Rugged, desolate, mountainous, unspoiled are just a few words that describe this amazing region. Those words could also apply to other areas of Greece and do not do it justice, you need to get out there and see it for yourself. The majority of visitors rarely venture out of Stoupa. They are missing so much – the villages and towns of Kardamyli, Kastania and the Taygetos Mountains, Areopoli, Itylo Bay and the Diros Caves are all on your doorstep.
The area from south of Kalamata to Areopoli is known as Exo Mani. The area south of Areopoli is called Mesa Mani and as the land becomes more barren and settlements become few and far between you are in the Deep Mani.
Farther afield, Gerolimenas, Gythio, Cape Tenaro and the near abandoned town of Vathia are all a delighful contrast to the resorts. If you want to explore you really do need to hire a car and drive. I love the fact that the further south you go the more desolate and barren it becomes. It’s stunning.