Hiking is easily Kardamyli’s biggest drawcard. The hills behind the village are criss-crossed with an extensive network of well-marked hiking trails that consist of old stone paths, minor roads, dirt footpaths and a dry riverbed. A number of villages above Kardamyli and Stoupa are connected by winding, narrow paved roads, which make for fairly strenuous, scenic cycling.
Several walking trails pass through the mountain village of Exohorio, perched on the edge of the Vyros Gorge at an altitude of 450m, where author Patrick Leigh Fermor scattered the ashes of fellow travel writer Bruce Chatwin. The turn-off to Exohorio is 3km south of Kardamyli.
Practical Tip: Hiking Around Kardamyli
To make sense of Kardamyli's colour-coded trails and to navigate your hike above Stoupa, invest in the excellent Anavasi Topo 25 map, Mani: Kardamyli–Stoupa–Aghios Nikolaos 8.12/13; 1:25,000, available from 2407 Mountain Activities and the local supermarkets. To avoid retracing your steps, you can get a taxi to drop you off in the village of your choice (book in advance via your lodgings) and walk back to Kardamyli or Stoupa.
Carry more drinking water than you think you'll need, a sun hat, a torch, and strong footwear to support your ankles on the uneven ground. Watch out for the odd scorpion and snake (most snakes are harmless).