Peloponnese holiday in Greece, Mani & Laconia
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Description of Peloponnese holiday in Greece, Mani & Laconia
Welcome to Laconia and the wild beauty of Mani, the kingdom of stone, one of the most beloved alternative Greek travel destinations! It's said that "as a passer by you see Mani in three days, as a walker in three months, and to touch her soul you need three lives" - it may well be something you hear from the locals during your time here in their historic land.
Mani, the central southern part of mainland Greece is divided into two halves. The first is 'Outer Mani', with the pretty coastal villages of Agios Nikolaos, Kardamyli and Stoupa. It's well known for offering a more authentic holiday experience, than many of the Greek islands. The second is 'Deep Mani', further south, which starts at the town of Areopolis, above Itylo Bay, and has a rugged coastline broken by only small coves. It's a lesser known alternative destination, but it is one of the most beautiful Greek regions.
While in Mani we will also visit the spectacular Diros caves, where you will explore an impressive underworld with your own boat, admiring the stalactites being reflecting in the crystal waters of the caves. We will also stroll down the narrow streets of the traditional settlement of Vatheia which, like a medieval fantasy town, is home to a whole forest of towerhouses. We'll visit Cape Tainaro, once the end of the ancient world and the southernmost tip of Eastern Europe, swim in the clear waters at Abela beach and walk along the beaches of Kokkala.
1 Reviews of Peloponnese holiday in Greece, Mani & Laconia
Reviewed on 13 Oct 2019 by Karen Anderson
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
We saw stunning scenery and beautiful old villages at our own pace. I felt that we avoided tourist traps entirely, and saw the real life of this lovely region. The
hotel in the Mani was unique and full of character, but totally modern. We were able to be adventurous and wander through incredible sites, yet our guide
made sure that we felt very comfortable and secure. We ate great food in gorgeous, but relaxed settings right on the water's edge.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
If you appreciate personalized care, great flexibility and a small group, this tour is excellent. We met the tour company owner for dinner the first night, and
that proved to be a great orientation to Greece. The Mani is such a beautiful region, with tall mountains coming down to the sea; I really recommend this trip
to those who are a bit adventurous and who want to see a part of Greece that's very different from your standard "Greek island vacation".
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
The hotels served lots of local products. We chose restaurants for lunch and dinner that were obviously locally owned, and they served specialties like locally
caught fresh fish.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
The trip was excellent on all levels. The original itinerary was great, and we were able to easily change it around so that we had a "free day" in the middle of the
trip to relax at the beach and pool, to loaf and read and explore the natural environment. The guides we had were super: well-organized and they allowed us
lots of flexibility. They were wonderful ambassadors for their country: very knowledgeable and friendly people whom we enjoyed getting to know. They made us feel that they would do anything to make our trip special and unforgettable.
PlanetThe philosophy behind all our trips is : we care - we share - we love! That means that we do our best to preserve our nature and environment.
On this tour we will visit Laconia, the southernmost part of the Peloponnese, which is a beautifully varied prefecture and almost like a small country by itself. Bounded by the Taygetus mountain range to the west, it has many fertile plains and citrus groves and is surrounded by pristine beaches around its two peninsulas. Taygetus is the highest and most majestic mountain in the region. The beaches of Laconia are mostly wild and without amenities but beloved to nature lovers. The island of Elafonisos, which resembles an exotic island, is full of clear waters and sandy beaches, so on this small group guided tour we will visit the foothills of the Taygetus mountain, the clean beaches of Laconia, as well as the island of Elafonisos. Their presence is of utmost importance for the ecology of the Southern Peloponnese. This is a great opportunity for our guests to show their respect to the beautiful environment. So we recommend them not to throw away garbage, not to cut flowers and branches from trees, not to mess the sea and the coast with rubbish.
The hotel we will stay in Gytheio is built next to the beach. Here, our visitors can feel free to take a walk across the coastline, go to the beach and enjoy a swim in the crystal waters of the sea or have some fun on the coast. However, we always give our travelers a fabric bag as an arrival gift, which they can use throughout the journey which helps cut down on plastics. We suggest to our friends to say no to plastic bags, so they can use the eco bag during the tour to put their water and souvenirs in. At the end of the tour, they can take the bag home as a remembrance of the journey.
We will also visit the unique wild Mani, which is famous for its traditional settlements full of old stone houses. Here we usually stay in small hotels, which are old buildings renovated with local material and the famous stone of Mani. We always recommend our visitors to respect our traditional settlements.
Tourism has the capacity to have a great impact on the whole planet and on the environment as well. Our goal is to make this impact as positive as possible!
PeopleOn all our tours, we do our best to help local communities and their inhabitants.
All our trips are designed and planned with locals in mind. We want our guests to meet and talk with our local friends and experience their amazing home grown food, their excellent wine and visit their beautiful local shops. That's the reason behind our preference in family taverns, where the local owners cook with goods from the agricaltural and livestock production of their region.
On this small group guided tour, our guests will enjoy a seafood experience in Gytheio. They will have the opportunity to taste an excellent meal in Panagioti's coastal restaurant. Here Panagiotis offers one of the best seafood gastronomic experiences in the Peloponnese in a pleasant ambient by the sea where our friends will have a unique tasty experience of fresh seafood dishes and an amazing local wine. They will also meet the polite owner who will excite them with his passion for cooking. They will also visit the wooden oven of Mrs Militsa in Areopolis where they will buy traditional pies, bread and nuts. They will also visit a local winery in Monemvasia where the owners will show them all the secrets of their vineyards.
We care about all the Peloponnesian communities we visit and we recommend local handicraft shops to our travelers so that their holiday spendings contribute to the economic development of the region.
We try to share with our guests the information needed so that they can understand the communities they visit and create valuable opportunities for them to mingle and exchange thoughts with local people. We always for example, advise our guests to interact with the local people, get involved in their traditional feasts, taste delicacies from small stores and buy desserts and bread from local bakeries.
Working with local communities has strengthened our relationship with many small business and has allowed us to provide this interactive and immersive trip in Greece. This is the way to be a traveler and not a tourist! This is the right way to travel!