The Southern Peloponnese on the far tip of mainland Greece is finally getting the attention it deserves with its off-the-grid charm, agrotourism offerings, and delicious local cuisine. Now with new travel infrastructure and safe highways, the area is more accessible putting it on the map as the next go to destination in Greece. A new highway connects with the Kalamata Airport with increased international flights, and the new highway to Sparta has shortened the drive from Athens to less than three hours.
Eumelia Organic Agrotourism Farm & Guesthouse in Laconia offers a unique experience of the region with homeodynamic agriculture, ancient olive groves, ecotourism offerings and now, new farm to table cooking classes. For a private villa experience, White Key Villas, Greece’s leading luxury villa rental company for over 10 years, offers full service hospitality and expert travel consulting, with a curated selection of the most sought after high-end residences in the area. Then there's Mani - the region where my family is from, and a must-visit. Base yourself at Citta de Niciliani, a gorgeous boutique hotel and tower house owned and operated by the Sepsas family. You can read more about Mani in my first post, but the matriarch, Tania, is behind the interior design, while her son Panagiotis, manages the property, along with his enviable wine collection, which perfectly pairs with his father’s inventive take on traditional regional cuisine.
These bucolic retreats are hospitality pioneers of the region providing authentic experiences of the destination. Read more below and get ready to wander into the Southern Peloponnese!
WHITE KEY VILLAS
Imagine a private cliff side sanctuary with spectacular beachfront and pastoral views. White Key Villa’s Five Bedroom Jade property in Kardamili - offering all the amenities of a first-class hotel but the individual attention of a villa stay. The “White Key Villa Experience” embodies an intimate, full service approach inclusive of transportation, local activity suggestions and planning, and in-villa requests from private chefs and beauty treatments, while a local personal concierge provides insider intel and logistics.
White Key Villas manages 250 exclusive properties all over Greece in its carefully curated portfolio offering expert consultation to match a party to a property outfitting with exceptional services and staff. More than just a booking service and directory of properties, White Key Villas can arrange helicopter transfers, yacht charters, guided tours of ancient ruins, wineries and local attractions, personal fitness trainers and childcare to reservations at the latest hotspots; any request is within reach.
A few samples dishes include, organic grape leaves and local smoked trout accompanied with sheep yogurt, tahini and lemon zest / Maniatiki local pasta, organic fried egg with a mizithra cheese and rosemary and olive oil / or roasted local pork sausage with orange peel and spices with baked potatoes.
Other Agrotourism programs available:
- Grape harvesting August-September and wine making / Wine tasting of local grape varieties and food pairing of local delicacies
- Olive picking in the ancient groves, and organic olive oil making / Olive oil tasting with Eumelia’s certified olive oil sommeliers
- Tour local producers, wineries, tavernas and historical sites with an archeologist guide including a new olive oil museum in a converted electricity plant in Sparta
- Yoga and meditation, photography workouts, mountain biking, sea kayaking, horseback riding, art workshops, olive oil soap making and more
Frangiskos Karelas and his family have cultivated this land and 2,000 year-old olive groves since the 1890s and now Eumelia is one of only three properties in Greece to comply with European ecotourism labeling standards. Each of the five cottages was designed with eco-friendly materials and features WIFI and satellite TV, living room, dining area, fireplace, fully equipped kitchen, private garden, and a large veranda with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The farm is situated in a traditional farming area surrounded by the mountains Taygetos and Parnonas, and about 13 kilometers from the beautiful Lakonikos Gulf. Cottage accommodation for two starts at 100EU a night.
CITTA DEI NICLIANI
When in Mani, bed down at Citta dei Nicliani, a charming boutique hotel run by the Sepsas family. In addition to the hotel, the family-owned Tower House, which is located 4 km west from Koita, in the heart of village Stavri, is a recently renovated 19th century three-level house that can accommodate up to eight guests with two spacious bedrooms, living room, a fully-equipped kitchen, a swimming pool for the summer months and a fireplace for the winter.