Kardamyli is a seaside village on the Gulf of Messinia, 38 kilometers southeast of Kalamata, in the Mani Peninsula, on the outskirts of the majestic Mount Taygetos. Kardamyli has a reputation for attracting visitors seeking an alternative gateway to relaxation, inspiration and rediscovering the art of peaceful living.
Kardamyli and Messinian Mani are delightful to explore. Surrounded by a lush expanse of olive trees, pines and coniferous trees, they boast a fascinating rocky shore with unexpected spots and beaches for enjoying the sea, while its winding trails invite you to explore the interior of the region.
Kardamyli enjoys warm to hot summers and mild winters, while spring and autumn have mild to warm days and cool nights, with bright sunshine and occasional rainfall. The area is protected from the north winds by the imposing Mount Taygetos and its mild Mediterranean climate allows outdoor activities throughout the year.
Kalamitsi Hotel Beach: The hotel has its own small pebble beach just below the hotel with sunbeds and shade, which is reached from the edge of the garden by descending the stone steps amid tall cypress trees. Hotel guests can swim there or try the other beautiful beaches in the area.
Kalamitsi Beach: From the hotel gardens one reaches an old path that passes in front of the house of Patrick Leigh Fermor and then leads to a picturesque beach with pebbles and sand and beautiful coniferous trees in the background. It is located about 100 meters from the hotel, but without any tourist facilities. The beach can be reached on foot or by car from an asphalt road.
Ritsa beach: The main beach of Kardamyli is 1 kilometer long, with white pebbles and clear blue waters. It is located on the edge of the village, on the road below the main square and is invisible from the main road. There are sun loungers and parasols for rent as well as taverns, cafes and canteens for snacks or food.
Foneas beach: On the road to Stoupa village, 3 kilometers down the coast from the hotel, where the Noupanti gorge ends, lies a narrow pebble beach with deep blue waters and an impressively-large rock in the middle. A small canteen operates during the summer months.
Delphinia beach: Half a kilometer farther on (4 kilometers from Kardamyli), you’ll find this beautiful sheltered beach with sand and small pebbles, only a short walk from the road. A small canteen operates during the summer months.
The superb coastline of the area offers an equally enchanting underwater world. The neighboring village of Stoupa hosts a scuba diving center that offers diving equipment, as well as courses for both beginners and experienced divers.
Irresistible, well-marked hiking paths lead inland or towards the imposing peak of Mt. Taygetus, through a landscape with beautiful gorges, charming settlements, fortified towers and Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches and abandoned monasteries. The region attracts many visitors from all over the world, with its well- preserved network of dirt and cobbled hiking paths, running or cycling routes, all well-mapped and marked.
Between the settlement of Kalamitsi and the village of Proastio, an excellent climbing field has been developed recently for the fans of the sport. The climbing park of Kardamyli is ideal for climbing all-year-round and consists of 3 fields with 33 limestone routes of medium difficulty (from 5B to 6B).
Kardamyli is one of the oldest settlements of Greece, mentioned by its current name in the Iliad, the oldest work of Western literature, written by Homer around the 8th century BC. It is well worth wandering around the Old Town with its well preserved old stone houses, walk uphill to the Fortress Complex of the Troupakides-Mourtzinoi, with its tall military tower and the church of Agios Spyridon, an open air museum, and stroll further up under the imposing flat rock that hosts Ancient Kardamyli’s ruins and pass in front of the Tomp of Dioskouri; or visit the Mourtzini Customs at the picturesque harbour of Kardamyli. Or, one can follow the traces of Kazantzakis and Zorbas at the lignite mines of Prastova and the Kalogria Beach, where the actual events occurred that inspired one of the classics of modern literature. The sightseeing that attracts more visitors to the area, however, is the house of Patrick Leigh Fermor, that lies a few steps away from the hotel gardens.
The Patrick Leigh Fermor House
The house of legendary travel writer and World War II hero, Patrick ‘Paddy’ Leigh Fermor, and his wife Joan, is a reason in itself to visit Kardamyli. It is considered one of the most beautiful homes of Greece and the Mediterranean. The house is a three minutes walk from the hotel gardens. Built from local stone in the 1960s on “a peninsula ending in crescent-shape beaches…into a gently sloping world of the utmost magical beauty”, in the words of Fermor himself, it was frequented from the 1970s to late 1990s by royalty, politicians, diplomats, writers and artists. Recently renovated, it is now open to the public. The house served as scenic backdrop for the 2013 Hollywood film ‘Before Midnight’, with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.