Mani house - Ktima Kriviana
HELLENIC TOURIST ADMINISTRATION LICENCE MHTE
-Mani House is located near Gythio town on the Mani Peninsula, at Laconia, an area of the Peloponnese rich in history.
Its residents, the Maniots, were forceful men and Mani has maintained its independence throughout the years.
Overlooking the “SKOUTARI” Gulf, 500 meters away from the sea, offers a stunning view of the sea along with the opposite slopes of the mountain "Taygetos".
The house of 441.32 sqm is built on a stone-fenced plot of 5015.41 sqm, with a living space of 275.75 sqm and 165..57 sqm for auxiliary space including a garage of 80 sqm and 2.7 height.
The traditional buildings of Mani were built of stone following a fortress-like design; many vendettas amongst the Mani families meant that people built homes to protect themselves. Elements of this traditional style are reflected in the design of Mani House.
The stone walls are combined with a modern interior focused on comfort. The traditional albeit unique property features all modern conveniences including, among others, a sound system for different areas of the house; satellite TV, BBQ, and wood oven as well as an infinity pool with breathtaking views.
The main entrance to the property is from the pool terrace. The infinity pool is large with dimensions: Length 12.80m x 5.45m width, 1.35m high in the shallow and 3.00m in the deep water. The wooden door leads to a bright and spacious central living area. Each part of this central living space fits beautifully into a perfectly designed interior.
The colours are simple, creams and stone, with a flagged floor that runs throughout. The shutters are painted in pale pistachio and bright magenta has been introduced throughout the soft furniture and dining chairs which give a contrast of brilliance to the colour scheme. Large French style doors lead from every area to the pool terrace which offers a perfect place to relax for every part of the day.
Enjoy your stay at Mani House using the sun loungers that surround the pool, the shaded areas to dine or sit under the shade of the huge oak tree whilst playing a game of chess or backgammon.
The kitchen is located at the rear of the large central living space and is fully equipped with all modern conveniences. It offers direct access to a patio at the back of the house which takes on a traditional, cafe-style appearance featuring pretty, metal chairs and tables and a BBQ and bread oven to conjure up the flavours of Greece.
On the same level but in a separate wing are three bedrooms. One has a double bed with an en-suite bathroom including a bathtub and a large dressing area. Next, there are two twin bedrooms, each one featuring an en-suite bathroom with shower. All bedrooms have direct access to the pool terrace.
The next floor features a bedroom with en-suite bathroom and shower and a comfortable double bed, along with an office desk. This room benefits from a balcony overseeing the pool terrace and sea view.
Finally, on the basement level, the guests can benefit from indoor parking for 2-3 cars.
On the same level, and for our guests’ comfort, the Mani house caretaker is based. He looks after the property and stays in a self-contained, totally independent apartment, on the basement level. He is very discreet and tends to the engine room located at the same level, as well as the pool, usually twice a week, very early in the morning or very late at night, leaving guests to enjoy their privacy unless he is needed.
The Mani House is located on a large piece of land which has been planted with colourful indigenous plants, shrubs, and trees. The stone paths, steps, and walkways meander through the property can lead to our old oak tree for the most wonderful shade in the heat of the day.
The property is very well located in terms of accessing the beach and taverns, shops and cafes which are all a short drive away.
The Mani House is really exceptional and is situated in a part of Greece that is truly beautiful, unspoiled and wild.
We look forward to welcoming you soon.
|Nearest Airport||Kalamata||90.3 km|
|Nearest Bar||21 km|
|Nearest Beach||Skoutari||4 km|
|Nearest Bus||Gytheio||21.5 km|
|Nearest Ferry||Gytheion||21.5 km|
|Nearest Restaurant||Ageranos||3 km|
|Nearest Train||Kalamata||90.3 km|
Upon Arrival in Kalyvia Village:
You will be met upon arrival by George, at the village of Kalyvia. Please call number, +30 6972090333 and we will come and meet you.
Directions from Athens Airport by Car: (292Κm)
1- From Athens Airport take signs of the motorway towards Corinth (Κόρινθος)
2- Once on the E94 keep going, past Corinth to E65 in the direction of Tripoli (Τίπολη)
3- Eventually you will see the city of Tripoli on your right-hand side. You now need to start looking out for your turn-off, for the road towards Sparta.
4- You will now turn right to join the national road to Sparta, (Σπάρτη) (make sure you are not going towards Kalamata!!).
5- After 45Km you will come down the mountain meeting Sparta
6- Keep going straight forward, till you meet the sign of Gythio (ύθειο).
7- Turn left to the direction of Gythio town.
8- Driving for 30Km now you have to watch so you won’t miss your turn off on the road towards “Areopoli” (Αρεόπολη).
Turn right as soon as you meet the Areopolis exit, and keep
driving till you meet the Kotronas/Skoutari/Kalyvia sign
Κότρωνας Σκουτάρι Καλύβια). At this spot a Greek
Orthodox Church will be on your right-hand side. Turn left at
“Kotronas/Skoutari/Kalyvia” sign, till you find the next sign with
direction to “Skoutari/Kalyvia/Paganea” (Σκουτάρι
Κακύβια Παγανέα). Turn left at the sign indicating the direction to “Skoutari/Kalyvia/Paganea”. Keep driving just following the road, without turning left or right, (be sure that you do not turn
right to Skoutari village). This road once followed, will lead you
straight to Kalyvia (Καλύβια) village. Once you enter the
village, keep driving through. You will drive past a small stone
built square with three trees, and a phone booth, where the main
road is following a 180/o turns to the left, sea view will be in front of you. Please park your car and Call on 0030 6972 090333.
the villa is 3 minutes by foot from this point.
