For those that are new to Greece’s mainland this trip is one of the nicest things you can possibly do on Greek soil, just driving South, out of Athens, towards the west side of the middle leg of the Peloponnese. The places you shall see on this trip have an unforgettable magic of their own.
First stop Kardamili. At Kardamili a stop for lunch at “Elies”, the tavern of a lovely hotel on the seaside open from spring until early fall, is a must. Just behind the main street of the modern village is the mystical setting “Old Kardamili” where one can find a small collection of abandoned fortified tower-houses clustered around a beautiful 18th century church.
Stoupa & Agios Nikolaos
Right after Kardamili we find Stoupa and then Agios Nikolaos. I would suggest drinking a nice Greek coffee at both places and if the weather permits it, take a swim at Stoupa.
This beautiful fish village is worth a visit for sure. Better though would be if you could arrange to have lunch at Nikos tavern. Sitting by the splashing waves drinking ouzo and eating fresh fish is one of the best memories one can reminisce over and over again those cold winter nights!
If you are staying in Mani, Areopoli has to be visited in the morning in order to buy delicious warm bread from the bakery together with lalakia (local delicacy) or for a nice breakfast at a café of your choice. If one wants to go out at night for a drink in Mani, Areopli is again the place to do it. Enter one of those small bars playing good music and give your day a lovely ending.
Beautiful caves full of stalagmites that one can visit with a boat are situated just South of Areopoli. The whole boat trip lasts around 45’ and is worth it especially if you have never seen stalagmites before.
Reaching the final tip of Mani, you will visit Cape Tainaron. You can google the historical details about this place before you go as well as how you will reach it as it’s a bit off the main road. Once you reach the parking outside the local café you will then hike for about 40’ until you reach the Cape. There is a trail and the whole walk is lovely.
words & photos by Demi Melissinou