Overview

Introduction

Kardamili, Stoupa and Aghios Nikolaos

Transfer time 60-90 minutes


Designated as a village of special beauty, Kardamili is in the upper (outer) part of the central Mani peninsula. It is an upmarket little place of great appeal to writers, artists, walkers and nature-lovers.

With the peaks of the Taygetos range behind and a Blue Flag sea to the front, Kardamili occupies a privileged spot on this spectacular stretch of coastline. Either side of the road through the village (which can be busy in August) Kardamili has some seven or eight good restaurants, several bars/cafés, and a number of small shops. It has its share of tower houses, now deserted – just walk for 5 minutes up the dry riverbed to Old Kardamili behind.

To the north there is a long pebble beach called Ritsa. Otherwise you can swim from the rocks or from purpose-built quays in a very clean sea. There are plenty of walks, the best being through the Viros Gorge; a spectacular 4-5 hour nature trail with a couple of monasteries en route.

Kardamili was home for 50 years to the famous British travel writer and war hero Patrick Leigh Fermor - his 1958 book Mani: Travel in the Southern Peloponnese is still an essential read today - and visits to his wonderful house by the sea can be arranged via the Benaki Museum (email plfproject@benaki.gr).  Further afield a range of excursions operates but for more independent exploration we would recommend car hire as the bus service is limited.

The delightful village of Stoupa lies just over an hour's drive south from Kalamata and is the closest thing the Mani has to a small resort, thanks to its two beautiful, sandy beaches, Kalogria and Stoupa. The setting is complemented with a backdrop of olive covered hills and the magnificent Taygetos mountains, making for a truly stunning location with all the facilities for a relaxed holiday. You should not be surprised to read that Stoupa holds particular appeal for couples of all ages and younger families.


Despite Stoupa's popularity (the beaches do get busy in season) it remains low key, evening entertainment here still centred around a wide variety of good quality tavernas. Facilities include several mini-markets and two ATMs. A range of interesting excursions last year included Olympia, Mystras and the spectacular Dirou Caves, and small bicycles and motorboats can be hired. There is a lovely footpath above the sea which leads you to neighbouring Aghios Nikolaos in about an hour.


Aghios Nikolaos is the archetypal sleepy Greek fishing village, and the cafés and restaurants above the exquisite small harbour here are the perfect place from which to watch the boats come and go. Pantazi beach is a 15 minute walk to the south, its wide stretch of sand/shingle shaded by trees.

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Jazz Festival

Kardamili hosts a well respected jazz festival every year for one week starting the first Saturday in May. Since its inaugural year (2014) the festival has grown and in 2018 featured bands from 8 countries who played some 50 concerts over the week in Kardamili's cafes, bars, tavernas and restaurants. And all performances were (bar one, which involved a cruise on a boat) free of charge to attend! This is an inexpensive time to visit and is certainly a major attraction for jazz lovers with the bonus of atmospheric surroundings, beautiful scenery and warm spring sunshine in this prettiest of villages.

Holiday Tip

In the Mani area (Agios Nikolaos and Kardamili and Stoupa), our local representative Marloes, recommends an excursion called the 'A step back in time'. This beautiful journey we will introduce you to the historic and majestic Mani villages, from the famous Troupakis Towers of Kardamili to the ancient village of Kastania and more. You still stop in Proastio to take in the views and visit the Melissino Fountains, before continuing to the museum in Exochori and onwards to the Viros Gorge and your final destination, Kastania.

Useful information

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Claire Kalatzis
Claire Kalatzis
Best time to go
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Time Difference

GMT + 2 hours

Currency

Euro

Language

Greek

Average flight times

3 hours 40 Minutes

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Note: Map is for guidance purposes only.

Talk to our Greece expert

Jackie Gogonas
Jackie Gogonas

Those of our clients who have, over the last 20 or so years, visited Tolon in the Peloponnese will know Jackie; our very knowledgeable and passionate representative. Having decided to return to the UK, she has joined our reservations team and, needless to say, knows Tolon, a resort we have featured since 1973, inside out. It will come as no surprise to know that the Peloponnese is her favourite region in Greece.

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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.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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