Travelled: 55 kilometres from Mystras to Valtakiou Beach, in the Mani Peninsula of the Peloponnese.
Visited: Just the beach
Stayed: Another PJs campsite, free no services, nice little Taverna with good wifi. N36.78916, E22.58189
The Mani is the central peninsula of the Peloponnese, the Gulf of Messina to the west, the Gulf of Lakonia to the east. It’s a little different from the rest of the Peloponnese and very different from mainland Greece. It’s isolated, there are no freeways, very little wifi or even a internet on our phone, barely a road sign except in Greek Latin, no supermarkets more like what you may consider a poorly stocked corner shop. Its hilly and relatively desolate, low and scrubby vegetation prevail. The people of the Mani consider themselves Spartan rather than Greek, every man’s home is his castle and in most cases they are. The area is famous for its tower houses, they look like a series of little castles clustered together in small villages normally less than a few kilometres apart. From a touring motorhome perspective it’s interesting as every crest has a fabulous view of some rugged piece of coastline, interesting village or isolated beach.
We drive south from Sparta, adding fuel and filling the water tank on the Hymer on our way. The road is rough for several kilometres and we hope this isn’t a premonition but eventually we are on some pot hole free bitumen and it’s low rolling hills terraced with olive trees all the way to Skala. Turning west along the coast into the Mani for several kilometres is orange and lemon trees in huge orchards as far as the eye can see.
Soon enough we are hugging the coast either next to the Aegean or above it around the headlands. We can see an obvious shipwreck on the beach, we know our next campsite is close and a kilometre later we pull into a huddle of motorhomes just off the beach in Valkakiou. There is a taverna right next door and the beach is sandy and clean. There is a small freighter rusting away half on the beach it’s stern in the water. An interesting bit of snorkelling I think to myself.
Michael and Pam