Things to do, Hiking
There are loads of good opportunities to go hiking in the Mani.
The mountains behind Stoupa really give you a sense of wild freedom.
The kalderimi (original footpaths) are great to walk and you will often be rewarded with vistas of the sea and mountains. Herbs grow everywhere and their scent always makes me extremely happy!
It's a good idea to buy a hiking map. The green maps used around Stoupa are made by Anavasi. The maps will show you all the footpaths but they also tell you what the hiking duration is between two places. So you can plan your own route and decide for yourself how long or difficult you want it to be.
The maps include GPS coordinates. It is also wise to read the back of the map because this describes the condition of the footpaths (kalderimi).
You can buy the maps at lots of places in and around Stoupa. For instance at Katerina's Supermarket on the boulevard in Stoupa, the supermarket in the harbour in Agios Nikolaos and at the Mani Bookshop on the main road in Kardamili.
The following maps are available
8.1 Taygetos 1:50.000
8.11 Vergha - Kambos 1:25.000, published 2002
8.12 Kardamili - Stoupa 1:25.000, published 2007
8.13 Agios Nikolaos - Trachila 1:25.000, published 2002
8.14 Sparti - Mystras 1:25.000, published 2002
8.15 Taygetos: Xirokambi 1:25.000, published 2002
8.43 (?) Mani-Tenaro 1:25.000, published 2003
For more info and to get maps online go to http://www.mountains.gr.
Ofcourse you can use the maps above to plan your hike.
But there's also a really nice little book with 10 local routes to walk, varying in duration and difficulty.
Whereever possible, no transport is required. Maps guide you through villages and pay extra attention to churches and tower houses.
The book is called: Inside the Mani, a walking guide. It is for sale at Katerina's supermarket and probably at the same shops that sell maps.
We have done a couple of these walks and I will comment on them here in the future.
To get the book and other local magazines go to: http://www.insidemani.gr.
When you go on a walk it is advisable to wear good shoes and long trousers (do as we say not as we do-see photos). As soon as you leave the more cultivated areas almost all plants seem to have big thorns. Also the trousers help to prevent from getting bitten by insects or snakes.
You will want to bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen.
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