Top Places To Visit In Mani – Peloponnese Greece

The region of Mani is located in Southern Peloponnese, and it expands in the prefectures of Lakonia and Messinia. It is an area of great history and beauty and offers visitors a variety of activities. I am very lucky to have spent many summers and weekends in the area, as I have a lot of friends from there. I have stayed in both prefectures, Lakonia, and Messinia, not only in friend’s houses but hotels as well. Limeni: It’s a picturesque fishing village with excellent fish taverns and beautiful tower houses. Here you can admire the tower house of the Mavromichalis family, which played a significant role in the Greek War of Independence. The village is perfect for swimming as well. Although it doesn’t have a proper beach, a few steps are leading to the turquoise waters of the sea. I had my first bath of the season there earlier in June.

Limeni village
Limeni village

Areopoli: Areopoli means the city of Ares, the ancient Greek god of war. It is the capital of the area, and it was declared as a traditional settlement. At the center of the town, there is a big square with the statue of Petrobay’s Mavromichalis. Around the plaza, there are some beautiful stone alleys, with many preserved tower houses, churches, shops, taverns, and bars.

Gerolimenas: In ancient times, it used to be the most important port of the area. Now it’s a traditional fishing village with lovely restaurants and a pebbled beach.

Vathia: The traditional settlement of Vathia is located on the top of a hill with incredible views. It is a scenic village with around 70 tower houses that are all abandoned. During the 19th century, it was a community full of life. Vathia is among my favorite places in Mani; I love walking around the abandoned tower houses.

Vathia village
The traditional settlement of Vathia

Diros caves:

It is a perfect place to visit with children; they are going to love it.There are three caves, but only one, cave Vlyhada is open to the public. It is one of the most impressive lake caves in the world. It is full of impressive stalagmites and stalactites. A big part of the route is made by boats and a smaller part on foot. Tickets cost: Full: 12€ and Reduced: 8€

Cape Tainaron:

Cape Tainaron or Cape Matapan is the southernmost point of mainland Greece. According to the legend, the cave that you can still see today is the gate to the underworld and home of Hades, God of the dead.

The ancient Spartans built a lot of temples in the area with the most important one being the temple of Poseidon, God of the sea. You can also walk to the lighthouse at the end of the cape; that is now in disuse. It takes around 20 minutes, but it’s better to ask the locals before you go because sometimes of the year the area is full of snakes.

Gythio:

It’s a charming town amphitheatrically built with many neoclassical buildings. It used to be the port of ancient Sparta until it was destroyed in 4th century AD. Now it’s the largest town in Mani. There are some excellent tavernas on the waterfront and from the port you can catch a ferry to Kithira Island or Crete (a few times per week).

Gythio:

It’s a charming town amphitheatrically built with many neoclassical buildings. It used to be the port of ancient Sparta until it was destroyed in 4th century AD. Now it’s the largest town in Mani. There are some excellent tavernas on the waterfront and from the port you can catch a ferry to Kithira Island or Crete (a few times per week).

The Archaeological site of Mystras:

The castle town of Mystras is the most important Byzantine monument in Greece. It was also declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Center. The town of Mystras was built amphitheatrically around the castle in 1249.It was conquered by Byzantines, the Venetians, and the Turks until it was abandoned in 1953. There are many Byzantine churches inside the archaeological site worth seeing along with the Acropolis and the town walls.

Tickets: Full: 12 €, Reduced 6 €.

The castle town of Monemvasia:

Although it is not very close and you probably need 1 to 2 hours driving depending on where you are based the castle town of Monemvasia makes the perfect day trip of Mani. For more information read my post: Monemvasia, a Greek castle town.

Central square of Monemvasia

Stoupa:

Stoupa is a charming village and popular tourist destination. There are two lovely beaches in the village Kalogria and Stoupa beach. There is also a variety of restaurants, bars, shops and hotels in the area. Stoupa is also a popular destination for families.