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Article: Greece Unknown: Mani

Greece Unknown: Mani

Greece Unknown: Mani

Photo: Vathia Village, Mani

Mani, part of Lakonia and located in the southernmost area of the Peloponnese, is another lesser-known region in Greece worth exploring. My paternal roots trace back to this resilient land, where never since ancient times have non-Greeks set foot on this soil. Much like the Agrafa region on the other side of my family, this area offers an unwavering view of the history and traditions of its inhabitants.

Maniates: Guardians of Spartan Legacy
Proud descendants of Spartans, the Maniates (inhabitants of Mani) uphold ageless customs, echoing the rallying cry "I Tan I Epi Tas" ("With it or on it") through flags waving alongside Greek ones, linking the legacy of Sparta to Greece's history. The phrase "Freedom or Death" is associated with the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire, which began in 1821 and led to the establishment of the modern Greek state.

Rugged Beauty
Journey from the sun-soaked vibes of Areopoli to the tranquility of Kavalos, experiencing the transition through seasons along the west coast of Laconian Mani. Limeni's blend of stone, turquoise waters, and colorful caiques is a must, especially at sunset. Gerolimenas, with its impressive Cavo Grosso rock, tells tales of its evolution from a humble seafront to a bustling commercial port. Embark on a seaside walk from the east side of Gerolimenas, passing neoclassical houses against cerulean waters, revealing a cemetery resembling a small settlement, a common sight in Mani.

Tower Houses
Mani has a unique architectural style, the Pyrgospita (tower houses). Built for defense amid fierce battles over love and pride, they whisper tales of vendettas and unwavering pride. Many have transformed into boutique hotels, preserving history. more ...

Where to stay:
Kyrimai - a meticulously restored nineteenth-century building complex in south Mani. Traditional architecture with modern comfort, impeccably beautiful rooms with picturesque views of Mani's crystal-blue sea and landscape.

Aria Estate - 4-star hospitality, featuring unique suites with privacy and stunning views of Messinian Bay.

euphoria Retreat - nestled on a forested slope, the honey-stoned complex of euphoria, surrounded by fragrant pine and lemon trees, perfectly embodies its name.

Kinsterna - A Byzantine-era rural mansion, meticulously restored to its former glory and exuding an air of luxury, derives its name from the Byzantine term for the age-old cistern at its core.

Stay tuned for the next chapter of our exploration into the lesser-known wonders of Greece.

Happy exploring,

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Greece Unknown: Pilion

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Nestled in Thessaly's southeast, the Pilion Peninsula is an authentic haven often overlooked by mainstream tourism. Its 24 villages, like Tsagarada and Damouchari, offer distinct charm—from coastal...

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