ancient Greek civilization primarily inspire these designs.

Local Culture and Customs of Sparta

Spartans respect their culture and the traditional traditions of their country. When visiting the city:

  • Greet people with the local phrase “Yasou,” which means “hello” in Greek.
  • Always dress appropriately, especially when visiting religious buildings.
  • Visitors are not allowed to touch any ancient rocks or archaeological remains.

Best Time to Visit Sparta

The ideal time to visit Sparta is from May to October. The weather is nice and warm, and visitors can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and trekking.

Do’s and Don’ts of Sparta


  • Explore the ancient Sparta and learn about the history of ancient Greece.
  • Be mindful of the local rules and customs.
  • Try the traditional Greek foods and drinks.


  • Touch any ancient artifacts or rocks.
  • Be disrespectful to the local people’s traditions and cultures.
  • Litter or make noise in the natural parks, as they are protected areas.

Safety and Health

Safety in Sparta

Sparta is considered a very safe city with a low crime rate. However, like any other place, visitors should keep their valuables in a secure place and be mindful of pickpockets.

Health in Sparta

The Mediterranean Diet is one of the healthiest and cleanest diets globally and is a prevalent diet in Greece. Visitors to Sparta should expect to indulge in lots of locally made vegetables, fruits, and fish.

Getting to Sparta: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Sparta

The closest airport to Sparta is the Kalamata International Airport. Visitors can travel from Kalamata to Sparta via bus or car; it’s a 1.5-hour drive.

Bus Stations Near Sparta

Sparta has an intercity bus station where visitors can take a bus to Athens, Kalamata, and other major Greek cities.

Other Options

Car rental is a comfortable and convenient transportation option for visitors in Sparta. Rental services are available at the Kalamata International Airport, and visitors can book a rental car online before traveling to Greece.

Where to Go Next from Sparta: Nearby Destinations and Excursions


Monemvasia is a beautiful little town that is well known for its Byzantine castle. It is a perfect spot to visit after Sparta, only a 2-3 hour driving distance.


Located on the eastern side of Peloponnese, Nafplio is another beautiful town, which has a variety of historical landmarks and scenic landscapes that visitors will appreciate.


The tour guide for Sparta offers an insight into the rich history and heritage of ancient Greece. From exploring the ancient Sparta and the Acropolis, hiking through the Taygetus Mountains, learning the traditional Greek dances to having wine and souvlaki, Sparta is an all-in-one package for visitors. This tour guide will help visitors plan the perfect trip to Sparta and experience all it has to offer.