For those of you, like my self, who are a fan of the late Bruce Chatwin, a wonderful hike can be made to the tiny village of Chora to visit the Byzatium chapel of St Nikolas. It is here where the author of "In Patagonia" and "The Song Lines" had his ashes spread in 1989.
I cannot give you special instructions for what church to visit and what is its name. I can only advise you to enter 5-6 old chapels you will find on your way. The hagiography in most of them is from byzantine times and it is really impressive!
Old churches you will find everywhere but you can go to some in Itilo village, Kotronas village, Areopolis village, Skoutari village, Kelefa village, Germa village, Mirsini village etc
The typical way to dominate a contumacious and hill dwelling population in this period was to build castles that surrounded and encircled them. The Norman kings of England used this method with success in Wales. The major castles we know that were established or reanimated from earlier institutions by the Franks in the area around the Taygetus and the Melingi were Kalamata, Mistra, Beaufort (Leuktro or Leftro), Passavas and Le Grand Magne. These are referred to in contemporary documents.
Seven other fortified sites will feature in this account: Zarnata, Kelefa, Vardounia, Kastro tis Orias near Kipoula, Tigani and Porto Kaiyo. See the map below for locations.
About a kilometre below Skoutari on the beach, its apse pointing out to sea, is the church of Ag. Varvara (St. Barbara). The beach usually is completely deserted, unless it is August or weekend. During these days you have to accept the fact of 10-20 more people around!!! If you want a pretty much unspoilt beach, two kilometre stretch of fine white sand then here's your spot!!!
See more in my Laconian prefecture page.
Both of these villages have a very traditional colour...
They seem to have appeared from the old times and time seems to have been stopped for them.
If you have visited Greek villages and you 've enjoyed the traditional way of living... then you have to visit Mani and travel to the past.
Electricity has not gone to these villages earlier than30 years ago... And there are still houses in the area that continue to live without!
From this colorful village called Lagia one can enjoy the blue horizon of an unprecedented beauty.
It is considered a typical Maniot spot and it has picturesque house-towers.
Kokkala is a bit more touristic and this spoils the magic of the past, but it offers very clean and nice pebbled beaches and taverns.
One cannot but enjoy the harbor Mezapos and the cape Tigani. Up on the top is an acropolis with 365 water deposits cut into the rock. Up until now they are filled with water, which is not used though.
Wagtails as well as marine birds’ nests are found in the red colored rocks and they leave them for a short time only during coupling with the terrible Kavo Grosso at the place where the South –Western winds blow.
Maniot women in old times used to go there and collect salt to use and also sell it!
Two more beautiful traditional small villages... Both have many towers and worth your visit. Off the beaten track, but really worth it to be visited!