Travel: FACT BOX

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The Independent Travel
How to get there: Mystra is 8km west of Sparta, which you reach by bus from Athens. One of the cheapest flights to Athens is on British Airways (pounds 128 from Trailblazers, 0171-727 1898). Availability over Easter is limited. For the hardy, Eurolines starts a weekly coach service, costing pounds 218 return, to Athens on Friday 28 June. It leaves 9am on Friday and arrives for lunch on Monday, including 34 hours on the ferry from Ancona to Patras.

What to do there: the site at Mystra is open from 8.30am to 3pm daily except Good Friday and Easter Sunday, which fall a week later than ours on 12 and 14 April. Easter Monday is a public holiday, but the site is open in the morning.

Where to stay: Mystra has one hotel, Byzantion (0731 93309), and several pensions. There is a variety of accommodation in Sparta.

What to read: The Candid Guide to the Peloponnese (pounds 14.95, Ashford Buchan & Enright), Visitor's Guide to Greece (pounds 12.99, Moorland Publishing) and the American Express Guide to Athens and the Classical Sites (pounds 8.99, Mitchell Beazley).

Who to ask: The Greek Tourist Office (0171 734 5997) can provide information before travel, and the National Tourist Organisation of Greece (2 Amerikis St, Athens 322 31111) will help you once you are there.