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Mani beaches and sightseeing
The "CAPITAL" OF MANI
Mani is divided in turn into two sub-areas, Aposkieri or Aposkiaderi (Western) Mani, which is the most "popular" for visitors, and Prosiliaki (Eastern), we will begin our journey by the Aposkieri having its base and the informal capital, Areopolis.
The first view of the small town (Areopolis) off the main road is rather daunting, but changes dramatically when they penetrate the heart of the old fortified town, where stone is everywhere, the atmospheric streets, the imposing towers and picturesque churches. Until the 18th century, Areopoli was a relatively small village, with its Slavic name "Tsimova"
The upgrade, but the name change in honor of the god of war, due largely to the presence of the great family of Mavromichalis especially in Petrobey Mavromichalis eighth and last Bey of Mani, who on March 17, 1821 lit the spark of the Revolution, raising the banner of the church of the Archangels. Thereby secured, and a good position of Areopolis in the history books.
THE PAN AND AGITRIA
In [the village of Agios Georgios we turn right towards the bay Mezapos, another famous pirate lair. 0 new settlement is not known for its picturesque, but turn left and Mezapos will find a small pebble beach, above which lie the ruins of old stone-built village, among them the ruined tower of Sassari pirate.
Leaving Mezapos, direction and Sunday Pan, deserves our attention a dirt road on the right, about one kilometer from the village. Leads to the beautiful Byzantine church.
The Gate of the ADI
The Akrotainaro (or Cape Maizapos) is considered the end of Mani and the mainland. In antiquity it was the end of the world over, one of the gates descent into Hades. is that from now entered the underworld by Hercules to face Cerberus, performing the feat of the twelfth. The area is the temple of Poseidon Tenaro, which for years was worshiped as god, the Psychopompeio and one of the great oracles of antiquity'''' Cherainas (or Vlacherna).
Arriving in St. Sunday, we follow a few hundred meters on the dirt road until the end. From that which begins the path that leads to the rough pan. Among the sharp rocks that span the "handle" of the pan, you will see some very special pans (the locals call them "sgournes") in "clusters", with stone partitions. It is said that there are so many days and years. In this wild part of the "exiled" the "achamnomeroi," the "ropey", those who had lost power plays in Mani. In elevated and flattened tip of the cape, there are the few remains of a castle, which many identified with the Great Castle Marne. The position was fortified by the time of Justinian, but the ruins we see today are the fortress built by William Villehardouin in 1248. Above the castle we see the ruins of two early Christian basilicas dating between the 5th and 7th century AD, C.
Returning to the road, we strongly recommend you follow another path that descends the steep plagiestou Mezalimona and leads to hidden Vrachoskepaoti Agitria (Virgin Odigitria). This, in our humble opinion, the most beautiful Byzantine church of Mani, which is in addition to a stunning location.
Leaving St. Sunday, it is worth while to wander Katopagki, this broad, flat and fertile, for data in Mani peninsula, which took its name from the fact that "apagkiazei down there" because of the rocky "curtain" of Cavo Grosso. In the lower town of St. George, a few meters before the Byzantine Diocese, will see the "twin" towers of families Ponies u. Arnaoutis. Nice towers will meet in almost all the villages with impressive what lies at the cross. In Kipoula would see the unique phenomenon of a church into two "layers around the church of Agia Paraskevi (12th century), develops, glued," wrapping "it, the unfinished
THE VILLAGES OF SANGIA
On the road leading from the Alice in Words, ion worthy follow narrow road goes left, his heart Sangia. will see the "eagle nests" of Mani, three of the most beautiful but deserted villages. In Mountanistika dozens towers look like soldiers lined up in a row. In Leontaki will see the "twin" towers Gounela, while the tiny Pepo was the base of the notorious pirate.
Inside Secrets of Mani
In many, reminiscent Flomochori due to heavy concentration of towers, the famous village of San Gimignano, in Tuscany, Italy, known as the "Medieval Manhattan". Most towers were built in Flomochori the period 1810-1845. Today, well maintained 6-7 thereof, with a height of more than 13-14 meters between them and the tower Panteleakis, one of the highest temple of Mani the St. Demetrius. Somewhere between Kippoula and Ano Pula, the "plateau" of Cavo Grosso, placed the ancient Ippola, mentioned by Pausanias. In the Byzantine churches of Upper birds will see ancient architectural elements, considered to belong to the sanctuary of Athena Ippolaitidas. Other important Byzantine churches in the area of Katopagkiou is St. John (13th century) to Kerry and Saint Nicholas (ancient 12th century) with its impressive tower in the Viper. From the Viper, we could follow the very narrow road that leads to Gerolimenas, but we have left unfinished in the central part of the bypass road to ride our Katopagki.
The most important attraction in this part of the route is one of the most historic villages of Mani, the Look, "polypyrgou." Here is the first that erected towers, mansions family members who came from Nikli of Arcadia. The effect of these families was enormous, not only in shaping the architecture of Mani, but also on the manners and customs of the region, to the extent that the winners in local power struggles to be called than "megalogenites" and "niklianoi" . A little further south, in the village of Ano Boularion two-door, we will see Aistratigo, one of the most impressive Byzantine churches of Mani. Beside the church passes the well maintained path that climbs the slopes of Sangia and leads to the "eagle nests" of the Leontaki and Pepo.
Gerolimenas, who for nearly a century, the most important trade and transit center of Mani, is today a quiet seaside resort where we can rest for awhile before we continue further south. Alika will find in the south "passage" linking Aposkieri Prosiliaki and Mani, the road leading to Laya, but we will continue to Akrotainaro. Between Alice and Kyparisso, a dirt road leading to the pebbled beach of Almyros, where the ruins of ancient Kainipolis mainly fragments embedded in later structures.
