flight greece

The interior of Mani, especially the entire western area from Oitylo to Cape Tainaro, marks the beginning of a singular journey through time. It’s not just the celebrated towers of Mani that speckle dozens of traditional village settlement and the countryside. It’s an entire setting of almost sacred implicitly, with small grey churches, prickly pear orchards and the sea –eroded rugged coaline carving up the landscape. Starting from the traditional settlement of Oitylo and descending towards the southernmost point of mainland Greece, I hope to make it in time for the sunset at Cape Tainaro.

traditional tower in Mani

traditional tower in Mani

The village of Limeni emerges soon from the mountain, boasting old stone houses nestled on a rocky slope with a few slender cypress trees. A little further down lies the town of Areopoli. This is where travellers begin their visit to the Diros Caves (and especially the caves of Vlihada, with the most beautiful cave lakes in the world), as well as Cape Tainaro, the “ends of the earth”, as named by tourists on a website dedicated to the 100 most beautiful destinations on the planet. I cross Gerolimenas, the sacred port of ancient Messa, and wander away from the coast to avoid bypassing the celebrated village of Vatheia.

If only I had two hours to spare in the region, I would come here! An exceptional example of unique cultural heritage and twice the first-place winner in the world report of settlements and landscapes, Vatheia is the essence of Mani’s identity itself. Unyielding and surrounded by towers, the Parheno  of Mani boats unique sea views, though people say it is hard to turn your back on Vatheia, even for a moment to gaze at the open sea. I carefully cross Ohia to stand in front of the temple of Poseidon located next to the celebrated Star of Aria mosaic, just before the sun falls into the waters of the Messinian Gulf. I am in no hurry. I want to see the lighthouse glow before I begin my journey home.

Categories: Featured, Touring

Leave a Reply