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A magical land full of history: the ancient amphithatre of Epidavros, the home of the Olympic games at Olympia, the Byzantium capital Mystras, Spartae and Gythion where Helen left with Paris for Troy.
Up to 40 years ago the only method of travel and commerce into the Mani was by sailing boat. The Backbone of precipitous mountains that stretches the length of the peninsula protects the area like some impenetrable cloak and has kept the people of this region autonomous for over two thouand years.
Although a working port, Kalamata is an attractive town. It has a population of 57,000 and is the capital of the region. You cannot help but be impressed with it, as you sit along the seafront and watch the Taygetos mountains that surrounds it. The beaches have been awarded European awards for quality. Kalamata has a very relaxed atmosphere with a wonderful Plateia (central square) of cafés where people drink coffee and discuss politics and life.
On the approach south towards the Spirit of Life, the Viros Gorge makes a big cut through the Taygetos Mountains onto the fertile plain of Kardamyli. Home of the travel author Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor for over 50 years. Kardamyli is still a magnet for artists, writers and bohemians.
Stoupa and Agios Nicolaos
Summer tourism and harvesting olives in the winter are the main sources of income for the region. Stoupa is a popular but laid back resort. It has four beautiful sandy coves overlooked by the Taygetos Mountains. It was here on Kalogria beach, that the author Nikos Kazantsakis created his immortal character -Zorba the Greek.
The resort has some good tavernas and It is an ideal place to stay if you decide to bring family or friends as well.
Agios Nikolaos is the village nearest to us. It is small but thriving fishing village boasting a handful of harbourside restaurants and cafes and two small supermarkets for the essentials. Idyllic.
For regional weather forecasts www.hamweather.net/local/gr/kalamata.html