A half-day hike in Kardamyli of western Mani. Land of stone and light, villages perched on the outskirts of mount Taygetos with tower houses and countless chapels. Settlements bordering with the sea, steep canyons and caves and beaches entangled with olive groves. The charm of Mani is these contrasts. Here, every stone has its own history. Here, the magnificence of the mountainous nature is harmoniously combined with the allure of the sea as mount Taygetos is so close from the embrace of the Mediterranean.
Starting our hike from the fort of old Kardamyli we follow the trail of the ancient so-called ‘’royal street’’ connecting Kardamyli with Sparta during ancient years. We walk on a pathway immersed in olive trees, pines and cypress trees. We visit some of the traditional villages of the region, we walk through their narrow streets and alleys learning about their history. Byzantine churches, stone-built watchtowers, old fountains, olive and grain mills reveal the life of locals in the past. A blast of colours and aromas from wildflowers and herbs overwhelm us and bring us even closer to the natural environment. Just a breath away, mount Taygetos with its imposing peaks. A small break for a healthy picnic with traditional local delicacies gives us additional energy.