Directions from Kalamata’s Airport by car: (90,3Km)
1- Leaving the airport gate, turn left. At the end of the road turn right joining E65 of “Kalamata Tripoli”. (Καλαμάτα Τρίπολη) Keep driving on the same road which changes name to “Iroon Politechniou” (ρώων Πλυτεχνείου)
2- At the end of the road turn right at “Artemidos” (Αρτέμιδος)
3- At the next turn, left at “Likourgou” (Λυκούργου) street.
4- Keep driving. Once crossing “Psaron” (Ψαρών) street the road
name changes to “Kritis” (Κρήτης). After counting 7 streets on your right-hand side, on the 8th “Akrita street ”, (Ακρίτα) you
5- This street leads to the sea water-front.
6- Turn left and follow the coastal road “Navarinou”
(Ναβαρίνου) straightforward till you meet the national road of “Areopoli" – (Αρεόπολη) "Kalamata”, (Καλαμάτα) then turn
7- Keep driving till you meet the sign to “Gythio”, (Γύθειο) few meters out of “Areopoli” town.
8- Turn left following the Areopoli-Gythio (Αρεόπολη-
Γύθειο) road for 20Km.
9- When you meet the sign to “Kotronas/Skoutari/Kalyvi
Local amenities // Surrounding area // Beaches // Taverns // Bars // Places of interest // Days out:
Groceries – fruits - vegetables - bakery shop. At Vathy village (Βαθύ), - (5.9 to 6.4 Km-12 min drive), are located two mini markets where you can cover your first needs. Besides, at the second one, you can find as well, fruits and vegetables.
Just opposite to it, fresh fruits and vegetables are offered as well, in an open-air shop. These fruits and vegetables are grown by local farmers. On the way between the two, you can find a bakery shop.
For more reasonable prices, it is suggested that you make your regular shopping from the supermarkets in Gythio or Areopolis.
Drive out the village, turn right, to the road down to the sea, follow the way until you meet, on your right-hand side, an old stone built, bridge. Turn right, (do not try to use the bridge). Keep driving in the direction of Ageranos, (do not turn right to Kamares village). Past Ageranos, continue on the main road till you reach, on your right-hand side, a mini market where you can park your car, and make your shopping, or continue driving for another half kilometre to meet the bakery shop and the next mini market.
A note has to be made that the water in the house is not potable, so do not forget to include table water among your shopping.
Butchers are situated in Gythio (22Km) in “Ermou” (ΕΡΜΟΥ) street, and in Areopoli (22Km) which is famous for its excellent - local organic meat, on the main town square, and not far from there, on the national road (highway) οf Areopoli/Mani to the direction of Mani.
Fishmonger – the local fishmonger visits the village at least twice per week, usually around 10 am Fresh fish can be bought in Gythio (22Km) on the main street of Vassileos Georgiou.
Nearest petrol station: 6Km away from the villa, on the way to Gythion town.
Post Office: – at Gythion city just opposite the city school, on “Ermou” street.
All other amenities can be found in Gythio town. (22Km drive).
Drive to the direction of Skoutari (Σκουτάρι) village meet the main road, turn right and continue driving until the end of the road. In front of you is a Greek Orthodox church. Turn right with direction to Gythio (Γύθειο) Keep driving straight forward till you meet the main national road which connects Gythio town with Sparta city. Turn right in the direction of Gythio.
* National Bank of Greece
* Alpha Bank
* Piraeus Bank
Taverns and bars near and around the village:
Vassili’s (Thalami-Θαλάμι): Fish tavern At Ageranos (Αγερανός-4,8Km 9 min drive) village
( Mainly open all day).
Grilled fresh fish, fried small fishes, squid, octopus e.t.c. Grilled meat, and traditional Greek oven, Italian pasta etc.
Located at Ageranos village is a pleasant place to sit and have your lunch in front of the sea view.
Driving out of Kalyvia, turn right with direction to Vathi/Kamares/Ageranos” (Βαθύ Καμάρες Αγερανός). The road will lead you down to the sea level and drive with slow speed, you will meet on your right hand, an old stone built the small bridge (be careful you don’t miss the spot). Turn to the right, (don’t use the bridge), just follow the road (avoid to turn right to Kamares/Καμάρες), Soon the road climbs up to a small hill. At the very top, of the hill, the Taverna is the first building to meet from the village, which climbs on your right-hand slope.
George’s Tavern: Located at "Drossopigi" village, (Δροσοπηγή-9.7Km 11.5 min drive) at the upper spot of a small mountain Open mainly at evening, A good inexpensive grilled food, some local dishes, eggs with “Syglino” (Smoked pork or pork sausage with aromatic herbs such as thyme, or oregano, mint, e.t.c, stored in lard with orange peel), traditional Greek oven dishes, such as, Mousaka, Pastitsio, stuffed vegetables etc.
Driving out of the village follow the direction to Skoutari (Σκουτάρι) village. When you meet the highway to “Areopolis/Gythion”, you turn right. Keep driving at low speed, observing for the sign to Drossopigi (Δροσοπηγή) village, on the left-hand side of the road. Turn left and
soon after that, as soon as you meet the sign (Δροσοπηγή) turn to the right following the sign, leading up to the mountaintop at the main square of the village where you park your car.
