Built under the imposing Mount Taygetos, this land of light and shadow as the locals have it brings together two of the most ancient cultures of the Peloponnese: the Messenian and the Laconian. Rivals since the dawn of history, the two peoples are now working together to make Mani one of the hottest tourist destinations in the country, ensuring that visitors are taken care of in an atmosphere of unfeigned hospitality, protecting the natural beauty as well as manmade structures from the invasion of modern lifestyles, and capitalising on the best produce this blessed place has to offer. From stunning Kardamyli to heartbreakingly picturesque Gytheio, and from Gerolimenas to Vatheia, the formerly deserted village of traditional "towers", the enchanting landscape and the gorgeous views will warm your soul and make you want to stay for ever.
If you think of visiting Mani, be sure to make enough time to see it all the diversity of scenery and the plethora of choices deserve your undivided attention and quite a bit of your time. One beautiful beach will leave you craving for the next; in fact, quite a few visitors practise beach-hopping, in order to experience swimming in as many of them as possible. Between dips, a shot of alcohol or a refreshment accompanied by traditional tidbits is customary.
Serious nature lovers are bound to succumb to the irresistible attraction of Mount Taygetos. Trekking in the lower or more alpine zones of the mountain is pure bliss – even the most ardent supporters of urban life and scenery will be touched by their encounter with countless species of endemic flora and fauna. Those with a taste for adventure can explore the caves close to Cape Tenaro, the legendary gates to Hades, the Ancient Greek underworld.