Kardamyli

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Coordinates: 36°53′12″N 22°13′56″E / 36.88667°N 22.23222°E / 36.88667; 22.23222

Kardamyli

Kardamyli (Greek: Καρδαμύλη, variously transliterated as Kardamyle, Cardamyle, Kardhamili, and Kardamili) is a town by the sea and thirty-five kilometers from Kalamata. It is the seat of the municipality of Lefktro in the region of Mani.

In the Iliad (Book 9), Homer cites Kardamyli as one of the seven cities offered by Agamemnon to Achilles as a condition to rejoin the fight during the Trojan War. The village preserves its ancient name.

The area is filled with beaches: the Kalamitsi, the Ritsa, the Chalikia, the Salios, and the Neo Proastio. The older town includes a mediaeval castle and outworks, and the imposing church of Saint Spyridon. The skyline of Kardamyli, like many other Maniot towns and villages, is dominated by the distinctive regional architectural of the various towers built by scions of the Nikliani clans, the mediaeval aristocracy of the Mani.

Kardamyli is the departure point of many mountain trails, some of which lead to the peak of Mount Taygetus. Nearby is the Viros Gorge, with a total length of 20 km. Further afield, one may visit Itilos, Areopoli and the Diros caverns.

Kardamyli was, in his later years, the principal home of Patrick Leigh Fermor and his wife Joan. Patrick was an English writer who was made an honorary citizen of the village for his participation in the Greek Resistance during World War II. He died in hospital in 2011 the day after returning to his other home in Dumbleton in England.

The ashes of the writer Bruce Chatwin were scattered near a Byzantine chapel above the village in 1989.

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