When you book into a comfortable discount hotel in Laconia (also spelled Lakonia) in Greece, you will be in the legendary kingdom of Menelaus. He was the king whose beautiful wife Helen was abducted by Prince Paris of Troy, causing the Trojan War. In Classical times, Laconia was the homeland of the Spartans. They were the warrior race who made their capital, Sparta, a leading power in ancient Greece. The movie “300” tells the story of their heroic stand at the Battle of Thermopylae.
Laconia is on the mountainous Peloponnesian Peninsula of Southern Greece. Modern Sparta is a small, laid-back town of wide, shady streets. If you want a charming budget hotel in Laconia from which to explore the countryside, this is the place for you. From here you can visit the ruins of ancient Sparta. They are few, but poignant. We remember that the Spartans said they built men, not things of bronze and stone. Standing near the remains is a statue of King Leonidas, the hero of Thermopylae. Visitors who love ancient Greek history and mythology will want to see the Sanctuary of Artemis and the Sanctuary of Athena. Also of interest is the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil, and the John Coumantarios Art Gallery. Seven kilometers west of Sparta are the imposing ruins of the 13th century fortress of Mystras, where the Byzantines battled invading Turks.