Skoutari (Σκουτάρι-4 Km 7 min drive) fish tavern (Kalamakia/Καλαμάκια): Located on the sandy beach of Skoutari village serves inexpensive fish they catch with their own boat and Greek dishes. It is a nice place for having lunch after a bath in the crystal clear sea waters, of the Skoutari gulf. It is as well recommended for an evening drink or meal. Follow the road to Skoutari village out of Kalivia. Turn left at the first road you meet on your left-hand side. Follow the sign to “Kalamakia” parking. Park your car and walk on foot to the direction of the beach.
Kotronas (Κότρονας-15.5 Km 19 min drive) is a picturesque fishing port and small seaside resort on the edge of a bay. It is a lovely place by the sea, for a coffee or a drink. You even can have your dinner or lunch, at the fish tavern located on the main square of the village.
Drive straight ahead, out of Kalivia village. Follow the road without turning left or right, till you meet the highway. Turn left, and keep following the road which leads you to “Kotronas” village.
Do not miss “Helias” tavern in Karvellas (Καρβελάς-14.3 Km 19 min drive) village. Every Saturday serves baby spit- roast pork. Try as well “Makarounes” and “Siglino” with eggs, which are both traditional dishes of “Mani”.
Drive straight ahead, out of Kalyvia village. Follow the road without turning left or right, till you meet the national road (highway). Turn right in a direction to Gytheion. At the end of this road, just in front of you the Saint Constantine’s Orthodox church. Turn to the right. just follow the road at low speed looking for the sign to “Karvellas Panitsa” on your left-hand side at a turn of the road, Follow the road up to the village. You will meet the tavern a few meters before you turn right to meet the main village square, where you can park your car. Walk on foot down, to the direction of the tavern
Fish Taverna “Takis” Limeni village
Driving down the slope of the mountain, “Limeni” (ΛΙΜΕΝΙ-19.8Km 25 min drive) suddenly appears inside a small cove with old stone houses hung on the Rocky hillside with cypress. The side of the sea with its deep blue colour is a unique landscape that you rarely meet elsewhere. The turquoise waters of the seashore are not salty because they are coming through subterranean flows from the rocks. It does worth to watch the sunset from “Takis” tavern. The superb fresh fish at this small restaurant in Limeni, the port of Areopoli, draws locals from as far away as “Kalamata”, so be sure to make a reservation if you want a seaside table. This is not the place to eat if you are squeamish about seeing fish prepared a few feet away from where you are eating. On the other hand, the seafood here is so good that you may find yourself coming back for a meal after meal while you are in Mani. The seafood's price is not cheap; be sure to ask for prices unless the price is not an issue.
The lobster “Diavolo” (lobster with spaghetti in a tangy sauce with green peppers) is among the memorable "fancy" dishes, but a plain grilled fish is equally delicious.
Drive straight ahead out of Kalyvia village. Follow the road without turning left or right, till you meet with the highway. Turn left with a direction to Gytheion. At the end of this road, just in front of you the Saint Constantine’s Orthodox Church. Turn to the left to the direction of “Areopoli” (Αρεόπολη) Before entering the town turn right at the sign to “Limeni” on your right-hand side. Keep driving down till the sea level, before the last left turn of the road, leave the main road turning to the left
Gytheio: (Γύθειο-21.5km 24 min drive) Taverna “Saga”: This is a good traditional Taverna by the sea in Gytheio. There you can find fresh fish, octopus, calamari, (squids), and other fish dishes.
Drive straight ahead, out of Kalyvia village. Follow the road without turning left or right, till you meet with the highway. At the end of this road, just in front of you the Saint Constantine’s Orthodox Church. Turn to the right. Keep driving till this road becomes quite larger, with 2 lanes in each direction. Then drive slowly looking for a sign on your right hand, with direction to Gytheio. Gytheio is signed with two different directions. The one indicates straightforward drive while the other direction indicates turn to the right. Follow the first choice, driving straight forward. Entering the town of Gytheio, you continue driving down the road to the sea. Around the corner on the south side is the coastal road lined with fish taverns which end by the small island called Kranai”. Just opposite the small island “Kranai” park your car, and enjoy your food at the Taverna.
In Gytheio, you can find a variety of restaurants and taverns along the walk of the coastal road.
“Areopolis” and mainly ¨Gytheion” are the nearest towns where you can find a variety of bars and coffee shops.
”Paralia Skoutariou” (Παραλία Σκουτάρι 4 Km 7 min drive),
is the nearest and most lovely sandy beach, just 4 minutes by car. It is there where “Kalamakia” fish tavern is located by the beach.”
Follow the road to Skoutari village out of Kalyvia. Turn left at the first road you meet on your left-hand side. Follow the sign to “Kalamakia” parking. Park your car and walk on foot to the direction of the beach.
”Paralia “Kamares”, (Παραλία Καμάρες-3.4 Km 8 min drive) is as well, close to the house, not more than 5 minutes by car, a sandy beach extended to 1.5Km long. Visiting that beach, it is recommended that you chose its upper end in “Kamares” village. Driving out of Kalyvia, turn right, down the road to the sea. Continue driving till you meet on your right-hand side, the old Stone Bridge. Turn right to the direction of the bridge. (Do not use the bridge). At the sign to “Kamares”, turn again right and follow this road until its end. Park your car and after swimming, you can choose between two local taverns for lunch.
