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Modern Kardamili

The birth of a beautiful seaside village

Modern Kardamili grew up along the road that runs south from the city of Kalamata to the peninsula of the Mani. The architecture of its buildings is mostly late 19th century, but their designs remain faithful to traditional styles, keeping the feeling of historical continuity intact. The village began to prosper about a hundred years ago, thriving on its local production of olive oil, the economy generated from a small soap factory, and the hustle and bustle of its small harbour. Its population reached a peak at the beginning of the 1920s, but the mid-20th century witnessed a large exodus when many villagers migrated temporarily away to Athens, the North Americas and Australia. Those who remained made a living from olive farming, 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 two decades have seen an increase in tourism, so now locals look after visitors in the summer, whilst continuing to harvest olives in the winter.

Exceptional hospitality

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 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 discothèques in the neighbouring villages feature good music and special nights.

Clean and green

Nestled at the feet of the Taygetos, and facing the south Mediterranean Sea, the geographic contrasts of Kardamili are striking: a plethora of flowers, fruits and trees colour the landscape of rolling hills that unravel gently down into the marine-blue waters of the Messinian Gulf. The bio-diversity is equally astounding: the village is a paradise of butterflies, lulling cicadas, birds and other wildlife. No effluents are discharged into the surrounding sea, and the Municipality of Lefktro runs its own, privately-funded environmental program – the first of its kind in Greece – making it one of the best-preserved and most ecological areas in the country. Clean and green, Kardamili is a haven for fauna and flora, and an ode to Mother Nature.