Explore Mani
10 destinations, 100 discoveries


A settlement, steeped in history, home of the Mavromichalians. It maintained its independence during the period of Turkish rule and was lucky enough to be declared a protected settlement and thus preserve its beauty unscathed. Not by chance… This is where the flag of the revolution was first raised on March 17, 1821. The homonymous square hosts the statue of Victory. The temple of Taxiarches is of unique beauty, with the multi-storey bell tower, a trademark of the city and the peculiar frieze with the 12 zodiac signs on its facade.

In the neighboring square of Athanato you are home to the imposing statue of Petrobeis Mavromichalis. The whole old settlement is beautiful. Cobblestones, stone houses, courtyards decorated with flowers and imposing towers and tower houses, with the most important ones being those of Mavromichale, Kapetanakos and Pikoulakis. The latter hosts the Byzantine Museum of Mani. Right next to it is the church of Agios Ioannis with excellent paintings. A passage is also required from the two-story church of Ag. Charalambous and Panagitsa in the center of a magical miniature square. Above the central temple dominates a stepped stone bell tower. Areopolis owes its modern name to the god of war Ares. If you love hiking, an old path connects Areopolis with Diros, via Krialianiki, with a magical view of the bay of Diros.


The port of Areopolis, one of the most beautiful settlements in the region, could also be described as the capital of Mani. It has beautiful cobblestone streets, iconic tower houses, but also a rocky beach. Taking a walk in Limeni, you can enjoy refined flavors and traditional recipes in the tavernas on the beach. Noteworthy, the stone-built church of Agios Sostis, where the sea meets the wild rocky landscape of the area and the beauty is rare.

In Limeni bay, north of the statue of Mavromichalis, is the ancient Roman shipwreck of the 1st century. e.g. at a distance of about 30 meters from the land. Don’t miss the opportunity to use your mask or even enjoy a dive!


A settlement since the time of Homer.. The area has been continuously inhabited since then and hosts the ruins of important monuments and ancient inscriptions. It owes its name to the mythical hero Oitylos, connecting the past with the present, the fairy tale with reality.

It is worth visiting the churches of Agios Georgios, the Transfiguration of the Saviour, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Taxiarches, as well as the Dekoulos (Dekoulos) Monastery. From Oitylo began the Orlovic, the first revolutionary effort of the Greeks against the Ottoman Empire. In 1770, the admiral of the fleet of Russia Orlov, together with the Mavromichalians and other Maniatians organized a movement claiming their independence.

The castle of Kelefa dominates the bay of Oitylos in a natural fortified position. The castle was built by the Turks to control the unruly Maniates, but quickly passed into the hands of the Venetians who perfected it and made it one of the strongest castles of Mani.

Starting from Karavostasi, follow the well-preserved cobbled streets of Kelefa to reach the imposing castle, with the incredible view of the bay of Oitylos. From there, going down the gorge of Mylolagados, you will reach the Monastery of Panagia Spilaiotissa, with a history full of miracles, in a place of special beauty, where steep ravines are intertwined with wild olive groves.

Diros Cave - Vlychada

An exploration into the bowels of the earth and a rare journey into beauty.

An ideal excursion for caving lovers as well as simple adventure lovers. The cave of Diros impresses.. Nature with incomparable art and patience sculpted a miracle beyond all imagination, pure white stalactites and stalagmites, impressive curtains and sparkling crystals adorn every corner of it, creating an incomparable breathtaking sight, one of the most beautiful caves of the world.

The cave began to form hundreds of thousands of years ago. The stalactites and stalagmites that are now underwater were formed when the sea level was much lower than it is today. The water that seeps into the cracks of the limestone rock and dissolves it creates, literally drop by drop, the decoration of the cave. The precipitate of dissolved calcium carbonate forms very slowly stalactites and stalagmites.

Fossilized bones of panther, hyena, lion, deer, ferret and the largest hippopotamus bone deposit in Europe have been found inside the cave. Near its natural entrance, ceramics have been found that indicate human presence.

Important anthropological finds from the Neolithic era were discovered in the adjacent cave of Alepotrypa. Many of them are exhibited in the museum located in the gate area.

Mezapos - Tigani

The stronghold of the legendary pirate Sassaris. A Lilliputian fishing village, with beige sandy rocks and turquoise waters, reminiscent of Southern Italy.. The picturesque harbor and the beautiful beach where the rocks create caves, attract the interest to explore, full of pirate stories.

Tigani, a peninsula whose name derives from its shape, requires exploration and hiking. There, there was the Castle of Main, the oldest in the area, which dates back to the time of Emperor Justinian and was a small Byzantine town. Today the cisterns (tanks) of the castle are preserved, numbered to/at 365 – as many days as the year, according to local tradition.

