At the southern edge of the peninsula of Mani stands imposing the settlement of Vatheia, with its densely-fortified tower houses. It is built in a wild and imposing landscape at the top of the hill of Mani, and it is one of the last settlements of Mesa Mani. The settlement has been characterized as the Parthenon of the architectural tradition of Mani, including 70 two-stored and three-stored stone towers with turrets that were used for the fortification against the Turks and the pirates. The buildings belong to the 18th-19th century and are considered to be unique examples of Greek folk architecture. After the 1980s this settlement, that used to brim with life, was depopulated and progressively abandoned. After an initiative of the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO), six of the buildings were reconstructed and operated as guesthouses for almost one decade. Nowadays, although the settlement is fully abandoned it is believed to be the most famous settlement in Mani and the one most photographed. Despite of the mountainous landscape that surrounds Vatheia, the beach is only two kilometers away. You can enjoy the sea and the pebble beach of Kapi and Exo Kapi, you can also go to the northern beach of Almyro and southern to the sandy beaches of the settlement of Marmari, and to Porto Kayio as well. Frrom Vatheia, you can also visit Grigorakis Tower, the beautiful settlement of Paliros and the little church of Saints Asomaton, from where the Cape Tenaro path starts.