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Mani, the wild site of Peloponnese

Areopolis ● Gytheio ● limeni ● Mani ● Peloponnese ● 27 April 2017
 

Mani, which covers the second peninsula in southern Peloponnese, is a travel back in time. Wild landscape, stone-built towers everywhere, even standing alone on the top of a hill, and the feeling that you came in a historical place, where the people say that they are direct descendants of the ancient Spartans. Peloponnese has numerous wonderful seaside villages and traditional towns, and many of them are located in Mani. Mani is not a village or a city, but a wider region, which consists of many small villages that are worth visiting. The best way to visit Mani is a road trip that starts from Gytheio and ends in Kardamili.

Gytheio is a traditional seaside town with colourful neoclassical buildings. It is located in a close distance to Sparta Town and is considered to be the starting point of Mani. You can drink your coffee there or eat in one of the taverns by the sea, and then start your journey in a landscape you have never seen before.


As you drive in the second peninsula of Peloponnese that belongs to the prefecture of Lakonia, you will be impressed by the wild scenery. You will meet Areopolis Mani, which is considered to be one of the most typical villages of Mani. Areopolis Mani has beautiful stone houses, pebbled streets, shops with local products, cafés and restaurants. It is ideal to spend your day there and feel the aura of a historical place. At the central square, you can admire the Tower of Mavromichalis, who was the leader in Mani during the Greek War of Independence in the 19th century.


Just 4 km from Areopolis Mani, is located an astonishingly beautiful seaside village, Limeni. The beauty of Limeni cannot be expressed by words. Renovated stone-built towers and houses in front of the sea, which with its crystal waters makes the scenery just amazing. You can stand there for hours and admire the stunning view of this jewel of Peloponnese.


11 km south of Areopolis Mani, are located Diros Caves. These extraordinary caves, inhabited since the Neolithic Times, give you the opportunity to admire stalactites and stalagmites in one of the most spectacular natural sites in Greece.


Next stop, 20 km from Areopolis Mani, is Gerolimenas, another stunning seaside village that seems to have stopped the time. There, you can relax, drink ouzo by the sea and walk in the pebbled streets. Gerolimenas has not as many touristic facilities as Limeni and Areopolis Mani, but you can still find there taverns, a café and hotels.


From Gerolimenas, starts an impressive route to authentic Mani. Drive to Cape Tainaro, the southernmost point of mainland Greece and pass through the unspoiled villages of Mani. Vatheia and Lagia are the most beautiful of these villages, with numerous stone towers standing imposingly at the top of the hills.


On your way back to Athens, you can drive through the outer side of Mani, in Messinia. The landscape there is green and mild, but there are also wonderful traditional villages, where you can eat or drink coffee. Kardamili is a must in this region because it has kept its character and is a lovely village with stone houses, seaside taverns and flowers everywhere. The route from Lakonia to Messinia and Kalamata impresses with the combination of wild and mild landscape and the innumerable villages that stand on the road, and the one is more beautiful than the other.


Where to Stay

Hotel in Mani, Greece Kleopatra Traditional Hotel Apartments
8.8 10
Kleopatra Traditional Hotel Apartments
Stoupa, 24024 Mani, Greece

Kleopatra Traditional Hotel Apartments is located in the seaside village of Stoupa, in Mani region in beautiful Peloponnese, just at the foot of Mount Taygetos. The hotel lies within a 5-minute walk from the beach and the center of the village with many cafes, shops, traditional taverns and supermarkets. The city of Kalamata is 40 km away.


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