Neapolis is the southernmost town of mainland Greece in Peloponnese, in the area refered to as Vatica in the Peninsula of Epidayros Limira in Laconia. Neapolis has grown since the mid-19th century from a quiet small fishing village to a busy summer resort and is today a major port and the commercial centre and the hub of the social and night life of the whole Vatica region. It is a lively market town of many facets yet peaceful and easygoing, with something to please every visitor. Its warm and hospitable inhabitants are chiefly seamen, fishermen, farmers and merchants. Neapoli is particularly known for its Vatica onions, its excellent olive oil and its fishing. Water sports, broad sandy beaches and secluded caves, beautiful fishing villages, taverns and waterside cafes, mountain springs amidst plain and walnut trees, numerous archaeological sites and Byzantine monasteries and churches are among the region's many attractions.
Neapoli is an ideal base for touring further afield: Cape Maleas, the traditional Vatica villages, Elafonisos with its famous sandy beaches, Kythera, Antikythera, Crete, the majestic Byzantine fortress towns of Monemvasia and Zaraka, the towers of Mani, Gytheio, Sparta and Mistra, are all within reach from Neapolis.
Neapolis is built on the site of ancient Boiai (pronounced Vi-e) a city founded in the second millenium B.C. by King Boias, a descendent of Hercules (see a map showing the cemetary of ancient Vie and other findings). Boiai was populated by the inhabitants of three nearby Mycenaean cities, namely Etis, Sidi and Aphrodisias. An important port of the Spartans during the Peloponnesian Wars. During Roman times the city was a member of the Free Laconian League. Its economic and cultural fortune peaked during the hellenistic era. During Byzantine times, the name Boiai became Vatica, a name which is today used to refer to the region's 12 villages.
In his 1939 book "I Epidayros Limira", A. Katsoris claims that Vatica was founded by Maniot fisheremen in the 9th c.AD. He describes the people in the region as defiant, audacious and dauntless to the extend that an imperial decree prohibited them from entering Monemvasia - a claim which is also adopted by Miller. In the course of its history the region shared the tragic fate of the Peloponnese and indeed the whole of the Greek world and , since the 4th so called "crusade" of the barbaric westerners in 1204, it experienced numerous invasions and brutal occupations with only short intervals of freedom. Since the Great Betrayal of the 4th "crusade", its rulers included the Venetians, the Greek noble Monemvasia families of Sofianos, Mamonas and Daimonogiannis, who were offered the castle and land in Vatica after the conquest of Monemvasia by W. Villeardouin, the Paleologos Despots of the Morea, the barbarian turks after the suck of Mistra the followed the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Venetian Admiral Loredano, who took Vatica in 1463 as a reprisal for the conquest of Argos by the turkish mob of Isa Pasa, the turks of Vagiazit Pasa from 1500, the Venetians from 1686 to 1715 and again the turks, untill th
Greek revolution of 1821 when it was finally liberated.
As its name suggests, Neapoli is a relatively new town, founded in the mid-19th century. After Greece's liberation from the Turkish rule in 1821, the owners of the fields where Neapoli now stands, began to settle permanently in the area, mainly around the area which was later called Vrontas. Smaller settlements scattered along the roads leading north and northwest eventually merged to form today's "suburban sprawl". Originally refered to as Pezoula,the new settlement formed part of the administrative region of Boiai whose capital was Lachi. Boiai was one of the two administrative regions of the time, along with that of Malea with Faraklo as its capital. In 1840 the 2 regions merged to a single administrative region (Boiai) with Pezoula as its capital. It was officially named Neapoli in 1845 and its town plan was drawn up soon after.
Η Νεάπολη απέχει 320 χιλιόμετρα περίπου από την Αθήνα και 100 περίπου από την Σπάρτη. Ο δρόμος μετά τη Σπάρτη όμως, δεν είναι ιδιαίτερα καλός και θέλει προσοχή, καθώς σε ορισμένα σημεία είναι ιδιαίτερα στενός. Έτσι παρόλο που η χιλιομετρική απόσταση δεν είναι ιδιαίτερα μεγάλη, το οδικό ταξίδι διαρκεί περίπου 5,5 ώρες! Το λιμάνι της Νεάπολης προσεγγίζει και καράβι από τον Πειραιά με ενδιάμεση στάση στα Κύθηρα. Τα δρομολόγια όμως δεν είναι συχνά, οπότε πριν αποφασίσουμε τη χρήση πλωτών μέσων για να φτάσουμε στη Νεάπολη, καλό είναι να συμβουλευτούμε τα λιμεναρχεία Πειραιά και Νεάπολης. Πιο απλή υπόθεση είναι η πρόσβαση με το ΚΤΕΛ, καθώς εκτελούνται καθημερινά δρομολόγια από και προς την Αθήνα και τις άλλες περιοχές του νομού Λακωνίας.