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The Mani Page 10

polipirgos villageStoupa to the north is more developed (and often much too crowded in high season) due to its two beautiful sandy beaches (Stoupa and Kalogria-the latter name meaning 'nun'). A headland separates the two beaches. The bay is clean and cold, fed by freshwater springs from under the sea. There are many great walks from here, with many paths that include some beautiful kalderimia and interesting villages and even a good walking guide brochure and map available.

To the north of Stoupa a short distance is the cove of Delphini (dolphin), and further on, the pebble beach of Fonea. The major resort of Kardhamyli is 10km north of Stoupa. The long beach is of the pebble variety, with olives groves behind it. Old Kardhamyli has partly restored tower houses (abandoned) near the 18th century church of Aghios Spyridhon . Time spent walking around the vicinity of Kardhamyli is time well spent, and especially the huge Vyros gorge, which meets the sea just north of the resort, and which is intersecting from various paths to and from the mountains that hem it. There are two monasteries at the bottom of the cliffs in the gorge. The church of Aghia Sophia is reached by kalderimi from Old Kardhamyli; the hamlet of Exohori is another possible destination. West of the road to Kalamata you'll find Avia and Akroyiali-both small resorts, as well as Santova beach, which has bungalows for rent.

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