Furthermore, there are remains of an ancient wall with Cyclopean masonry, a section with Byzantine features, ruins of towers and Byzantine temples, as well as traces of the necropolis of the city of Main. Around the wild rocks there are many natural salt pans, from which the well-known salt flower of Mani is produced.

To the west, in the settlement of Agia Kyriaki, we find the Holy, Byzantine, Church of Panagia tis Odigetria, which dominates with its cruciform dome and columns on the steep slope above Tigani. The view is unparalleled, wild and combined with the roar of the water..


The special beauty, the hot-spot of the region, in the proud territory of Tainaros. The castle town of Vathia is located in the heart of Laconian Mani, in a breathtaking natural landscape. The settlement emerges suddenly on one of the bends of the road, like a fortress built on top of a hill that is only 2 kilometers from the sea, offering a wonderful view of the endless blue.

Time passes without being able to affect the magic of the tower houses. The frequent pirate attacks and the need to control the passages resulted in the inhabitants of Vathia creating the tower houses that we see today and admire their construction. The settlement is recognized as an architectural heritage monument of the 18th and 19th centuries and represents one of the most historic and beautiful villages in Europe, in the heart of Laconia.

The southernmost tip of continental Europe. We are at the southernmost tip of mainland Greece and at the same time of Europe. This symbolic dimension enhances this somehow imposing and at the same time eerie place. We are at Cape Tainaro, where the sea is in a relentless and at the same time endless struggle with the rocks. The Doric beauty of nature, the simplicity and at the same time minimalist perspective creates a sense of completion, importance, while captivating the visitor. It owes its name to the mythical hero Tainaros, who was the son of Zeus.

Cape Tainaro

On the eastern side is the Gate of Hades. According to this myth, here, Hercules faced Cerberus. For sailors it was a zero point for calculating Distances. The lighthouse, which was built by the French in 1882 and first operated in 1887, consists of a rectangular stone building with a total height of 16 meters, with a range of 22 nautical miles. Access may be via a path between rocks and sea, lasting 35 minutes, starting from the chapel of the Holy Assumptions, but the magical wild view compensates you. It is even said that this small church was built with raw materials that came from the temple of Tainarius Poseidon, which was built on the cape, very close by.

Until you reach the lighthouse, the route will make you stop several times to enjoy the moment and photograph the magnificent scenery. At a very short distance from Kokkinogeia – Akrotiri Tainaro, almost four kilometers, is Porto Kayo, a small coastal village, the southernmost natural port of mainland Greece.

In Homer we find it under the name Psamatheus, in Pausanias and in Strabo as Ancient Euliminus Psamathus. In the 4th BC century Porto Caius belonged to the Common of the Lacedaemonians and was a center of mercenaries. It was one of the most important ports of Mani. Pirate station and excellent shelter for ships. In Venetian documents in 1785 we find the toponym Porto Quaglio as well as Porto delle Cailles (the port of the quails) since that is where the birds find refuge before migrating. From 1810 onwards, the current toponym Porto Cayo prevails. From here, during World War II, a significant number of British soldiers escaped to Egypt.


An escape to the wild Dimaristikas should not be missed..
There we find megalithic buildings and temples, but also the ancient quarry from which the world-famous red marble, known as Rosso Antico or Marmor Taenarium, was mined.

Rosso Antico has been used in the decoration of the Colosseum and in luxurious buildings in Alexandria and Rome. The commercial activities of the area were very intense and important, from the long past of the Roman Empire until 150 years ago.


Traditional and modern, Gythio can boast of being one of the most beautiful towns in Mani. Its amphitheater layout, the magic of the Laconian Gulf, the mystery of the Evrotas river, but also its rich and interesting history, turn it into a landmark city of Laconia. The waterfront’s beautiful neoclassical buildings whisper stories of financial prosperity and glamor of the local bourgeoisie.

On the south side of the city, a small island, the ancient Kranai or Marathonisi, where the Tzhannetaki tower and the octagonal lighthouse are located. Legend has it that Helen the Fair departed with Paris from this very spot.

At the foot of the hill is the ancient theater which today hosts cultural events, while north of the town of Gytheio, on the hill, are the ruins of the ancient acropolis.


Like it came out of a postcard from another era. Under the slopes of Taygetos, overlooking the Gulf of Messinia, a small coastal paradise, whose beauty leaves no one unmoved. Kardamyli is usually love at first sight. Stone-built houses, flowery courtyards, picturesque taverns and a small harbor as if from a painting.

Among others, the English writer Patrick Leigh Fermore fell in love with the place, where he built his shelter, which he bequeathed to the Benaki Museum. A few kilometers later, the romantic beach of Foneas is hidden.


Areopoli, P.O.Box 23062, Greece



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