OK I admit it, on my first visit I was in a hurry and from Gythion made the mistake of going down the eastern coast of the peninsula instead of going to Aeropolis as recommended above. Learn from my mistake but I still stand by these impressions.
Maniots and travelogue writers tell you "You have to visit the Mani" or "You simply must visit the Mani" or "Did you go to the Mani?" or "We went to the Mani". So I finally packed up my bag and went to the Mani. What a let down. Yawn! Gee yet another stone built house in Greece only its three stories high instead of two... how fascinating...NOT!
About the only claim to fame the the Mani really has besides being at the end of the earth is "Maniots are fiercely independent"! So independent in fact that even the Turks left them alone and I figured out why and am going to share it with you: there is nothing worth stealing in the Mani. In fact the Maniots were pirates and thieves of a major order themselves because they could not survive on what was available otherwise. There are better, friendlier, more accessible, beaches, caves and views elsewhere.