Kardamyli is a historic coastal village of Messinian Mani, located about 35 kilometers southeast of Kalamata. The well equipped bastions and the tower houses of the famous rebellious families of Mani, built on the rugged rocky slopes, still dominate the scenery. In this place with the Homeric toponym, the imposing tower houses, the stone buildings and the churches appear ever charming and intact through time. The countless olive groves, the spectacular beaches, the well preserved stone houses with the lush gardens and the scenic little port of the village are only few of the attractions of this place. In this historic settlement, the castle of Troupakis – Mourtzinos is a fortified complex that reveals the financial and social status of the famous family. By foot or other means and at a close distance from Kardamyli, visitors can access the incredible gorge of Vyros, many Byzantine and Late Byzantine churches, like Agioi Theodoroi, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Agios Spyridon, as well as many tower houses, abandoned castles, like this of Zarnata, springs, bridges, the beaches of Ritsa, Delfinia, Kalamitsi and Fonea, islet Meropi and gain a more comprehensive view about the authentic beauty of Messinian Mani.
Kardamili is an historic, coastal village in the Messinian Mani, situated just 35 km. southeast of Kalamata; it truly is one of the Peloponnese’s well-kept secrets, of rare beauty and wealth. On the one hand immersed in its Homeric past (it was one of the cities that Agamemnon promised Achilles, in order to promote their reconciliation) and at the same time an authentic Maniot city, identified with the location of its medieval castle with a tower complex, and on the other hand prosperous and enviable today for its contemporary face, Kardamili is always enchanting.
At the rough, rocky slopes, the well-equipped war towers and the adjacent tower houses of the formidable recusant and resistant Maniot families still dominate the area, like fortified summits. In this area with the Homeric name, the imposing tower houses, the stone houses and the churches all stand unchanged and with a natural charm.
Today, with all types of accomodation, from ultra-luxurious lodgings to camping sites, with transportation and sports facilities, with alternative tourism options and with attractive places for eating and entertainment, Kardamili is the centre whence one can get to know the inexhaustible natural and historical wealth of the Messinian Mani. All of the surrounding villages (Prosilio, Prastio, Lakkos, Exochori, Saidona, Lefktro, Stoupa, Tseria, Chora of Androuvista, Milia, Kastania and others), either on the mainland or on the coasts, hide powerful, local architectural wealth, impressive churches and chapels with brickwork, fountains, towers, all surrounded by rich flora, great sea view and the heroic stories of the local families, all in magical pockets of land, with amazing landscape.
The endless olive groves, the amazing beaches, the tidy stone houses with their verdant gardens, as well as the village’s picturesque small port, are only a few of the area’s beauties. It the historic settlement, the tower of Troupakis Mourtzinos is a fortified complex which testifies to the financial power and the affluence of this well-known family, with many turrets, courtyards, stairwells, an olive mill, storage rooms, all arranged today into an impressive Museum.
Setting off from Kardamili on foot or by vehicle, the visitor can get to know the amazing Viros gorge, approximately 20 km long, which leads to Sparta and is full of black pine and Cephalonian fir tree forests, as well as cedars, cypresses and walnut trees. The Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches, such as Aghii Theodori, Kimisi tis Panaghias and Aghios Spiridon, serve as reminders of the Orthodox faith’s solid past and are samples of excellent architecture. Also the many tower houses in the nearby villages and the abandoned castles, such as that of Zarnata, the arched fountains and the stone bridges are pleasing to the hikers and those passing by with vehicles. At the beaches of Ritsa, Delfinia, Kalamitsi and Fonea the clean sea is always relaxing, while the islet of Meropi stands off the coast like a small stroke of the painter’s brush, representing the beautiful and unique Messinian Mani.