Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese

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First edition (UK)
AuthorPatrick Leigh Fermor
CountryUnited Kingdom
PublisherJohn Murray
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)

Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese is a travel book by English author Patrick Leigh Fermor, published in 1958.[1] It covers his journey with wife Joan and friend Xan Fielding around the Mani peninsula in southern Greece.


The book chronicles Leigh Fermor's travels around the Mani peninsula in southern mainland Greece. The region is typically viewed as inhospitable and isolated from much of the remainder of Greece due its harsh geography. The Taygetus mountains run down the middle of the peninsula, limiting most settlements to small villages on or near the coast. They begin near Kalamata, and then proceed south along the Mani coastline (mostly by boat or caique), ending the book in the town of Gytheon.

Leigh Fermor's book almost never mentions his travelling companions, and only rarely delves into first-person experiences. Much of the book concentrates on the history of the Maniots and of their larger place in Greek and European history; the middle portion of the book contains lengthy digressions on art history, icons, religion, and myth in Maniot society.

His future wife Joan accompanied him on the trip and took a number of photographs for the original version of the book.[2]

The cover of the book was designed by John Craxton.[3]


Mani is sometimes listed as a companion volume to Leigh Fermor's book Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece.[4]


It was translated into Greek by future prime minister Tzannis Tzannetakis while in internal exile imposed by the Greek military junta. The translation was revised after his release with Leigh Fermor who added a further chapter on olives.[5]

Later life[edit]

Patrick and Joan Leigh Fermor later settled in the Mani peninsula, living in a house near Kardamyli that the two designed and built.


  1. ^ Leigh Fermor, Patrick (1958). Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese. Harper. ISBN 9781590171882.
  2. ^ Veronica Horwell (17 June 2003). "Obituary: Joan Leigh Fermor | Global". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Biography – John Craxton 1922-2009". Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  4. ^ Greenberg, Michael (23 June 2016). "New York Review Books". Retrieved 16 July 2016. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  5. ^ Cooper, Artemis Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure (John Murray, 2012) p349-50