Regions of Greece: Mani
The most southern Peninsula of Greece, Mani (Mani) in ancient mythology was one of the most sacred places Eldlas – exactly here, at Cape Tenaron (Tenaro) was located entrance to the kingdom of Aida.
The peninsula itself is the southern tip of the ridge Taigaet, the rocky and the deserted, and its arid landscapes are something like the patches of the mountains. This land with a special culture and history – nowhere in Greece does not find places with such an obvious medieval influence literally in all aspects of life. At the same time, mania has two fairly excellent areas – Eco-Mani (Expo-Mani, "External") And Mesa Mani ("Interior" or "Deep").
Mesa Mani – part of the peninsula south of the conditional line between the Ithylon and the Bay of Wati, is a classic example of this land – a rocky coast with rare bays and rocky lowlands. Main landmark here – Caves in Pyrgos Dira, long transformed into a popular tourist object. However, numerous medieval towers are also interesting, very similar to Caucasian (most interesting are in Kite (Kitta), Watii (Vathia) and Flomochorion (Flomokhorion), and cute coastal villages like Yerolimines (Yerolimen) on the southwest coast or Kotronas (Kotronas) in the East.
Main Port of Ancient Sparta – Yitione (Yithio, Gythion) – is the eastern gate of the peninsula and one of the most attractive seaside cities of the south of the country. His calm harbor with rare ferries to piral and kitir is framed by an elegant coastal line with colorful buildings of the XIX century. In walking distance from the port there are some good beaches, and in the waters of the bay is the island Maratonisi (Marathonissi), famous from the legends like Crane (it was here Paris made the first stop after the abduction of Helena from the Palace of Meal in Sparta). Now it is connected to the land bridge, and the neighborhood located here is the fortress of Tsatakis (1810 g., Now here Museum Mani) are a very romantic holiday destination by the sea. In the city you can see partially gone under the water the old quarters, the impressive ruins of the Roman theater in the north-eastern part of the half-ruined Byzantine church and a good Archaeological Museum.
About 12 km south of gytheio located Pasava castle, by which the road leads to the long sandy beach of the Gulf Wati with good hotels, and then through dried to outputs upland castle Kelefa – the northern boundary of Mesa Mani.
South of Areopolis is one of the more fertile parts of the peninsula, virtually all covered with groves of dwarf olive trees. This 17-kilometer coast is often called "shady coast". Seaside highway as if specially bypasses themselves plantations and many small villages, most of which are concentrated around the ancient, often – even Byzantine, Churches. Among the most interesting of them – Taksiares (XI century.) v Harude (Haroudha, 3 km south of Pyrgos-Dir), dilapidated Trisakya west Tsopakasa (5 km south of Pyrgos-Dir) and Ayiya-Barbara (XII in.) v Erimose (Erimos, 8 km south of Pyrgos-Dir).
8 km south of the town of Areopolis is Pyrgos-Dir the main attraction of the peninsula – the same name caves (open daily from June to September – 8.30 to 17.30, from October to May – 8.30 to 15.00; 12 euros), often referred to as Spileo. Seen generally includes a half-round trips on lakes underground cavern Glyfadha (Vlihada), well illuminated and abounding cherry red stalactites. You can also take a walk through the huge cave Alepotrypa, which unearthed evidence of the presence of prehistoric man. In the height of summer, especially on weekends, these caves are literally crowded with tourists, because only 400 meters away from them is also a good beach.
You can also visit the old Mezapos port (Mezapos) with its small pebble beach and breathtaking cliffs, church of the XII century Vlaherna with ancient frescoes and the house-tower Tsitsiris (now the hotel) in the village Stavrion (Stavrion), Episcopal Church (XII century.) v Katayiorise (Katayioryis), severe medieval castle on the bare peninsula Tigani (literally – "pan"), as well as a cozy bay Cypressos halfway to the bay and town Vatya (Vathia) with its exciting ruins of the Turkish fortress, the monastery of the Cologonian and the chapel of Ayos Nikolaos in the Southeast Cape.
Another south coastal highway literally makes its way to the fruitless Peninsula of Cokinao, ending at the foot of the storm hill (311 m), "Coronated" squat chapel Ios Asomatos, built of stones of the ancient temple of Poseidon. To the left (east) spread the Bay of Wati; On the shores of which a small cave is still visible, which was considered one of the entrances to the Underground World. And to the right (west) from the chapel track runs around the edge of another bay past the ruins of the Roman city, which grew up around the sanctuary of Poseidon, to a single lighthouse at Cape Tenaron.
East shore can offer to get acquainted with a beautiful mountain village Laya (Layia) with its ancient houses (in fact it is four independently located settlements, each with its own church, which reflects the characteristic life of four local clans), good beaches around Kokuals (Kokkala), unidentified ancient ruins Kionia with the foundation of two Doric temples near NFI (3 km north-west), houses-towers of the center of the fertile valley Flomokhorion (Flomokhorion) and sandy beaches around Kotronas.
Exo-Mani – Coast of Areopolis (Areopolis) to Kalamata (Kalamata) in Messinia – has a noticeably better seaside resorts like Stupa or Cardamili.
Despite their militant name, Aresopolis ("City of Ares") It was founded quite recently – until the XIX century, it was only a small seaside village of Tsimov, renamed in honor of the merits of its inhabitants in the war for the independence of Greece. His decorations are the Cathedral of Ayia Taxiares (1798.), Church of Aga – Joanis and the Byzantine Museum in the Tower of Piculakis.
North, if you go through a picturesque coastal road to Kalamat, you can see a beautiful old village Maniot with its houses, towers, runs up the hillside, and then visit the same ancient seaside towns Limenion (Limeni), Itilon (Itilo), Langada and Talam with its tiny Museum of History and Folklore Mani (open from April to September, daily from 9.00 to 16.00; 2.5 Euros) and convent Dekulu and Turkish locking Kelefa (1670.).
The best shore-Exo Mani starts from the town Ayos Nikolaos at Cape Tsankov (Selenitsa). A delightful small harbor is literally sandwiched between the old stone buildings with cafes and tavernas and the beach itself Pantatsi although it can not boast of infrastructure, but it is clean and relatively deserted. North of Agios Nikolaos begin excellent beaches of Cape Stupa (Lefktron), more modern, with a flat bottom and is therefore popular with British tourists and the Greeks (it is interesting that there are underwater springs, so the water is always a little cooler than the surrounding). In a ten minute walk from the beach to the north Kalogria (Northern part of the bay Stupa) is spread over a delicious and often deserted bay Delfini, and even further – pebble beach background, framing small rock.
Village Kardamili (8 km north of the stupa) is the main resort in the region – its pebble beach stretches about 4 kilometers and is surrounded by olive groves. This area is considered to be an excellent base for hiking trips, as replete with interesting villages and a network of paths. From here you can walk to the partially restored "Citadel" Kardamili old (in fact it is simply a network of fortified dwelling houses of the XIX century.) Around the church of Agios Spyridon (XVIII century.) With an unusual bell multistorey, courtyard and museum. Nearby is the ancient necropolis, which locals believe the grave of the legendary Dioscuri. And to the east of the road abuts the picturesque valley of virosomes river surrounded by rocks with numerous monasteries.