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Cultural Tour: Food & Wine in the Messinian Mani (self drive)

Food & wine tasting tour in Messinian Mani is a charming and inspiring way to explore a regions culture, history and nature.

Tasting the locally distinct foods of a region’s food, offers and insight into the true character of the region. How people eat and the different types of foods, herbs and spices can explain a lot about a culture, without any words! During this culinary journey we will discover the finest in food, wine and local products that the broader area of Messinia and Mani have to offer. We will taste organic olive oil, we will learn how to collect natural sea salt, we will visit a 100 year old traditional bakery, we will taste local wine; a revelation of the best kept culinary secrets of Morea just for you! Although the main focus of this tour is gastronomic, the Messinian Mani has a wealth of Byzantine churches and places of interest to explore, treasures of exquisite beauty that you will enjoy during this trip!

Tour highlights

  • Explore the picturesque village of Kardamyli
  • Learn about olive oil making and sea salt collection
  • Taste authentic gastronomic traditions of Messinian Mani
  • Discover the byzantine villages and churches of the 13th century, from Kardamyli to Areopolis
  • Stroll through the old city of Kalamata and its Castle


Day 1 Kalamata

Driving with your rented car you will leave Athens in the morning and begin your culinary journey in Kalamata, the capital and central port of Messinia, situated at the site of ancient Farai. You will walk at the old part of the city to enjoy its picturesque ambience and see the Castle of Kalamata, which was built in 1208 by William II of Villehardouin. You will explore the food market of the old city and discover hidden little shops with local delicacies, herbs and spices and wines. Then you can enjoy a traditional lunch in a local taverna getting aquainted with the culinary treasures of the region. After lunch you can continue your tour to the picturesque village of Kardamyli, where you can have an Olive Oil Tasting experience at a traditional olive mill and then some free time for dinner. You will spend the night in Kardamyli.

Day 2 Byzantine Treasures in Messinian Mani

Today you will start your day with a visit to Kastania, a major Byzantine centre since the 13th century, managing to escape the attention of mass tourists despite of its historical significance. Byzantine churches with interesting architecture, fine art paintings and frescoes will be your main focus during your road trip through the villages of Platsa, Nomitsi and Thalames.
Then you will head to the village of Trahila to see the saltpans and learn how locals collect the natural sea salt from the saltpans.

You will continue to Areopoli where you can take a short walk in the picturesque village and taste traditional bread and whole-wheat crusts made in a 180 years old wood fired oven. There you can have lunch in a traditional restaurant and taste home cooked local recipes. At the afternoon you will return to Kardamyli for some free time.

Day 3 Kardamyli & Stoupa

In the morning you can visit the Tower of Mourtzinos, that belonged to the last “captain” (local lord) of Mani and is a typical fortified house of Messinian Mani. A selected menu of old recipes of Mani will be cooked just for you in Stoupa right by the sea. In the evening you will begin your return to Athens.

Important Tips

  • Travel Bite date and/or time might be modified or cancelled due to weather conditions and in this event the option of an alternative date or full refund will be given.
  • We would recommend to bring with you good walking (closed toes) shoes with non-slippery soles, hat, sun glasses, sunscreen and a camera.
  • Single occupancy with extra charge 65 euro per person (in case of interest please send email from contact us section or here)

Tips & Useful Info

Starting point: Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece
Languages: English, Greek
Included Amenities: Accommodation in hotels and characterful local guesthouses with breakfast, Information material with maps and guides about the itinerary and the places you will visit, Public Liability Insurance, all applicable taxes, 24x7 support, One meal per day in traditional restaurants with local products
Excluded Amenities: Personal Travel & Health Insurance, personal expenses, gratuities, meals not mentioned in inclusions, Airplane (international and domestic) tickets, single room supplement, Sea view supplement, Regional Flight supplement (if needed), Hotel transfers to/from airport other than those mentioned in inclusions, meals not stated in the inclusions, optional activities that are not included in the day-to-day itinerary, tour leader for the whole trip, Car Rental, fuel consumption & tolls, Guided tours and entrance fees to museums and organized archaeological sites unless otherwise mentioned in the proposal above, Tickets for national parks, boats and buses, Anything not mentioned above
Minimum number of guests needed: 2
Maximum number of guests: 8
Physical Level: No difficulty. Previous experience is not required. Basic level of agility and fitness is needed.

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