Here is the profound, the most "famous" village of the monastery, known posters and postcards. It's really impressive, built on a hill with dense structure and imposing consecutive 6 towers of which rented in the late 70's for 20 years and exemplary renovated by E01. The towers served as hostels for some years, with a renewed life, however small, in the deserted village. Unfortunately, when the late '90s towers returned to its owners, they found unbearable maintenance costs, resulting in a deeply beautiful fall back into "hibernation".
THE END OF THE WORLD
The Akrotainaro (or Cape Matapas from the ancient "processing ends" at the top, forming a narrow "neck" a strip of land "squeezed" by the bay Porto Marinara on the right (west], where is located the village Marmari (beginning " Port of Achilles ") with three beautiful sandy beaches and the bay Porto Cayo left (east), with the settlement ancient" Psammathous "Opposite and North of Puerto Cayo are the ruins of the castle, which guarded the" Port of quail "(from the French« Port aux Caill ». Today the walls of the towers intermingle with small settlement Achilles. Between the two bays on a hill, the site Rulers, the imposing tower Grigorakakis. Then on the way to the Kokkinogeia and the ancient Psychopompeio Cape widens. left of the cursor, showing the beautiful Paliros settlement, under which lies a vast "network" with stone walls.
At the end of the road, the age-old desert Asomaton chapel, built with stones from the ancient temple of Poseidon Tenaro. A few hundred feet to the left of the church, beside a small beach, a trench carved in the rocks. considered as being part of Psychopoumpeiou. The cave was the entrance gate to Hades remains unknown, although local fishermen to find a cave that is accessible only by sea. To the right of the church Asomaton, begins the path, which leads after 45 minutes the impressive lighthouse of 1882, at the end of Mani. From where we are, just to the north can not move, but this time we will pass on the other side of Mani, Prosiliaki.
The PROSILIAKI MANI
Going up the newly paved road that passes over the Achilles will reach another historic village of Laya, who once had more than 1,000 residents. Unfortunately, few remain today. The Laya boasted he had the best masters of stone and it is the birthplace of Alice Vougiouklaki. The towers are special, as well as tall as they get more inclined inwards, giving the image of a truncated pyramid.
A few miles farther north, on tops of some hills, grows a cluster of beautiful villages, the Pyrgaros, Dimaristika Media, Beyond the Dimaristika the Kozounas and Spira, who all have visual contact with each other, reminding system beacons. A road goes right down, leading to the coastal St. Cyprian, where b via a dirt road, we can arrive in Ormos Vine, with its green waters and white pebbles, which locals call "lalloudes" Instead of the way to St. Cyprian , another goes on the left leads to the Prophet Elijah, the ancient marble quarries of red, from which it is said that six were built by the red columns of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
Even the main road north of Prosiliakis Mani and after passing the coastal Kokkala, we'll reach Nyfi with the beautiful towers. Tour the village on the edge of the trail begins, initially arrives at the abandoned monastery Kournas, a location with a rare privilege for Mani, have two sources of pure water. Continuing on the path after the Monastery Kournas will find the site of ancient Aigilas that Mani called the "pillar" because of the scattered ancient columns that are there. Under Nyfi, is the beautiful bay where Alypas sympathestati and restless lady Potitsa Glezakos will do our best to serve us in the beautiful tavern.
THE WELLS Pausanias
The pyrrhic (pyrrhic the Arch) is one of the villages mentioned in the "Laconian" by the ancient traveler Pausanias, who passed through these parts in the 2nd AD century. Apart from two sanctuaries of Artemis and Astarteias Amazon Apollo, associated with the passage of the Amazon region, Pausanias makes reference to the wells of the village, two sixths which remain, according to the locals to work until today.
The Byzantine churches of Mani followed various architectural types, from simple chapels to churches outbond cruciform with a dome. Many of them follow the Middle Byzantine cloisonne masonry system, while some have incorporated architectural elements from ancient temples. Differences exist in the hagiography, and while usually the frescoes are the work of local "folk" artists, in some cases their quality hand witness audition, probably metaklithikan from other areas.
CYCLING MANI AREA
We continue towards the Bay of pumpkins and the coastal Kotrona, on the ancient Tefthronis. Before Kotrona will see the beautiful beach of the gravel, and shortly after our entrance to the headquarters of the Municipality of Eastern Mani, a narrow lane leading down to the beautiful "double" beach, formed at the point where a thin strip of land leading to the promontory Watchtower . If the Kotrona continue on the coastal road that reaches Gytheion Skoutari will find the "triplet" sandy beaches, the first of which is the beautiful Byzantine church of Agia Varvara (12th century).
A wonderful route, starting from Kotrona, mountain this time, is that passing from the "forgotten" Riganochora settlements, Skaltsiochanika and angles, leading to the "castle" of Christ (the only Goneas) of the 14th century. The outbuildings are in poor condition, but the church is well preserved and recorded.
It's time to close the path, the time will "surround" is fully Mani, returning to Aposkieri from the North "pass".
The first village we find is Flomochori, with its impressive towers and well maintained. Just above are the Loukadika, which lie on the slopes of two hills. In one of them was the ancient citadel of Tefthronis, so the locals call the place "Castle."
Last major village before returning to Areopoli pyrrhic is a valuable archaeological site and two very old wells, which legend has it there by the time he spent here by Pausanias in the 2nd century AD Now, smoking fags, but full of images, experiences and emotions we can rest in Areopolis. If following this route belongs to those who "hate" Mani, then, what to say? Science raises his hands up.