Mani in mid May

The Mani is spectacular from pine forests in the mountains down through the long, deep gorges to the olive groves and stony coast. The summits of the Taygetos remain snow covered and often drowned in heavy grey cloud; the plants will be at their best in another month or so. The high tops and verticalContinue reading “Mani in mid May”

On the eastern edge of the Taygetos Mountains

31st March 2019 The road up from the small village of Paleopanagia just to the south of Sparti, leaves the olive groves that cover the plain and winds up through impenetrable scrub oak and maquis past the turn to the village of Toriza to a shaded car park at Manganiari Spring, with a fast flowingContinue reading “On the eastern edge of the Taygetos Mountains”

Mystras

The route from Kalamata to Sparti zig zags down one breathtaking, limestone gorge, up the foothills of the Taygetos on a road that has cracked and collapsed in many places after a winter of snow and heavy rain, through dark forests and past a deserted cafe at the crest, then cuts down through the evenContinue reading “Mystras”

The Viros Gorge near Exochori

The Viros Gorge runs from the high Taygetos to the coast at Kardamyli; it formed an ancient route between Sparta to the coast. Some way up, a narrow road finally runs out at the small church of Agia (Saint) Paraskevi near the village of Exochori; from here a track runs on and passes below theContinue reading “The Viros Gorge near Exochori”

The Mani

The Mani Peninsula is a land of olives and honey squeezed between the steep slopes of the Taygetos mountains and rocky coastline. The limestone landscape is dry and unyielding yet after the winter rains spring brings a rich and colourful flora. After an unusually harsh winter, the February sun warms the day but the nightsContinue reading “The Mani”