Mani is a historic region of the Peloponnese peninsula covered by Mount Taygetos. Geographically, Mani or “Middle Mani”, as it is locally called, begins from the valley of Taygetos Sagia and ends at Cape Tainaron. Middle Mani is divided by the ridge along Eastern Mani, facing the Laconic Gulf and West Mani, overlooking the Messinian Gulf. North of West Mani, namely the area of Kardamili, is the Messinian Mani, or as the locals call it, Outer Mani.
The barren peninsula and its historical connection to Ancient Sparta gives its residents an uncompromising character, strict morals, rigid traditions, freedom, sacrifice along with honesty, moral courage, pride and patriotism. They show great respect for tradition, family honor and the deceased, and a parochial perspective which stems from the pride of a people born free, never having been enslaved to strangers.
Mani is home to numerous stone towers, 7 castles, numerous archaeological sites, Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches with wonderful frescoes. Here, one can find 98 of 118 traditional settlements in the Peloponnese, along with many caves, paths and canyons for hikers to explore. The villages of Mani preserve their traditional architecture and unique lifestyle. Nested among the mountains, beautiful and imposing, they wait to share their stories with visitors: …Gytheion, with its picturesque harbor and distinctive architecture, Areopolis with its cobblestone streets and stone towers which have been declared historic monuments. The Caves of Diros, the village of Limeni opposite Homeric Oitylo, Gerolimenas, Batheia, Kotronas with its beautiful beaches and its traditional architecture, Porto Kayo, Laya and the Cape of Tainaron are few of the attractions that Laconic Mani has to offer.
Monemvasia is a small historic town in the eastern Peloponnese, in the Epidaurus Limiras province, belonging to the prefecture of Laconia. It is best known for its medieval fortress, namesake for the “Rock of Monemvasia”, which is literally a small island connected by a bridge on a neck of land with a total length of 400 meters, with the modern coast town on the opposite Laconic coastline. Included in the surviving buildings of the castle are defensive structures of the external castle and several small Byzantine churches.
Due to the configuration of the rock, the city was divided into two parts, the Lower and Upper Cities. The latter was literally impregnable. In fact, many parts did not require artificial fortification. It was fortified by nature.
Its name is a compound word derived from two Greek words mone and emvasi meaning “single entry”. Many of its streets are narrow and only suitable for pedestrians...
Mystras was a Byzantine city of the Peloponnese, located six kilometers north-west of Sparta. Today, it lies in ruin and is a valuable source of knowledge for the history, the art and the culture of the last two centuries of the Byzantium. The history of the now “dead city” begins in the mid-13th century, with the conclusion of the Frankish conquest of the Peloponnese. In 1460, Mystras is surrendered to the Turks and thus began its decline.
Modern Sparta is situated to the south of the center of the ancient city, near the right bank of the river Evrotas. The plain stretches around it lush with olive, orange, lemon, mulberry and other trees. To the southwest stands Mount Taygetos, with its towering peaks and untamed beauty. To the east lies the range of Mount Parnonas, covered with firs and other trees.
Museum of the Olive
The main purpose of the Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil in Sparta is to highlight the culture and technology behind olives and olive oil production, which is inextricably linked with the Greek and, more broadly, the Mediterranean identity. It is unique in Greece and is located in the heart of Laconia, one of the main oil-producing areas of our country.