Lakoniki Mani : a place that enchants even the most demanding traveler. A particular homeland that captures with its color: the earthy of stone, the emerald of the sea and the white of the light.  It is wild and serene, dramatic and charming. Mani, is a strange and proud land. It is a rigid, rugged, unbowed and free place. Starring the rocky wilderness, the stripped and rough stone showered with the heaps of light. The water runs to waste, due to the morphology of the ground. Under these conditions olive tree and prickly pear grow among rough surface and give a green tone on the painting called Mani. Its architecture remains faithful to its history, preserving its authenticity. Enormous towers, tower houses and hillside walls, were built to protect familias not only from pirates but also from other familias. The higher is the tower, the stronger is the family that held it. The struggle for the dominance of the strongest family could lead to the well-known vendetta or indignation

A trip to Mani looks a journey through the time. My trip from Athens took about three and a half hours and lasted only 48 hours. Not enough time to get know it. But enough time to get in love with this place. Mani, by itself is an open museum, every single spot; every single village is a unique treasure. How about open the time-lapse for a dip on Mesa Mani and its beauties?

The highlights that you should not miss out

AREOPOLIS

A stone island in the heart of Aposkieri Mani. The particular homeland of Mavromichalis family ( Greek against the Ottoman Empire). Here, it was first raised, in 17 March 1821 the flag of Revolution, the spark that ignited the war of Independence against the Ottomans. One week earlier from the official day of the Revolution. Thus took its name, the homonymous square, where is the outstanding temple of Taxiarchis with its majestic belfry to be the hallmark of the settlement.

It is a place with impressive towers, Byzantine churches and a long history. Every cobblestone it overflows with simple and austere beauty. It is a place with impressive towers, byzantine churches and great history. Every cobblestone it overflows with simple and spare beauty.  Stroll around during the day to meet its unconcealed nobility and in the evening to get to know her scented charm.

LIMENI

Limeni is the port of Areopoili and the homeland of Mavromichalis family. It is a picturesque rocky fishing village where the severity of the landscape sweetens with its colors, which overwhelm and soothe your soul. It looks like a stone flower that spreads its colorful petals all around. Oh, that sun! With its dazzling light plays a color game with the emerald-green waters of the sea. Only, magic. Spread your towel on the pier on the left and enjoy your swimming with an overlooking view to the small bay.

DIROS CAVES

These are of the most beautiful and interesting caves in the world. A unique experience worth living: Boating into the cave of Glyfada, on water trails between sharp stalactites and stalagmites. It’s amazing how this miracle has been created! It’s like a human hand carved it. The tour takes 25 minutes and it includes both a boating route among stagnant waters and a route by foot. A mysterious stroll is waiting for you in an impressive world.

MEZAPOS

On the main road to Gerolimena, do not miss the sign for Mezapos, the homeland of the famous one-eyed Black Pirates, Nikolaos Sassaris. He acted in the 18th century with Mezapos being his shelter from where he raised the black flag and roamed the seas. The place is exotic, with two beautiful beaches. The first one is the beach of Kato Mezapos, which is nothing but a small bay with white pebbles.

And the second one is located just below the settlement and is hidden in the towering vertical rocky bay. Somewhere I read that it is called the Koufonisia( island in Aegean) of Mani and I will definitely swear it is the most successful description.

GEROLIMENAS

We continue our travel as pirates of another era in the seaside of Mani and now it is the turn of scenic Gerolimenas. In the shadow of the steep Cape of Cavo Grosso, a handful of tower-houses create a small traditional settlement by the sea. Put on a bathing suit and relax with a glass of frozen local beer Sparta!!!

Vatheia

 

Vatheia, it lies on a hill, lofty looking to the sea It is the strongest picture of Mani. The silent tower town. Abandoned and ruined.

Like the Sleeping Beauty, it is waiting for you to wake her up. It keeps on untouched its vibes and its beauty through the decades, as someone has pause and frozen the time.

ALYPA BEACH

A Dream place! Virgin and Pure small cove .The top secret (no longer) beach of Mani with its crystal clear waters. The stone houses that resemble hanging ornaments over the shore and the tavern with fresh fish create cinematic scenery.

Extra Tips

Just before you ascend to Vathia, on your right hand there is a perfect pebbly beach that is worth swimming.

There is no way to lose it, as you will meet many people who they have stopped to capture it.

Try the large homemade dishes at the Vangelis tavern, located on the provincial road before the village of Triantafyllia. It is an excellent and honest choice.

In the evening choose to taste the dishes at Poulos Tavern in Areopolis and continue with a refreshing cocktail on Aula Bar.

  • In Harouda village, you should visit a real gem, the Byzantine temple of Tachiarhis.

  • I recommend you to stay on Katafygi hotel, a real tower house , in Haria village.