Paralia “Vathy”, (Παραλία Βαθύ) 5.9Km 11 min. drive. It is a sandy beach nearby hotel “Belle Helene”. Turn right driving out of the village to the direction of “Vathy /Ageranos/Kamares”. Follow the road down to the sea, continue till you meet on your right-hand side the old stone bridge, (do not use the bridge). Turn right and follow the road to “Ageranos” village (without turning right to Kamares village). Once past “Ageranos” village, keep driving down the road. At your right is now “Belle Helene” hotel. Park your car, and pass through the hotel’s entrance to the beach.
”Paganea” (Παγανέα-1.7 Km) seashore, is 2 min. drive from the cottage. This is a small port for fish boats. Leaving the entrance of the villa turn left, following down the road.
At the first turn to the right. Keep driving down till you meet the sea. Beyond “Paganea” seashore, within a distance of 3 minutes’ drive, there are two more picturesque little gulfs, 5 minutes away from each other, very quiet and calm, out of the crowds, for only a few admirers, ideal for those who seek tranquillity and isolation.
Leaving the entrance of the villa turn left, following down the road. At the first roads cross keep driving straight ahead. Drive slowly since the road becomes narrow and difficult. Meeting the first choice to turn right drive till you meet the beach
”Petalea” (Πετελέα 15.2 Km 18 min drive) beach: is located at “Mavrovouni (Μαυροβούνι) bay”, is a sandy beach organized with umbrellas, chaise long, coffee and bar service at the beach and a restaurant for those who want to have lunch after swimming.
Drive straight ahead out of Kalyvia village. Follow the road without turning left or right, till you meet with the highway. Turn right with a
direction to Gytheion. At the end of this road, just in front of you the Saint Constantine’s Orthodox Church. Turn to the right. Keep driving till this road becomes quite larger, with 2 lanes in each direction. Then drive slowly looking for a sign with direction to Gytheio. Gytheio is signed with two different directions. The one indicates straightforward drive while the other direction indicates turn to the right. Follow the second choice, by turning right. Keep driving carefully since the road is an old one, and is full of turns right and left. When meeting the beginning of a straight road, turn right at the wooden sign indicating "Petalea”. (Be careful so you will not miss the turn off the road). Keep driving to the sandy beach, where you park your car.
Useful Telephone numbers:
-Emergency Call 112
-Doctors SOS 1016
-Road assistance 10400 (ELPA)
-Taxi Grafakos 0030 6944534282
-Health Centre (ΚΕΝΤΡΟ ΥΓΕΙΑΣ) is located in Gytheio town.
Tel: 0030 27330 22001 / 3.
Leaving Kalyvia village drive straight forward following the road (without turning right or left), till you meet the highway. Turn right with direction to Gytheio. At the end of this road, just in front of you the Saint Constantine Orthodox Church, turn right. Keep following the signs to Gytheio town.
-Sparta Hospital (Νοσοκομείο Σπάρτης) Tel 0030 27310 28671 / 5
Southern Mani peninsula
First, stop Areopoli / «Αρεόπολη» (20,1Km south of Kalyvia village 24 min. drive) has an austere look and plenty of towers and churches. Its name (town of Ares, ancient God of war) was bestowed for its efforts in the war of independence. You can enjoy your coffee at the main square which is the centre of life in the town and a great place to watch people.
The town sights are plenty. Its narrow alleys and cobbled streets are
a photographer’s dream and, being a historic town, there are a number of places worth visiting. (Kapetanakis tower, Mavromihalis Tower museum, (four-storey tower), Church of Taxiarhon (17th century). Drive straight ahead out of Kalyvia village. Follow the road without turning left or right, till you meet with the highway. Turn left with a direction to Gytheion. At the end of this road, just in front of you the Saint Constantine’s Orthodox Church.Turn to the left to the direction of “Areopoli” Αρεόπολη).
Drive straight ahead out of Kalyvia village. Follow the road without turning left or right, till you meet with the highway. Turn right in a direction to Gytheion. At the end of this road, just in front of you the Saint Constantine’s Orthodox Church. Turn to the left to the direction of “Areopoli” (Αρεόπολη) Following the map out of Areopolis, on the road to Diros caves (Σπήλαια Δυρού) (31 Km 39 min. drive). (Tel: 0030 733052222). They are among the most important natural sites in Greece and of great archaeological significance. The tour inside the cave is done with small gondolas.
Leaving the “Diros Caves”, drive to “Gerolimenas” / «Γερολιμένας» (44.1Km 49 min.drive) picturesque small coastal village at the southern end of the Mani Peninsula, Τhe name, which means "Old Harbor", is thought to derive from the ancient "Ιερός Λιμήν" (Ieros Limen), meaning "Sacred Harbor" One of the remotest settlements in the Peloponnese, with pebbly beach, and fresh fish taverns. Do not miss to visit for a coffee, the hotel “Kirimai” which is the result of restored old store buildings, used at old times to cover the transportation needs of the port.
