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The Mani Page 7

mani village vatheiaVathia is a village of tower houses set up on a rocky, desolate hill, described in the travel accounts of Colonel Leake (19th century),who was warned against going through there in 1805 due to a continuing feud that had been going on for forty years between two families. Some dozen tower houses were restored as an inn for tourist accommodation by EOT (the Greek tourist agency) but later went bankrupt.

Though also mostly abandoned the village is still impressive, and one can walk the stony paths that wind between the deserted towers and climb to the top of the hill, where magnificent views of Cape Tenaro./Matapan are to be enjoyed.

Porto Kayio (Quail Port), located on the neck of a very steep peninsula, has good rooms and some tavernas. Ruins of a Turkish fortress are across the bay, and the monastery of Korogonianika. On the double bay of Marmari are good sandy beaches. The chapel of Asomati was built from materials taken from an ancient temple of Poseidon. The bay there has a small cave, which is among those claimed as the mythical entrance to Hades (the Greek underworld). A nearby path leads to a cove with foundations of a Roman town with a mosaic. Along a walled path one can catch great panoramic views of the sea to the lighthouse on Cape Tenaro (about 25 minutes away).

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