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Mani Peninsula

 

 

Neolithic remains have been found in many caves along the Mani coasts. Homer refers to a number of towns in the Mani region, and some artifacts from the Mycenaean period (1900 BC - 1100 BC) have been found. The area was occupied by the Dorians in about 1200 BC, and became a dependency of Sparta. After Spartan power was destroyed in the 3rd century BC, Mani remained self-governing.

 In 1460, after the fall of Constantinople, the Despotate fell to the Ottomans. Mani was not subdued and retained its internal self-government in exchange for an annual tribute, although this was only paid once. Local chieftains or beys governed Mani on behalf of the Ottomans. As Ottoman power declined, the mountains of the Mani became a stronghold of the klephts, bandits who fought against the Ottomans. 

 Despite the region's aridity, Mani is known for its unique culinary products such as glina or syglino (pork or pork sausage smoked with aromatic herbs such as thyme, oregano,mint, etc. and stored in lard along with orange peel). Mani is also known for the world's best extra-virgin olive oil, soft-pressed from partially ripened olives of the Koroneiki variety, which are organically grown on mountain terraces. The local honey is also of superior quality.

  Today the Mani's coastal villages are full of cafés and souvenir shops. The peninsula attracts visitors for its Byzantine churches, Frankish castles, secluded sandy beaches and stunning scenery. Some popular beaches during the summer are Kalogria and the beaches by Stoupa harbor, while Kardamyli and Agios Nikolaos have good pebble and sand beaches, too. The ancient tower houses of Mani (pyrgospita) are significant tourist attractions, and some offer accommodations for visitors. The Diros stalactite and stalagmite caves, near Oitylo, are also popular tourist destination. As they are partly underwater, visitors tour them in gondola-like boats.

 

Pavlopetri studios-restaurant are about 3 hours  away from Mani  .

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