Mani, the southernmost and middle region of the Peloponnese, crossing the districts of Lakonia and Messenia in southern Greece, is one of the most mysterious areas of Greece. The local people never fully obeyed of any conquerors. Hard living conditions have created the astonishing character of the local population. The clan organization of the society predetermined the architectural appearance of the villages in Mani, where each house and hotel has the form of a tower.
From the first moment, when I saw from the top the bay of Limeni, I realized its the perfect place for me.
Lymeni is an incredibly colorful village with charming old stone house-towers, literally hanging over the rocky cliffs. Here you will find crystal clear blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, fantastic landscapes, and has an atmosphere of true hospitality from local residents. This is a great place for relaxation and swimming.
HOW TO GET
via Athens airport or Athens by car
The easiest and more comfortable way is to rent a car from the Athens airport or Athens center. The drive to the Southern Peloponnese is enjoyable due to the new motorway, but with mandatory payment of tools (in cash only, around 15 euro per one way). The journey takes about 4 hours, and with a few short stops for coffee. There is an opportunity to stretch your legs and to enjoy the charming mountain scenery.
via the airport in Kalamata
Charter flights are available during the summer and it is the fastest way to get to Mani. For the upper region you can take a taxi or a bus, but if you are traveling in the direction to Areopoli it’s better to rent a car in the Kalamata airport, as the road will take about 2 hours.
via Athens by bus
You have to take a bus from the KTEL Kifisou bus station to Sparta (4 hours) and there, you must change a bus to Areopoli (2 hours) and then get a taxi (about 10 minutes)to the village where you will stay. Or you have to take a bus from the KTEL Korinthias bus station to Isthmos (1.30 hours), there change a bus to Oitoilon (3.15 hours) and get a taxi to Limeni (about 5 minutes). Yes, it’s a bit of a long trip, but ideal for the travelers on budget.
WHERE TO STAY
Mani is a quite large region with several famous villages, as Stoupa, Agios Nicolaos, Neo Itilo, Limeni, Areopoli, Gerolimenas and Gytheo. Limeni is a small port village with unrealistic natural beauty, making your stay simply fabulous and unforgettable. It is considered one of the most beautiful and picturesque seaside settlements in Mani. There are not many hotels here, so where to stay is desirable to book in advance.
I will definitely recommend you to stay at Vasilios Hotel Apartments. The hotel surpassed all my expectations. The brand-new stone built hotel consists of separate house-towers each with balcony and the magnificent Messinian Gulf and mountain view.
During our stay, we took the separate stone house-apartment No11 with a panoramic view of the surrounding Gulf. We had a really huge bed 2.00 x 2.00, modern bathroom with Jacuzzi, fully equipped kitchen, air condition, fireplace and the best part – 2 balconies with a unique Gulf view and also consisted a private sitting area. The distance to the beach is only 100 meters, so you can do it on foot.
It is better to book breakfast in advance. It’s definitely worth it. The breakfast is rich and consists of: fresh juices, local cheeses, yogurt, vegetables and fruits, verities of cooked eggs, homemade gems and bakery with very tasty coffee and the same magnificent Gulf view. The staff was friendly and helpful we really enjoyed our stay!
Another popular hotel is Limeni Village, which consists of 16 stone room-towers with a wood decoration inside and private balconies which provide a fantastic view as well. They have different types of rooms and one of my favorite is the Tower and it offers 2 levels. On the ground floor there is a cozy living room and on the first floor, there is the circular bedroom with bathroom. Also on the top of the tower, you will find the terrace with the deep blue panoramic view. Hotel Limeni Village has a restaurant with Greek traditional cuisine and the Veranda bar where you can enjoy tasty cocktails.
Hotel Pirgos Mavromichali is a historic building. This is the most expensive hotel in Limeni which used to be a house of the Mavromichali family, who for centuries fought for the independence of Greece. Now it is a modern family running hotel with 13 rooms provide magical views of the sea, sky, and mountains from the terraces and verandas throughout the Pyrgos area.
Lymeni is known not only for their beach but also for the famous fish restaurants and taverns. This is for sure understandable because Limeni is a fishing seaside village, where you can taste the freshest seafood and fish.
- The fish tavern “O TAKIS” is considered the best tavern according to the locals. The staff might not be the friendliest, but you can find here the best and delicious local cuisine. When we get to the tavern, the tables near the sea have been already reserved and we had to search for a free table by ourselves. A variety of seafood and fresh fish on the grill was not only impressive, but also very tasty and fresh. The tavern “O Takis” is also famous for its spaghetti with lobster and daily fresh fish served with a glass of national alcohol drink “ouzo”.
- The tavern “Thodoro’s Place” near the sea is my favorite place for a mezze such as grilled octopus, fried squid, shrimps, eggplant salad, green traditional Mani salad, Greek fava puree, and fried potatoes. Their special dish is spaghetti with seafood in the tomato-garlic sauce. The staff and prices are very friendly so I visited this tavern several times.
- The restaurant “Telonio” is known for more gourmet local cuisine. The romantic location and the unique gastronomic creation makes this place No1 on Tripadvisor list for dinner. Greek Sushi and Risotto make this place really different from the traditional restaurant.
Apart from the taverns in Limeni, you have the opportunity to visit the villages near, which are Areopoli and Neo Oitilo where you may find more restauramts to enjoy local cusuine.
ENTERTAINMENT IN LIMENI
Mani Water Sports is located right on the waterfront of Limeni. They offer a great variety of activities that will make your stay more enjoyable. With water sport rentals, sailing, scuba diving, and even cruising tours to explore the Gulf, you definitely find your ideal plan to enrich the memories of your holidays.
Night life. You will not find clubs here for sure, but a few romantic bars you will definitely see. Most of the young people are gathering in bars in Areopoli with modern music and pretty tasty cocktails. Another option for the evening is to buy local wine and sit on your balcony with a really fantastic view.
Caves of Diros. You should definitely visit this biggest cave in the world. It’s about a 20 min drive from Limeni and opens from 08:30 till 15:30, with a ticket pri ofce 12 euros (check special discounts). Cave of Diros formed by stalactites and stalagmites, makes a unique spectacle. The tourist route runs at a length of 1500 meters, of which the first 1200 meters is by a boat in an underground lake, and the duration of the route is about 25 minutes. Be prepared that the exursion, while traveling by boat, is only in Greek, but the mysterious passages in the cave with different highlights are worth visit.
Are you brave enough to go down to the underworld of Hades and sail on the boat of Chiron?
In Limeni there is such an azure and clear sea that you don’t feel like you want getting out of the water. Time in this paradise flew really fast and I am sure that this is not the last time I visited this amazing place.
SHOP MY SUMMER STYLE
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