The area of the southern Peloponnese known as ‘the Mani’ is a special place. Its location on the fringes of southern Europe, its turbulent history and its rugged, natural beauty all combine to give the visitor an unforgettable experience.

Its landscape is dotted with interesting monuments and places. A very special section of the country is the amazing ghost towns, scattered around the mainland or the islands. Some of these abandoned settlements keep their impressive architecture and character, attracting many tourists.

Several towers and a cupola and belfry rose above the roofs and a ledge immediately above them formed a lovely cypress-covered platform. Above this the bare Taygetus piled up. It was unlike any village I had seen in Greece. Featuring high quality architecture, these centuries-old residencies are also very important local tourism resources closely tied to the natural environment. In this way, Protection coexists with Development striking a sustainable balance between the two, teaching us that the relationship with tradition should be the one of Rebirth.

As you walk through the village’s cobbled paths, you realize that each neighbourhood is organised as a self-governing unit, encompassing a war tower, a church, fortified dwellings, private streets. With the mind’s eye, visualise the armed clashes fighting to defend their territory and rise to power. Decipher the code: The densely structured neighbourhoods and the characteristically high, stonework buildings express this fierce desire for control. As history meets architecture, the starkness of the rugged landscape pampers our senses: ancient olive trees and wild, endemic, flowers grow on the slopes of the hill, imposing rocky mountains dominate the are, rough midnight blue sea reaches the shores, unexplored bays and sharp curves form Mani’s spectacular coastal scenery.