The nearby ruins of Mystras, which are being gradually restored, are worth a trip. Mystras was the central town of the Morea (Peloponessos) until the Turkish occupation in the fifteenth century. It was inhabited until it was abandoned in the 1820's when the Turks re-took much of the Peloponessos after Ibriham Pasha's invasion from Egypt. The old city is rich in churches and is topped by a Frankish castle. There are houses and mansions and many of the churches have impressive frescos. The Pantanassa is a convent inhabited by nuns, the only people living in the city of Mistras today. The Perivlepto is a monastery built under a rock and contains impressive frescos. If you keep climbing through the ruins of the old city you will find yourself in the castle with a view of the valley below. Also worth a visit is the Byzantine city above the town of Geraki , east of Sparta, currently being excavated by the Dutch School of Archaeology. On the way you can stop at the village of Kalithea where my grandfather was born. There are a couple small cafeneons, a beautiful tree shaded square and a Byzantine church with some very interesting frescos you can see if you can find the guy with the key.