Visit the Ghost Village of Vatheia While in Mani
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One of the most charming things about the Mani Peninsula on the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece is how austere it is. The terrain is incredibly rugged, and fortress-like homes are perched in strategic areas throughout the region. The coastline is just as rugged as the land, and both give the place a feeling of rugged beauty. One can’t help but feel as if you’ve take a step back into history while visiting Mani. It’s history is just as fierce and rugged as the landscape.
Nowhere are all these things more keenly felt than in the ghost village of Vathia, which is a short drive from the coast. What’s interesting about Vathia is that it is completely abandoned. Despite that (or because of it) the village of Vathia is worth a visit. Here’s more information:
Information About the Village of Vathia
The village of Vathia in Mani is close to Aeropoli and also Cape Tenaro/Metapan, which means that if you are in any of these towns, Vathia is easily accessible. If you don’t have a car, you can easily take a taxi from somewhere nearby so that you can explore. This particular village has a great view of the sea, which is both strategic and charming. The village was originally founded in the 1700’s and reached its peak in the 1800’s. By the time the early 1900’s came about, the village was declining and people left and dispersed to some of the larger towns and cities in the area. In the 1980’s the Greek government spearheaded a restoration project so that people all over the world could enjoy this village.
What the Village of Vathia is Like
Vathia itself is perched on a hilltop overlooking the surrounding area. Like many of the buildings in Mani, especially in the older villages, most of the structures are built like many fortresses. The people of the region, at one time, fiercely guarded their land and livelihoods, either from foreign invaders or rival families. The fortress-like homes provided inhabitants with the ideal opportunity to keep a lookout in the case of a potential invasion. Essentially, the head of each household was considered to be a mini-ruler (or a mini warlord) who had the interests of the family at the center of his concerns. The region of Mani maintained its independence from the Ottoman Empire, and between the fierceness of the people, the rugged terrain, and the strategic location of the homes helped keep Mani free from invaders.
As you can see, Mani has a rich history and has a unique and rugged terrain. Even though the village of Vathia was a thriving during its height, it is now completely abandoned. Currently, it is a popular tourist attraction and visitors all over the world flock here in the spring and summer to explore it freely. There isn’t an admission fee at the moment and everyone is free to explore.
Categorized in: Greek Travel Guide
This post was written by GreekBoston.com