The Mani and Kalamata

On the Go

Continuing his adventures in Greece, Mahendra takes us further south, to the Peloponnese, accompanied as ever by his trusty camera.

The Mani

In spring 2021, I returned to Greece for six weeks, this time heading to the Kalamata district, on the Peloponnese peninsula at the southern tip of the Greek mainland. I began to explore the nearby Taygetos mountains, a range of high, rugged peaks gouged by steep, lushly-forested ravines. I enjoyed this so much that I returned in October and stayed for six months, allowing me to explore its natural and cultural riches in greater detail.

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Taygetos from Kalathi
Western Mani from Kalathi
Ano Verga
More stunning views
Kalamata Bay from Kalathi
The village of Pigadia in the Taygetos
Field of mountain flowers
Ano Verga
Ano Verga
Village resident
View onto the sea

A quick geography lesson: the Peloponnese is like a three-fingered Disney left hand, pointing downwards. The Taygetos range is the knobbly bone running down through the middle finger, the Mani peninsula. Its several peaks reach up to 2404m above sea level.

While many of the coastal towns on the Mani are popular tourist destinations, the villages on the hillsides and interior valleys are much less visited and often retain the romantic atmosphere of centuries gone by.

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Shrine on summit
The Bay of Itylo
Ridomo Gorge
Ridomo Gorge
Ridomo Gorge from Vorio
Profitis Ilias in Voria at sunset
The village of Orovas amid olive groves
Profitis Ilias in Vorio
Northern Taygetos

The pictures were taken on various trips to Mt. Kalathi above Kalamata, Profitis Ilias (the highest peak of the Taygetos), and Ridomo Gorge, which can be accessed from Vorio or Pigadia.

Wildlife at Gialova Lagoon

On New Year’s Day 2022, early in the morning, I visited Gialova Lagoon, which stretches for 6000 acres between the settlement of Gialova and Voidokilia Cove, just north of Pylos – right on the edge of Mickey Mouse’s little finger.

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Phoenicopterus roseus (Greater Flamingo)
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Famous as a sanctuary for wildlife, it is one of the most important wetlands in Europe, a crucial stopping-off point for migratory birds, and a haven for a wide range of other species.

The Gialova Lagoon is also known as Divari (from the Latin word vivarium, which means ‘fish hatchery’). No more than 4 metres deep, it plays host to an astonishing 254 types of birds, including herons, cormorants, kestrels, seagulls, flamingos, ospreys, imperial eagles and other wading birds.

It was a thrill to witness so many hundreds of flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus), pink-billed and with long stilt-like legs, wading in the water, stirring up the mud for food, or poised almost motionless on a single leg. So elegant and graceful, they looked to me like ballet dancers performing some ancient dance.

Text, video and photos by Mahendra, text edited by Hafiz Ladell


Mahendra Myshkin is a Bavarian Yogi, and researcher of the Inner and Outer Universe.

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