Vatheia (Greek: Βαθειά, Greek pronunciation: [Βάθεια], also Vathia52.6 Km 1 hour drive) is a little town in Laconia, Greece, on the Mani Peninsula. It is part of the municipal unit Oitylo. Rarely is such a beauty encountered: a traditional residential district of Manι, full of towers. Vathia has located 65 Km from Kalyvia village and it is one of the most dramatic villages in Mani. It is famous for its grand towers (Pyrgoi). Vatheia is situated in a hilly setting and is linked with the road running north to Areopoli and Kalamata and south to Cape Tenaro/Matapan. To the north, hills and mountains overlook the town. Farmland and sparse forest cover the valley areas. On the hilltops are abandoned homes, which are coloured with earth and topaz along with its rooftops which are like fortresses and were built out of the stone south of the place (Plateia). Modern buildings exist in the centre. Now Vatheia is a tourist attraction in spring because of its wildflowers that cover the nearby hills and its breathtaking views. Not far away from Vathia, the villages Lagia (17 Km) and Alika (4 Km) are worth a visit.
The seaside villages of Archangelos (81.8 Km 1 hour and thirty-eight min drive) and Plitra are peaceful fishing villages with many beauties, sheltered port and sandy beaches with crystal clear waters. Both are an ideal place for relaxing holidays all year round, sea sports and fishing.
In Plitra (74 Km 1 hour and 27 min. drive) was an ancient city that was destroyed by an earthquake in 375 AD.
Monemvasia (Greek: Μονεμβασία 87.1 Km 1 hour and 42 min. drive), is a town and a municipality in Laconia, Greece. The town is located on a small peninsula off the east coast of the Peloponnese. The peninsula is linked to the mainland by a short causeway 200m in length. Its area consists mostly of a large plateau some 100 meters above sea level, up to 300m wide and 1 km long, the site of a powerful medieval fortress. The town walls and many Byzantine churches remain from the medieval period. The seat of the municipality is the town Molaoi.
The town's name derives from two Greek words, "mone" and" emvasia", meaning "single entrance". It's Italian form, Malvasia, gave its name to Malmsey wine. Monemvasia's nickname is the Gibraltar of the East or The Rock.
The town is built on the slope to the south-east of the rock, overlooking Palaia Monemvasia bay. Many of the streets are narrow and fit only for pedestrians. A small hamlet of about 10 houses lies to the northwest.
The town and fortress were founded in 583 by people seeking refuge from the Slavic and the Avaric invasion of Greece. A history of the invasion and occupation of the Peloponnese was recorded in the medieval Chronicle of Monemvasia.
From the 10th century AD, the town developed into an important trade and maritime centre. The fortress withstood the Arab and Norman invasions in 1147; cornfields that fed up to 30 men were killed inside the fortress. William II of Villehardouin took it in 1248, on honourable terms, after three years of siege; in 1259 William was captured by the Greeks after the battle of Pelagonia and in 1262 it was retroceded to Michael VIII Palaiologos as part of William's ransom.
It remained part of the Byzantine Empire until 1460, becoming the seat of an imperial governor, a landing place for Byzantine operations against the Franks, the main port of shipment (if not always production) for Malmsey wine, and one of the most dangerous lairs of corsairs in the Levant. The Emperors gave it valuable privileges, attracting Roger de Lluria who sacked the lower town in 1292. The town welcomed the Catalan Company on its way eastward in 1302. In 1397 the Despot of the Morea, Theodore I Palaiologos, deposed the local dynasty of Monemvasia, who appealed to Sultan Bayezid I and was reinstated by Turkish troops. In 1419, the rock appears to have come into the possession of Venice, though it soon returned to the Despot. About 1401, the historian George Sphrantzes was born in the town. After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Monemvasia held out against the threats of Sultan Mehmed II in 1458 and 1460 when it became the only remaining domain of the Despot of the Morea, Thomas Palaiologos, claimant of the Imperial throne. He had no forces to defend it; he offered it to the Sultan and finally sold it to the Pope.
By 1464 the inhabitants found the Pope's representative feeble and the Pope unable to protect them; they admitted a Venetian garrison. The town was fairly prosperous under Venetian rule until the peace of 1502-3, in which it lost its farmlands, the source of its food supply and of Malmsey wine. The food had to come by sea or from Turkish-held lands, and the cultivation of wine languished under Turkish rule. The rock was governed by the Venetians until the treaty of 1540, which cost the Republic Nauplia and Monemvasia, her last two possessions on mainland Greece. Those inhabitants who did not wish to live under Turkish rule were given lands elsewhere. The Ottomans then ruled the town until the brief Venetian recovery in 1690, then again from 1715 to 1821. It was known as "Menekşe" ("Violet" in Turkish) during Ottoman rule and was a sanjak (province) centre in the Morea Eyalet.
The commercial importance of the town continued until the Orlov Revolt (1770) in the Russo-Turkish War, which saw its importance declined severely.
The town was liberated from Ottoman rule on July 23, 1821, by Tzannetakis Grigorakis who entered the town with his private army during the Greek War of Independence.
In 1971, Monemvasia became linked with the rest of the outside world through a bridge on the western side that connects to GR-86.
In more recent history, the town has seen a resurgence in importance with increasing numbers of tourists visiting the site and the region. The medieval buildings have been restored, and many of them converted to hotels.
Mystras and Sparta on Mountain Taygetos
(Μυστράς 59.8 Km 1 hour and 27 min.drive) the Byzantine city-state (59Km). Go on to the national road towards Gytheion, then, Sparta and Mystras.
Mystras occupies a steep foothill on the northern slopes of Mt. Taygetos, 5Km NW of Sparti. The castle on the top of the hill was founded in 1249 by the Frankish leader Wiliam Villeharduin. The whole of Mystras is an open-air museum, a reminder of the glorious era of power and culture.
