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Greece

Our picks In the Mani Peninsula

Head to the Mani peninsula for a laid-back, authentic holiday in one of our recommended stays.

Where is the Mani Peninsula?

You’d be forgiven for not knowing exactly where Greece’s Mani Peninsula is. It’s southwest of Athens, located on the mainland in the remote region of the Peloponnese, and the Mani is the middle of the three peninsulas that jut out into the Mediterranean Sea. We love this area for its authentic Greek charm and lack of crowds, a world away from mass tourism. Bordered by the dramatic Taÿgetos Mountains, the rugged landscape is dotted with small villages, olive groves and wandering goats dropping down to a verdant coastline revealing hidden coves and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Read on to find out about the special places to stay we’ve unearthed.

    Amani Living

    Described as an ‘earthy hideaway’, Amani Living is a collection of suites, apartments and houses in two villa complexes, located in west Mani, in the village of Neochori. So if you’re travelling as a couple or family, you can have all the advantages of a villa holiday without the commitment or price tag. Depending on your group, you might have a sea view suite with a shared pool or a two-bedroom maisonette. If you’re a bigger group, you can take over those two options, creating a private pool! Whichever you choose, you’ll find a stylish aesthetic which makes the most of its wild and rugged surroundings. Before your arrival let Amani arrange shopping delivered to your kitchen and they’re happy to take care of your transport needs or if you want to head out to explore. Nearby are beautiful beaches such as Agios Nikolaos and other sites include famed travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor’s house or a boat trip through the eerie caves of Diros. There are also plenty of local Greek tavernas for eating out in the surrounding villages.

    Diapori Suites

    Located above the fishing village of Kardamyli, Diapori Suites has a particularly scenic setting. Clasped by the Messinian Gulf, views here make the most of the forested hills as they drop down to meet the Aegean Sea, punctuated by the silver shimmer of olive groves, clusters of red-roofed houses and rocky coves that reveal little beaches edged by the clearest water imaginable. All this is easy to explore from your base at Diapori Suites, which has a collection of airy suites for two-to-four, with high wooden ceilings, rattan furniture and a sage green colour palette. Although minimalist in design the suites have luxuries like rain showers, handmade mattresses and private terraces. Open up the window to discover mesmerizing mountain or sea views and you can even hear the gentle lap of the sea. Head to the pool or simply walk for two minutes to access the lovely sweep of Kardamyli and other nearby pine-backed coves that show the natural beauty of this area. Inland you can hike the pathways around Mount Taygetus, discovering the Viros Gorge and post-byzantine monasteries. The old town and ancient site of Kardamyli are also worth exploring – find out about the place that Homer described in The Iliad, in the 8th century BC.

    Monolithoi Villas

    A modern take on classic Greek architecture, these two outstanding villas are perfect for design lovers. Located in the northwest of the Mani Peninsula, the houses sit side by side, screened for privacy facing the gorgeous rocky coastline as it tumbles down to meet the blue expanse of the Aegean Sea. Architectural gems, the houses have a considered design using local materials and Greek traditions such as exposed stone walls, but its cube-like structure and floating concrete staircase contributes are pure contemporary minimalism. Clever screening means that rooms can be opened and closed to the outdoors – the best bit is to create your own open-air gallery facing carefully framed views on all sides. The pools are encased by sunken seating and decks which are ideal for yoga or simply staring at those Aegean blues. It’s the perfect style haven to relax in for your holiday, with plenty of local activities including visiting Byzantine churches, open-air theatres and the seaside settlements of Stoupa, Agios Nikolaos and Trachila.

    Liakoto Hotel

    This simple, characterful hotel, located right on the seafront of one of the Mani Peninsula’s prettiest villages, is the perfect choice for those that like to be in the heart of it all, with easy walking access to tavernas and local sights. Best of all, the hotel has a pathway that leads down to a hidden cove for that early morning dip in the sea. Backed by the dramatic Taygetos Mountains, Liakoto Hotel is found in Kardamyli, an ancient town once written about by Homer, and today it has plentiful appeal for the modern traveller. Explore the pebbly beaches, snorkel in its clear waters or discovered the old town with its fort museum, ancient tombs and Byzantine churches.

    Come back to Liakoto for a dip in the pool and an icy drink from the bar or retreat to your unfussy yet comfortable apartment, with its cool interior, exposed brick walls and handy kitchenettes. Head out onto your shady terrace to watch the sun go down before deciding on evening plans – maybe one of Kardamyli’s recommended eateries such as Tikla restaurant with its romantic setting overlooking the Aegean, which serves grilled meats, fresh fish and Greek salads.