The Mani peninsula, on the southern tip of the Peloponnese, offers some of Greece’s most beguiling and contrasting landscapes, alongside ancient history and wonderful hospitality. It is perfectly suited to a slow journey that allows you to switch off from the stresses of home, and with sumptuous properties to return to each evening, there are very few places we’d rather spend a week in the company of good friends.
THE MOST MAJESTIC PENINSULA
SET DATE DEPARTURES ON 14 & 17 MAY, 4 & 7 OCTOBER AND 15 & 18 OCTOBER 2020
There are two bits to the Mani. We start our 6-night journey on its southern tip with three nights at Citta dei Nicliani in Kitta, enjoying walks and bike rides amid the stark beauty and iconic tower houses of the Inner Mani. We then cycle and boat north to the Outer Mani and the hills around Kardamyli: green, full of wildflowers and olive groves and home for much of his life to celebrated travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor. There we spend three nights at the beautiful Ilias Estate, hosted by its wonderful owners, and two full days exploring the hills and villages around Kardamyli, and the Ridomo Gorge.
“ The best holiday I’ve ever been on. ”
WHAT WE OFFER
In 2020 we are hosting just six journeys through the Mani. If you’d like to put together a private group of 10 to 12 friends please get in touch. Alternatively, if you’d rather join other like-minded and lovely folks in making a group of 12, see our scheduled dates.
“ I can't tell you how often we have talked about our biking holiday. We still dream about what a wonderful time we had. I want to do it all over again. ”
HISTORY OF THE MANI
In classical times, the Mani was not very different from the rest of Greece, though it was ruled by the renowned Spartan warriors. The real contrast with the rest of the country developed after the fall of the Roman Empire and the subsequent invasions that hastened the collapse of the Byzantine Empire, ultimately resulting in Ottoman domination of the rest of Greece. Most significant was the fall of Mystras in 1460, causing many refugees to flee to the Mani. Survival on the peninsula depended on social dominance and that, in turn, depended on ownership of land and resources. Out of this ongoing struggle evolved a unique culture with its own, undeniably violent traditions. The struggle for power in the Mani was therefore rooted in the need to obtain and control areas of valuable land and then to defend them against others, both domestic and foreign, with equal ambitions. The method of defence that evolved was the tower house, which continues to influence the architecture and character of the Mani.
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