The charming crossroads
Modern Kardamili grew up along the main road that runs southeast from the city of Kalamata down towards the peninsula of the Mani. The architecture of its buildings is mostly late 19th century, and their design remains faithful to traditional styles, keeping the feeling of historical continuity intact.
The village began to prosper about a hundred and seventy years ago, thriving on its local production of superior-quality olive oil, the micro-economy generated by a small soap factory and the hustle-and-bustle of the busy harbour.
Its population reached a peak at the beginning of the 1920s, but the mid-1950s saw a large exodus when many villagers migrated away to Athens, the North Americas and Australia. Those who remained made a living from olive harvesting, but those who never lost their love for the area and its sea eventually returned with their new families to open hotels, restaurants, cafés, shops and other businesses.
A considerable percentage of the local community has grown up abroad and numerous villagers speak perfect English. The last decades have brought in tourism, so now locals look after visitors in the summer, whilst continuing to harvest olives in the winter.
Greeks extend exceptional hospitality and the people of Kardamili bear no exception to this rule. The village has a generous selection of accommodation and amenities. A host of boutique hotels, self-catering apartments/studios and maisonettes/villas guarantee that guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to lodgings. There are numerous activities for those who like to be on the move, and there is much peace and tranquility for those who prefer to relax. Charming cafés offer appetizing refreshments, and family-run restaurants serve delicious, freshly-cooked food. A fascinating variety of shops line the village’s pretty main street. Local bars with breathtaking views make great drinks, and nightclubs in the neighbouring villages feature good music and special nights.