“Taygetos” or “Pentadactylos” is the highest mountain in the Peloponnese, stretching between the river Evrotas - Megalopolis and Messinia. The top of a height of 2407 meters and is called, “Prophet Helias”. It presents a wide variety of flora and fauna due to the large size of only 25 endemic species while a passage for migratory birds. On the slopes of Taygetos are numerous small villages with great local colour and operates at an altitude mountain resort 1,600 meters.
Close to “Mystras” is “Trypi” village (ΤΡΥΠΙ 63.2 Km 1 hour and 10 min.drive).
Trypi is a small village of almost 300 inhabitants. Its main attraction is the steep ravine of "Kaiadas", where the Spartans were said to abandon their weak and deformed infants as well as the criminals, traitors, and war prisoners. “Kaiadas” is a very scenic gorge and may result a bit frightening for those who are aware of this tradition.
You can find the Byzantine churches of “Agioi Theodoroi” and “Koimisi tis Theotokou” in “Trypi” as well as the abandoned monastery of “Agios “Ioannis Prodromos”. Have also in mind that Saint Nikon lived and taught in the area and visit his cave.
Apart from historical attractions, “Trypi” is surrounded by beautiful scenery. It has many streams, among which we find the springs of “Karvasaras” and “Vasiloneri”. If you love nature, there are many hiking trails and a climbing park in the “Laggada gorge”.
”Trypi” also has some useful facilities. There are good restaurants with delicious local appetizers and traditional meals at moderate prices. It is recommended to experience Greek coffee prepared on the stove.
Oitylo - Stoupa
”Oitylo” (Οίτυλο 23.2Km 28 min.drive) is located 31Km from Kalyvia and 11Km from Areopoli and it is the hub transport of the area. It is a traditional village with long history, situated on the place of the ancient city as mentioned by Homer. The church of Saint George and the Monastery of Dekoulon with frescoes since the 18th century are worth a visit.
Drive straight ahead out of Kalyvia village. Follow the road without turning left or right, till you meet with the highway. Turn left with a direction to Gytheion. At the end of this road, just in front of you the Saint Constantine’s Orthodox Church. Turn to the left to the direction of “Areopoli” (Αρεόπολη). Before entering the town turn right at the sign to “Limeni” on your right-hand side. Keep driving down, following the road, and then up to the hill.
South of “Stoupa” (Σούπα 50.5 Km 51 min.drive) on the coast is the picturesque fishing village of “Agios Nikolaos”(47.8 Km 47 min.drive) / «Αγιος Νικόλαος» (4Km from Stoupa) still often called by its older Slavic name, “Selinitsa”. There are three exits off the main road to the coastal road that links Selinitsa to and “Trahila”. Alternatively, there is a gentle coastal path from Stoupa which takes less than an hour on foot (see the maps of both villages, where the walk starts and finishes – you cannot get lost in between). Life is centred on the harbour- a great place to sit, eat and drink while watching the boats coming and going. In the summer, the road is closed to vehicles, as taverns make use of the space to put tables and chairs right on the water’s edge. The beach is roughly a kilometre further south; about a 10-15-minute walk.
To reach the place, just follow the direction to “Areopoli” - “Limeni” - “Itilo” - “Agios Nikolaos”, then Stoupa.
“Elafonissos” is a very small island, just 19 square km on the southern eastern Tip of Peloponnese.
The distance from the mainland is a mere 570 meters of crystal clear water on top of the thin white sand. (22 nautical miles, far away from Gytheio). There is a boat sailing to the island three times a week from the port of Gytheio.
“Kithira” island in a distance of 35 km from
“GYTHION”. The same boat sailing from Gythio to Elafonissos reach the port of Kythira three times a week from the port of “Gytheion”.
Cythera (Greek: Κύθηρα), also transliterated Kythera, Kythira,
Kithira. The Italian Cerigo can be used in speaking of late medieval and early modern Cythera.) is an island in Greece, once part of the Ionian Islands. It lies opposite the South-eastern tip of the
Peloponnese peninsula. In Ancient Greek mythology, Kythira was considered to be the island of celestial Aphrodite, the Goddess of love, (cf. Cyprus, the island of Astarte, the Goddess of Love).
Since the late 20th century, the Kythirean economy has largely focused on tourism, and in the process, has become dependent this provides the majority of the island’s income, despite the fact that Kythira is not one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece. The popular season usually begins with the Greek holiday of Pentecost at the end of May and lasts until the middle of September. During this time, primarily during August, the island's population will often triple due to the tourists and natives returning for the vacation. The largest villages are Potamos, Agia Pelagia, Chora (The capital of the island), Ano livadi, Kalamos, and Livadi
Επίδαυρος, Epidavros-213 Km 3 hours and 20 min. drive) was a small city (polis) in ancient Greece, at the Saronic Gulf. Two modern towns bear the name Epidavros (Επίδαυρος): Palaia Epidavros and Nea Epidavros. Since 2010, they belong to the new municipality of Epidavros, part of the regional unit of Argolis. The seat of the municipality is the town Asklipieio.
Epidaurus was not independent of Argos and not included in Argolis until the time of the Romans. With its supporting territory, it formed the small territory called Epidauria. Reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo's son Asclepius, the healer, Epidaurus was known for its sanctuary situated about five miles (8 km) from the town, as well as its theatre, which is once again in use today. The cult of Asclepius at Epidaurus is attested in the 6th century BC when the older hill-top sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas was no longer spacious enough.
