Once under the Venetian rule, Mani suffered multiple attacks by the Ottoman Empire. The violent history of this area is engraved in every stone and every windswept slope. Tower villages and countless churches, monasteries and chapels dating back to the Byzantine era are scattered among olive groves and lush vegetation. Don’t forget to visit Upper Kardamili and museum, just minutes from Kardamili’s main street.
From Kardamili village, visitors can organize excursions to the hill villages of Agia Sofia, Petrovouni, Proastio and Exohori, where they can enjoy breathtaking views of Messinian Golf and numerous sites of historical interest. Along the way you can find well-marked walking paths, also called kalderimia, and rugged mountain trails for cyclists.
For those who want to enjoy the crystal clear sea of Messinia, there are beautiful beaches like Ritsa Beach in Kardamili and the beach at the nearby village of Stoupa or a secluded rock beach, like the one right in front of Melitsina Village Hotel, which is ideal for snorkeling.
Tayetos Mountain, named after an ancient Greek nymph, is just a short drive from Kardamili and it’s definitely worth a visit. Rindomo and Viros Gorge offer amazing hikes to all the brave travellers that will follow them. Numerous monasteries and small churches can be found along these gorges.
A little further away, in the greater Mani area, are also the Cape Tenaro, the south-most point of mainland Europe, the magnificent Diros Caves, a natural monument of extraordinary beauty, and the fortified town of Mistra, a UNESCO world heritage site situated on a steep cliff of Tayetos.