The Mani is an unparalleled jewel of natural beauty and historical interest. Soaring mountains plunge down to crystal clear seas, castles and tower housed villages cling to pinnacles and you will find space and time for contemplation. Mani is the authentic Greece that everyone thought was lost.
Are you a beach bum, or a culture vulture? No worries. You’ll find both are catered for abundantly in Mani.
From the stunning Neolithic caves at Diros, to remote ancient temples high in the Sangias mountains, the Byzantine castle on the Tigani promontory at Mezapos, the Frankish fortress of Grande Magne on Makryna distinct ridge, Mani has historical sites to delight and intrigue you. Mani has more churches than any other area in Greece, many boasting historically significant architectural features and vividly colourful frescoes.
If you are a walker then you’re in for a treat. Mani is criss-crossed by walking routes where you can chance upon deserted villages, chapels, watch falcons soaring on the thermals or look around at the fascinating flora and fauna of this un-spoilt region.
Each village boasts at least one or two of the famous Maniat towers, where families in the distant past blazed gunfire at one another in long lasting feuds.
There are museums relating the rich history of Mani in Gytheion, Diros, Areopoli Kardamyli and specialist bookshops in the major towns will enhance your knowledge of Maniat history.
Beach bums are also in heaven. From the gorgeous and mostly deserted sandy bay of Skoutari, through pebbly or shingle beaches and many discrete and quiet coves there are plenty of lovely seaside locations where you can pop on the sun tan lotion, reach for that novel and then chill out in the achingly azure Mediterranean.
And don’t forget to sample the local produce. Mani is famous for its exquisite honey. Its olives and olive oils are, many would say, the finest in the world. Local cheeses and the famed – well, in Greece at least – smoked pork (sygglino) are delights that just have to be tasted.
The seas around Mani produce excellent fish and seafood. These are served up in any number of excellent restaurants, the nearest to the villas being a mere five minutes drive away.
Following are images for our guests to have a general idea of the environment around the villas and the worth mentioning places in the neighbourhood.
Rosemary (dendrolivano) and sage (faskomilo) in the villas’ garden.
Prickly pears (frangosyka). You can pick your own from the gardens of the villas. Wear gloves and be careful not to be attacked by the minute thorns.
The Ottoman period built castle of Kelepha dominates the bay and can be seen from the villas. It can be visited easily; a small asphalted road passes by the enceinte.
An old Venetian map and plan of the 17th century castle of Kelepha
The dome of the monastery church of Dekoulos. A short walk from the villas. Inside are lovely 18th century frescoes. For visiting permission by the owner has to be granted. At the background left the castle of Kelepha.
The village of Limeni is a few minute driving round the bay from the villas. Home of the legendary Mavromichalis clan, their tower can be seen at the top right of the picture
Landing the catch at Limeni. You can’t get fish fresher than this!
Regarding activities in the Bay of Oitylon from the Filanthe's veranda
The Byzantine past of Mani. Frescoes from the 11th century katholikon of the Phaneromeni monastery. About twenty minutes drive from the villa, just by the roadside.
Traditional Maniat architecture. A doorway dated to 1862 in Oitylo
An old map of the Mani peninsula with the island of Kythera lying to the south of the nearby Cape Maleas.
A picturesque alley in Areopolis. The traditional Maniat major town, five minutes drive from the villas, following the sunset unfolds its charms and becomes a vivid, full of joy and night-life place.
Maniat “lalaghia”. Spiced deep fried pastry rings. Delicious! They are prepared every morning by the Areopolis' bakers.
This picture is a back-present from certain French customer-friends in return for the welcome basket we traditionally offer to our guests.
View of Mystras. Ruins of the famous Laconia major Byzantine town, lying on a hilltop six kilometres off Sparta. A "must" visit.
View of the Lakonian bay. Kranae or Marathonisi (fennel island). The legendary site of Helen of Troy and Paris’ first
night of passion! It is linked by a small causeway to the bustling town of Gytheion. In the lighthouse seen, a small museum is hosted. The following engraving is from the articles of the museum.
On national holidays you'll see locals dressed in these flamboyant costumes.
Following an autumn rain. Rainbow over Soukidia Villas