The "Asclepieion" at Epidaurus was the most celebrated healing centre of the Classical world, the place where ill people went in the hope of being cured. To find out the right cure for their ailments, they spent a night in the enkoimeteria, a big sleeping hall. In their dreams, the god himself would advise them what they had to do to regain their health. Found in the sanctuary, there was a guest house for 160 guestrooms. There are also mineral springs in the vicinity which may have been used in healing.
Asclepius, the most important healer god of antiquity, brought prosperity to the sanctuary, which in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC embarked on an ambitious building program for enlarging and reconstruction of monumental buildings. Fame and prosperity continued throughout the Hellenistic period. In 87 BC the sanctuary was looted by the Roman general Sulla, and in 67 BC, it was plundered by pirates. In the 2nd century AD, the sanctuary enjoyed a new upsurge under the Romans, but in AD 395 the Goths raided the sanctuary.
Even after the introduction of Christianity and the silencing of the oracles, the sanctuary at Epidaurus was still known as late as the mid 5th century, although as a Christian healing centre.
The prosperity brought by the Asklepieion enabled Epidaurus to construct civic monuments too: the huge theatre that delighted Pausanias for its symmetry and beauty, which is used once again for dramatic performances, the ceremonial Hestiatoreion (banqueting hall), baths and a palaestra. The theatre was designed by Polykleitos the Younger in the 4th century BC. The original 34 rows were extended in Roman times by another 21 rows. As is usual for Greek theatres (and as opposed to Roman ones), the view of a lush landscape behind the skênê is an integral part of the theatre itself and is not to be obscured. It seats up to 15,000 people.
The theatre is marvelled for its exceptional acoustics, which permits almost perfect intelligibility of unamplified spoken word from the proscenium or skênê to all 15,000 spectators, regardless of their seating (see Ref., in Greek). Famously, tour guides have their groups scattered in the stands and show them how they can easily hear the sound of a match struck at centre-stage. A 2007 study by Nico F. Declercq and Cindy Dekeyser of the Georgia Institute of Technology indicates that the astonishing acoustic properties are the result of the advanced design: The rows of limestone seats filter out low-frequency sounds, such as the murmur of the crowd, and amplify high-frequency sounds from the stage.
Olympia (Greek: Ολυμπία Olympía 206Km 3 hours and 8 min. drive), a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis, is known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times, the most famous games in history.
The Olympic Games were held every four years throughout Classical Antiquity, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. The first Olympic Games were in honour of Zeus.
Olympia among the main Greek sanctuaries
The sanctuary, known as the Altis, consists of an unordered arrangement of various buildings. Enclosed within the temenos (sacred enclosure) are the Temple of Hera (or Heraion/Heraeum) and Temple of Zeus, the Pelopion and the area of the altar, where the sacrifices were made. The Hippodrome and later stadium were also to the east.
To the north of the sanctuary can be found the Prytaneion and the Philippeion, as well as the array of treasuries, representing the various city-states. The Metroon lies to the south of these treasuries, with the Echo Stoa to the East. To the south of the sanctuary is the South Stoa and the Bouleuterion, whereas the Westside houses the Palaestra, the workshop of Pheidias, the Gymnasion and the Leonidaion.
Olympia is also known for the gigantic ivory and gold statue of Zeus that used to stand there, sculpted by Pheidias, which was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by Antipater of Sidon. Very close to the Temple of Zeus which housed this statue, the studio of Pheidias was excavated in the 1950s. Evidence found there, such as sculptor's tools, corroborates this opinion. The ancient ruins sit north of the Alfeios River and Mount Kronos (named after the Greek deity Kronos). The Kladeos, a tributary of the Alfeios, flows around the area. It is located in the part of Greece which is called Peloponnese. In Ancient Greece, Olympia was sacred ground to the Greeks.
For a history of the Olympic Games, see Olympic Games or Ancient Olympic Games.
Remains of food and burnt offerings dating back to the 10th century BC give evidence of a long history of religious activity at the site. No buildings have survived from this earliest period of use. Also, the charred remains of a Homo Heidelbergensis body were found at Olympia.
Geometric and Archaic periods
Ruins of the Temple of Hera
The first Olympic festival was organized on the site by the authorities of Elis in the 8th century BC – with the tradition dating the first games at 776 BC. Major changes were made to the site around 700 BC, including levelling land and digging new wells. Elis' power diminished and at the beginning of the 7th century BC, the sanctuary fell into the hands of the Pisatans in 676 BC. The Pisatans organized the games until the late 7th century BC.
The earliest evidence of building activity on the site dates from around 600 BC. At this time, the Skiloudians, allies of the Pistans, built the Temple of Hera. The Treasuries and the Pelopion were built during the course of the 6th century BC. The secular structures and athletic arenas were also under construction during this period including the Bouleuterion. The first stadium was constructed around 560 BC, it consisted of just a simple track. The stadium was remodelled around 500 BC with sloping sides for spectators and shifted slightly to the east. Over the course of the 6th century BC, a range of sports was added to the Olympic festival. In 580 BC, Elis, in alliance with Sparta, occupied Pisa and regained the control over the sanctuary.
The classical period, between the 5th and 4th centuries BC, was the golden age of the site at Olympia. A wide range of new religious and secular buildings and structures were constructed.
The Temple of Zeus was built in the middle of the 5th century BC. Its size, scale and ornamentation were beyond anything previously constructed on the site. Further sporting facilities, including the final iteration of the stadium, and the Hippodrome (for chariot-racing) were constructed. The Prytaneion was built at the north-west side of the site in 470 BC.
