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esfahani Githion - A travel report by Ralph
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Githion,  Greece - flag Greece -  Lakonía
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esfahani's travel reports

Mani?! – What the hell is Mani?

  8 votes
As I remember, in the Philippines they been calling peanuts “Mani”. But well there is something else! In Europe! To be exact: the most southern part of it, at least of the mainland.
The name Mani originally meant dry or treeless.

Githion travelogue picture
A very historic landscape, since the mountain Olymp, the home of the greek goddess is just nearby, some caves at the area are called as the entrance to Hades, the underworld of the mythology. And many, many more. It just seems like a place to explore.

Some years ago I have seen a TV report about, and I have noted down the name to remember. And my last visit of Greece is quite a long time ago, 1992, I have worked a summer season there and now as my son grows up, I liked the idea to go there again.

A week time is just perfect to explore the peninsula of Mani.

Favourite spots:
Githion travelogue picture
Lufthansa is offering return flights from Frankfurt to Athens low as 99 EUR is you book at their website well in advance. Cars are available from all known companies as Alamo, Hertz etc. around the clock at the airport.

On the way to peloponnes you should definitely plan a stop at the Canal of Corinth, deeply cut into the rock. The canal is 6km in length and was built 1893. I have spend the sunrise there, enjoying a cup of greek espresso with my breakfast before driving further south.

What's really great:
Githion travelogue picture
After 150km you reach Gytheio the main city of the Mani, which is divided into Inner and Outer Mani. Gytheio itself is busy and quite touristic, with lots of restaurants and cafes along the beachfront. The city offers a wide range of accommodation: Hotels, B&B’s and campgrounds are found.

The local seafood specialty is octopus. Fishermen are hanging them like laundry along the road to try them. A good place to stay for the night, enjoying the greek life, before heading south into the inhospitable mountains, treeless, crumbling stone towers from the old times.

About 3 km north of the city, you can follow the trails along the beach, you can find a picturesque shipwreck at the beach, don’t miss.

Githion travelogue picture
Especially traveling the early time of the year makes the trip into something very special. Being almost alone there, no visitors during that time – April or May, the springtime makes the flowers blooming. Herbs and spices are growing just everywhere.

Heading south on the same small road you can find numerous hidden beaches, your private paradises to camp for a night, having a barbeque or a picnic.

There are no large hotels on the peninsula, some hideaways offering a few rooms only, chalets of renovated stone tower, here and there some B&B, accommodating a small number of travelers only, making the area to a less touristic spot.

Githion travelogue picture
the absolutely favourite place there is the Gorge of Kambos, near Kendro village, about 10-15km away from Kardamili. a non-plus-ultra trekking spot. hidden between mountains, you have to turn left behind Profiti Elias chapel, head down in zic-zac trail to the bottom: from there follow up to reach the canon after exhausting 2-3km, or turn left to follow the river bed to the sea.

Kardamili city makes an excellent place to stay for the time in Mani. All UNESCO sites, as Olympia, Mistras, Epidaurus and Mykene are in short distance, each of them worth a day trip....

Kambos Canon - expect to climb!
Kambos Canon - expect to climb!
I kept this report for over a year in the folder... hoping to finish it one day... hmm... no chance

life is too busy.

Still: enjoy, and whenever you feel like going there, dont hesitate to contact me.

Very surprisingly there are not much sources of information existing. A good help to prepare, I have used the websites of travel organisations hiking or travaleing the area. Thanks to them.

Published on Sunday December 7th, 2008

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Wed, Dec 10 2008 - 12:21 AM rating by aufgehts

Ralph, thanks for taking this report out of the folder! Beautiful pics, especially of the poppies and the climbing looks great!

Tue, Dec 09 2008 - 06:48 AM rating by jorgesanchez

Maní, with the tonic accent in i (maní) is peanuts also in Southamerica and in some parts in Spain, instread oc cacahuete. There is a lovely south american song: Maniiii...lala...lalala... maní....

Sun, Dec 07 2008 - 08:35 PM rating by pesu

Very inviting pics (ich liebe Mohnblumen...). Seems to be a good place for unconventional discovering of the Peloponnes.

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