The Mani peninsula stretches from just south of Kalamata to Cape Tainaro – the southernmost point of mainland Greece – and encompasses the pretty coastal villages of Kardamili and Aghios Nikolaos and the family-friendly resort of Stoupa. Inland are the mountains of the Taygetus which hide gorges, Byzantine churches and the distinctive ‘tower house’ villages. This is the real Greece, the deep Mani, an area that Sunvil are passionate about.

A highlight for any visitor to the Mani is the local cuisine with waterfront tavernas selling the freshest of grilled fish and seafood, often caught that morning. Non-seafood alternatives of course include delicious oven baked lamb, a creamy moussaka and dolmades (stuffed vine leaves) – not to mention the classic Greek salad of juicy tomatoes, cucumber, olives and Feta cheese all drenched in home produced olive oil. Heaven!

Greek Feta Cheese Greek Feta Cheese
Greek Salad Greek Salad

On Friday (21 August), Rick Stein’s BBC2 series ‘From Venice to Istanbul’ will highlight the best of Greek food and the Mani region is recognised by the chef for its cultural heritage. Our representative, Stephen Manley-Clarke discusses the foodie delights that await his guests below. Our mouths are watering at the thought of it!

Kitchen gardens:

“One thing that guests enjoy in Kardamili, Stoupa and Aghios Nikolaos is the fact that many tavernas produce these tasty dishes with vegetables, salads and fruit from their gardens. Even the olives that are picked in the winter arrive on our guests tables in the summer together with locally produced olive oil, used on the table and also in cooking.”

Excursions:

“Our ‘Taste of the Mani’ excursion is a half day trip inland and guests are able to learn how the Mani honey is produced; the local beehives are moved when the olive trees are in blossom and again when the famous wild flowers of the Mani are in bloom. Of course, there is also plenty of time to sample the honey. Afterwards it is only fair to visit a local olive press… after all the rural landscape is dominated by olive trees.”

Picturesque Mani Picturesque Mani
Traditionally cooked Greek Prawns Traditionally cooked Greek Prawns

Local restaurants:

“One thing that our guests will enjoy here is real home cooking. Tavernas are generally family run with ‘Mum’ or other members of the family preparing specialities of the day to complement the menu. Other family members give that Mani welcome, which is filled with both hospitality and generosity. Don’t ever be surprised that after a hearty meal to be given a dessert to enjoy from cake drizzled in honey to fruit and yoghurt made from goat’s milk with local honey on the top.

We still have some lovely tavernas that simply do not have a menu. Sitting out enjoying a wonderful summer Greek evening you can be tempted with local starters and main courses explained to you while sipping a glass of locally produced wine!

At ‘Yesterday & Today’, a local restaurant in Stoupa (where our welcome meetings are held) they bake Maniot bread on a Wednesday evening in the outside oven and guests dining that evening receive a gift of Maniot bread, a little bag of sea salt and oregano. The idea is that the next morning they enjoy breakfast Mani style – some olive oil on the bread, finely chopped local tomatoes and then sprinkled with oregano and a little sea salt.

Traditional Greek Bread Traditional Greek Bread
A sunsoaked Greek Taverna A sunsoaked Greek Taverna

It is also still possible to enjoy a typical meze. One local secret hideaway is Maria’s in Stoupa. Maria explains and introduces the meze concept to guests who enjoy dishes that are complemented with intense flavours from fresh herbs.”

Dudley Der Parthog

By Dudley Der Parthog

21st August 2015



Talk to our Pieria expert

Dudley Der Parthog
Dudley Der Parthog

Having been at university and unsure as to what to do following some temporary jobs, Dudley joined the family firm as a brochure packer in 1979. In those days distribution was from the office premises and Sunvil was just beginning to grow again, following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the company’s major destination, in 1974. He was then made responsible for travel agency sales. In due course he took over the running and brochure writing for the Sunvil Greece programme and the contracting of accommodation. He is now a director of the company and is the most knowledgeable and experienced member of the Greek team. He mixes work in administering the programme with taking reservations and he particularly enjoys tackling complicated and well nigh impossible itineraries.

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

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