Introduction

Covering the central peninsula in the south of the Peloponnese, the Mani is a wild, rugged region. From the steep foothills of the snow-tipped Taÿgetos Mountains to the pristine coastal coves, and from the tiny villages nestling amid olive groves, connected by threads of walking trails, to the arid scenery in the south of peninsula, speckled with abandoned stone towers, the Mani has some of the most dramatic and varied scenery in the Peloponnese, much of it still wonderfully under-explored.

The Mani is generally divided into the Messinian Mani (or outer Mani) and the Lakonian Mani (or inner Mani). The Messinian Mani starts southeast of Kalamata and runs south between the coast and the Taÿgetos Mountains, while the Lakonian Mani covers the rest of the peninsula south of Itilo.