Greece

Churches of the Peloponnese Walk

Trip code: W07PE

Self-guided walking

7 nights,
single centre

Level: 1 & 2

SUMMARY

  • Discover the Stories of Kardamili and Outer Mani, and explore ancient Proastio with its 30 Byzantine churches, connecting the past and the present.
  • Take a leisurely walk through the Taygetos Mountains and tranquil beaches touched by Aegean breezes.
  • Enjoy the rich flavours of Kalamata olives, indulge in fine Greek wines, and experience the heritage of ancient vineyards.

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Comprehensive route directions

TRIP DESCRIPTION

Bursting with legend, the Peloponnese stands as a realm where myths intertwine with reality. Its scenic expanse unfolds with the epic tale of Hercules and the Nemean lion, where ancient Gods once walked, weaving their divine threads into mortal lives. Separated from the Greek Mainland by the awe-inspiring Corinth Canal, this region is a mosaic of natural wonders, with the Mani peninsula, a jewel in its crown, boasting mountainous majesty and coasts carved by Aegean whispers.

Your journey begins in the heart of this myth-laden land, in the coastal haven of Kardamili. The town's cobbled streets lead to ancient ruins and charming tavernas, promising tales of historical triumphs and local flavours. Walking through the Outer Mani, a secluded paradise untouched by the hands of time, you'll trace the footsteps of ancient warriors, passing olive groves heavy with the famous Kalamata olives and vineyards promising the nectar of Dionysus.

Your adventure doesn't end with the setting sun. Embrace the exquisite layers of moussaka, savour the aromas of freshly grilled gyros, and let the delicious pistachio ice cream tantalise your taste buds. Complement these culinary delights with the finest Greek wines, where each sip is a tribute to the land's ancient vineyards. Let the ouzo dance on your palate, and the warm embrace of tsipuro linger, painting your nights with the spirited essence of Greece.

Our carefully chosen hotel is not just a place to stay, it offers a taste of traditional Greek hospitality - comfortable, family-owned establishments that feel like home. After a day of exploring ancient paths and charming villages, retreat to the tranquillity and warmth of your room, getting ready for another day of exciting discoveries.

Terrain

Most of the walking is on good well-marked footpaths, often following the 'kaldaremi' (ancient cobbled mule tracks).

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive in Kardamili

Arrive in Kardamili, if you arrive early stroll around the town or maybe take a dip in the inviting Mediterranean Sea.

You stay at Gorgones Rooms.

hotel details

 equivalent

Gorgones Rooms, Kardamili

TRIP ADVISOR

WiFi
TV
Aircon


Experience the enchanting allure of Kardamili with a stay at Les Sirenes (Gorgones), a charming guest house that captures the essence of traditional Peloponnesian charm. Nestled along the scenic coast, this delightful retreat offers guest rooms equipped with convenient amenities such as a kitchenette, refrigerator, and air conditioning. Stay connected with complimentary Wi-Fi and savour the local flavours at the on-site restaurant, located by the sea, where you can bask in the refreshing breeze and soak in the picturesque views. Les Sirenes (Gorgones) invites you to embrace the authentic spirit of the Peloponnese, right at your doorstep.

Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used.

Day 2: Amble to Petrovouni (6km/3.7mi)

Mainly following kalderimis, (ancient stone mule tracks) and dirt tracks, the trail winds its way through the medieval remnants of the old town of Kardamili before ascending steeply up to the Byzantine chapel of Aghia Sophia. The track then snakes around and gently down to a cool dry stream before heading up to and around the quaint village of Petrovouni. Stop to admire the wonderful views to the coast before returning down to Kardamili on a beautifully maintained kalderimi. This is an ideal introductory walk to get a taste of the Mani, or for those who are looking for a gentle stroll with plenty of stopping off points of interest.

Day 3: Exochori to Stoupa (15km/9.3mi)

Starting at the hillside village of Exochori, the trail follows an ancient kalderimi down to the ancient bishopric of Proastio with its eclectic collection of over 30 Byzantine churches and chapels. The track then follows the contours of the dirt foothills and meanders around the coast to Neochori and finally down a tarmac road to the coast at Stoupa. You have a chance to swim at the end of the walk at either the main beach in Stoupa or at the refreshing underground mountain springs at Kalogria nearby.

Day 4: Walk down to Dirou Caves (12km/7.5mi)

The trail descends from Oitylo down a steep kalderimi to the beautiful seaside hamlet of Nea Oitylo continuing along the coastal path and on a long well-maintained kalderimi (the longest continual stretch of mule path in the programme). You’ll arrive at the delightful rural market town of Areopolis before finally setting off downhill to the coast and the world famous largest underground caves in Europe at Dirou Pirgos.

Day 5: Monasteries in the Gorge (10km/6.2mi)

This is a great opportunity to enjoy the peace and serenity of the gorge. A fair degree of fitness and stamina is required as it entails walking up the gorge to a height of 150m to view the Byzantine chapels Moni Lykakiou and Moni Sotiris before climbing steeply out of the gorge up a dirt track. You’ll then walk along the kalderimis to the villages of Pedinon (465m) and Tseria (highest point of the walk at 600m) before dropping once more into the gorge and following a wide dirt track up the hill to Exochori.

Day 6: Orchid Alley (11km/6.8mi)

The trail winds steeply up to the Byzantine chapel of Aghia Sophia before tracking cross country to Petrovouni and onwards along the aptly named ‘Orchid Alley’ to Proastio. Follow a kalderimi to the coast and a swim at Foneas Cove before returning along the coastal tarmac road to Kardamili where you’ll have the chance for a swim at Kalamitsi Bay.

Day 7: Selenitsa Circular Walk (11km/6.8mi)

The trail starts at the pretty harbour village of Aghios Nicholaos (known locally by its original Slavic name of Selenitsa). From sea level the track climbs steeply to the hamlet of Kotroni and onwards up to Platsa with its beautiful neo-classical houses. The spectacular views down to the coast are magnificent. Winding around the contours of the hill the trail meanders to the chocolate box village of Pigi before descending a well-marked kalderimi returning to the coast at Pantazi Beach and along the coastal tarmac road back to Aghios Nicholaos.

Day 8: Depart Kardamili

After breakfast, leave your hotel for Kalamata airport.

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The above prices do not include any travel.

These prices include our standard travel.

TRAVEL DETAILS

Call now to speak to our specialist team at 0044 1606 720199 or email us at sales@headwater.com for enquiries or to book your trip.

REVIEWS

Ease of booking

22 Aug 2023

Ease of booking

22 Aug 2023

I dealt with Megan Wyatt: she was extremely polite, responsive and efficient. I wanted a more customised holiday than advertised and as such had several questions / requests - she dealt with them all extremely well.

13 Aug 2023

Good and efficient at getting booking done

7 Jul 2023


Self-guided walking

7 nights,
single centre

Level: 1 & 2

7 nights from $1820

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: +44 1606 720199