Agios Dimitrios is a small village with a picturesque harbour, and is crowned by the medieval Christeas Tower. In ancient times it was known as "Pefnos" and belonged to the kingdom of King Tyndareus. Pausanias tells of a bronze statue on a rock in the sea, (the Dioscuri) which represented the king's sons Castor and Pollux. That rock, after which our villa was named, is still there today.
In the immediate area around "Villa Pefnos" there are all sorts of attractions to explore. Here are a few examples:
The 4 km long underground river bed impresses with charming stalactite formations. The fourth longest cave in Greece is largely unknown and undeveloped for tourism. Explorations are possible on your own, but dangerous.
This is a picturesque ancient village with old fashioned winding pathways. In summer, people in the area flock to the newly built amphitheater which holds an audience of 2000 to see performances of ancient Greek plays. At the end of the village towards Nomitsi, stands the 10th Century Agios Nikolaos church. With its well-preserved frescoes, it is one of the oldest churches of Mani.
In the centre of the shaded mountain village Nikonas Demagelos sells oil and honey under a huge plane tree and takes visitors through his private Mani Museum. Over the years, the old man has gathered together numerous photos, maps, tools, weapons and household items of all kinds, which reflect the rural life on the Mani. Opposite the museum, it is worth visiting the traditional olive oil mill, which has been restored by a German couple and produces organic olive oil with the old millstones.
In the footsteps of Alexis Zorbas
Near Stoupa is the lignite mine, which the writer Nikos Kazantzakis operated in the early part of the last century. His former foreman became the model for the fictional hero "Alexis Zorbas", the novel which was published in 1946 and led to the film ‘Zorba the Greek’. The mine in Prastova can be visited today, as well as a small cave on the beach of Kalogria, where he often retired to write.
The tranquil tourist town at the foot of the Taygetos Mountains invites you not only to take a stroll, but is also the starting point for many hikes. The old center just above the coastal road is gradually being restored and converted into a museum village. Just outside the village near the Calamitsi Bay, the British writer Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor lived until his death in 2011, his books about the Mani made him world famous.
The stalactite cave near Pyrgos Dirou
Close to Areopolis you can visit the famous caves of Diros and take a boat ride through the amazing stalactites and stalagmites.