In the late classical period, further structures were added to the site. The Metroon was constructed near the Treasuries c.400 BC. The erection of the Echo Stoa, around 350, separated off the sanctuary from the area of the games and stadium. The South Stoa was built BC at the southern edge of the sanctuary at approximately the same time.
Ruins of the Philippeion
The late 4th century BC saw the erection of the Philippeion. Around 300 BC the largest building on the site, the Leonidaion, was constructed to house important visitors. Due to the increasing importance of the games, further athletic buildings were constructed including the Palaestra (3rd century BC), Gymnasion (2nd century BC) and bathhouses (c.300 BC). Finally, in 200 BC, a vaulted archway was erected linking the entrance of the stadium to the sanctuary.
During the Roman period, the games were opened up to all citizens of the Roman Empire. A programme of extensive repairs, including to the Temple of Zeus, and new building, took place. In 150 AD, the Nympheum (or Exedra) was built. New baths replaced the older Greek examples in 100 AD and an aqueduct constructed in 160 AD.
The 3rd century saw the site suffer heavy damage from a series of earthquakes. Invading tribes in 267 AD led to the centre of the site being fortified with robbed material from its monuments. Despite the destruction, the Olympic festival continued to be held at the site until the last Olympiad in 393 AD, after which a decree from the Christian emperor, Theodosius I implemented a ban. Apparently, the Temple of Zeus was destroyed around 426 AD following an edict by Theodosius II enforcing the ban on pagan festivals. The workshop of Pheidias was turned into a Basilica and the site was inhabited by a Christian community. Olympia seems to have prospered during the 5th century AD until Justinian's plague and two Earthquakes devastated it by the mid-6th century. Repeated floods ensured that the settlement was finally abandoned altogether in the early 7th Century. Archaeological evidence suggests that small-scale Olympic events (possibly in Christian guise) were still being secretly held until an earthquake in AD 551 finally destroyed the place of worship, burying it under mud and debris.
Discovery and early excavations
Over time, the site was buried under alluvial deposits, up to 8 meters deep, long thought to be the result of river flooding. Modern research hypothesizes instead—based on the presence of mollusc and gastropod shells and foraminifera— that the site was buried by ocean waters resulting from repeated tsunamis.
The exact site was re-discovered in 1766 by the English antiquarian Richard Chandler. The first excavation of the sanctuary at Olympia was not carried out until 1829, by the French "Expedition Scientifique de Moree".
Since the 1870s, the excavation and preservation of Ancient Olympia have been the responsibility of the German Archaeological Institute at Athens. The first major excavation of Olympia began in 1875, funded by the German government after negotiation of exclusive access by Ernst Curtius. Other archaeologists responsible for the dig were Gustav Hirschfeld, George Treu, Adolf Furtwängler (who worked alongside architects), A. Boetticher, Wilhelm Dörpfeld, and Richard Borrmann. They excavated the central part of the sanctuary including the Temple of Zeus, Temple of Hera, Metroon, Bouleuterion, Philipeion, Echo Stoa, Treasuries and Palaestra. Important finds included sculptures from the Temple of Zeus, the Nike of Paeonius, the Hermes of Praxiteles and many bronzes. In total 14,000 objects were recorded. The finds were displayed in a museum on the site.
The excavation was continued in a more limited way by Dörpfeld between 1908 and 1929, but a new systematic excavation was begun in 1936 on the occasion of the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin under Emil Kunze and Hans Schleif. Their excavation focus was on the area to the south of the stadium, the South Stoa, bath complex and gymnasion.
1950 to present
Between 1952 and 1966, Kunze and Schleil continued the excavation joined by architect Alfred Mallwitz. They excavated Pheidias' workshop, the Leonidaion and the north wall of the stadium. They also excavated the southeast section of the sanctuary and out of approximately 140 debris pits found many bronze and ceramic objects along with terracotta roof tiles.
Mallwitz took charge of the excavations between 1972 and 1984 revealing important dating evidence for the stadium, graves, and the location of the Prytaneion. From 1984 to 1996, Helmut Kyrieleis took over the site and the focus shifted to the earlier history of the sanctuary with the excavation of the Prytaneion and Pelopion.
The Olympic flame of the modern-day Olympic Games is lit by the reflection of sunlight in a parabolic mirror in front of the Temple of Hera and then transported by a torch to the place where the games are held. When the modern Olympics came to Athens in 2004, the men's and women's shot put competition was held at the restored Olympia stadium.
The town has a train station and is the easternmost terminus of the line of Olympia-Pyrgos (Ilia). The train station with the freight yard to its west is located about 300 m east of the town centre. It is linked by GR-74, and the new road was opened in the 1980s; the next stretch N and NE of Olympia opened in 2005. The distance from Pyrgos is 20 km (12 mi), about 50 km (31 mi) SW of Lampeia, W of Tripoli and Arcadia and 4 km (2 mi) north of Krestena and N of Kyparissia and Messenia. The highway passes north of the ancient ruins. A reservoir is located 2 km (1 mi) southwest, damming up the Alfeios River. The area is hilly and mountainous; most of the area within Olympia is forested.
Panagiotis Kondylis, one of the most prominent modern Greek thinkers and philosophers, was born and raised in Olympia. When Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the International Olympic Committee, died in 1937, a monument to him was erected at ancient Olympia. Emulating Evangelis Zappas, whose head is buried under a statue in front of the Zappeion, his heart was buried at the monument.
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