Naturally West Mani
West Mani offered a place with rich activity mainly for hiking but also climbing, thanks to King Taygetos. There are innumerable paths to follow with some even reaching the top. The area is also ideal for cycling lovers who have to choose mountain or coastal routes.
West Mani is also famous for its gorges with that of Byros almost monopolizing the interest with 19 kilometers of natural beauty. The former royal road that once connected ancient Sparta with Kardamili, starts from Agios Panteleimon, at an altitude of 1400 meters, on the west side of Taygetos, to head to the sea of Kardamyli. According to mythology, Pyrrhus once crossed this road to reach Sparta and marry Hermione, daughter of Menelaus and the Beautiful Helen. The trail compensates the passer-by with many surprises. Walking through it you will cross the forest of Vasiliki, you will meet the church of Agia Sofia, the tombs of the Dioscuri, the ruined Lykaki Monastery and the Sotiros Monastery. While the same can be the reason to discover more trails. Approximately 11 hours of hiking are required making it one of the largest gorges in Greece.
Also explore the gorge of Ridomo which is a creation of nature of special beauty thanks to the rich geological features and the impressive stratification of the rocks. It has a length of more than 25 kilometers and starts its long route directly from the high peaks of Taygetos.
Exploring the caves of this land is also a captivating experience. Starring the underwater cave of Vatsinidis, located near the village of Neo Proastio, after Kardamyli. The cave has two main chambers, where there are large lakes of sea water and which are connected by a corridor. The first chamber holds a lake while the natural skylight that allows light to pass gives magical and eerie images. Following the lake path you will find yourself in the second chamber with the two lakes. Also discover the “Black Cave” cave, located northeast of the settlement of Agios Nikolaos at an altitude of 38m. and at a distance of 800m. from the coast, and the beautiful cave “Katafygio” (Agios Dimitrios Selinitsas), which is considered one of the largest in the country.
For those of you who want diving, boating and water sports, look for the diving center located on Kalogria beach and Kardamyli.