Larger-than-life Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915–2011), a Hellenophile and marvellously engaging writer, lived just outside Kardamyli for much of his later life with his wife, Joan. A scholar and soldier (involved in the Cretan resistance during WWII), he is known among other things for his marvellous travel book on the Mani. His stunning home is open to visitors by appointment three times a week, though this drops to once a week from June to August, when it becomes holiday accommodation.
Designed by architect Nikos Hatzimichalis, the house is a stunning example of the era and environment: airy rooms with nooks and Islamic influences, a Mediterranean garden, a pergola and private access to a beach cove. There's even artworks by Greek artists, among many visitors he welcomed to his house, along with intellectuals.
Leigh Fermor's wish was that it be used as a writers' and intellectuals' retreat but also allowed the museum to rent it out for periods to balance costs. The house will be available for three months a year as holiday accommodation from 2020; see www.ariahotels.gr for details.