THE REGION

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The charm of Mani is synonymous with wildness, isolation and authenticity over the centuries, even though the landscape remains relatively unexplored.
Laid out at the foot of mount Taygetos, from Kalamata to the rocks of Cape Tenaro, known as the “World’s End” or “the gates of Hades”, Mani awakens the senses and captures the imagination. The so-called Inner Mani, after Areopolis, with towers erupting vertically toward the skies and astonishing visitors, is arguably the “heart of Mani”. There, in Aegila, a small town of Tenaro built on Mount Saggia, lies Aegila Boutique Hotel.

HISTORY

The water springs in the area, close to the monastery of Panaghia of Kournos, perched above Nyfi village, were the main cause for the founding of the city of Aegila. The same monastery, founded in the 16th century, owes its name to the springs, since “kournos” is an anagram of the word “krounos”, which means “spring”. The name of the Nyfi village comes from “Nymphaeum”, and can be sourced to times were it was still believed that nymphs lived in the surrounding area. As a matter of fact, it is believed that the nymph Naias donated the spring bearing her name to people in Teuthroni, known today as Kotronas.

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Historic figure Pausanias references Aegila indirectly, as known by the Messinians. According to the story, their king Aristomenis knew that there was a temple of Goddess Dimitra in the area, and that a sacred women’s celebration was held in the temple, so he and his companions attacked in order to seize them. The women defended themselves using knives with which they sacrificed animals, and spits on which they cooked the meat. Most of the Messinians were wounded, and even king Aristomenis was caught alive and imprisoned. However, he escaped on the same night with the help of priestess Archidameia, who fell in love with him. It is said that the women were able to overpower the warriors with the help of the Goddess, whereas according to another theory, the women were descendants of the Amazons, who had marched in Pyrrichos (always according to Pausanias), not far from Aegila.
The foundations of two ancient buildings are still found in the region, and that’s what led researchers to assume they were parts of the temple of Dimitra.

SIGHTSEEING

Western and Eastern Mani is a part of Greece truly special for its scenic landscape, offering visitors routes of unique beauty, ideal for exploring and hiking.
Starting from Areopolis, where the mountains let through the road to Kotronas, we enter the municipality of Eastern Mani. Passing the detour to Agrilia, before us we see the village of Nyfi. Nyfi belongs to Eastern Mani and consists of the settlements Mesa Chora, Ekso Nyfi, Vigla, Atsoupi, Gialos, Alypa and Kournos. The settlements are amphitheatrically built, parallel to the sea, on the hillside.
There is a natural trail that connects Nyfi to the monastery of Kournos, a route that should not be missed. At about 25 km from Nyfi are the Diros caves. Here are the famous Alepotrypa caves, Katafygi and Glyfada, where human bones and Neolithic fossils have been discovered.
Leaving behind the picturesque port of Gerolimenas, at a distance of 18 km from Nyfi, is the village Vathia. Strategically located on a hill top, around it lie many ruins of older settlements. The total building complex with about seventy houses and tower-houses, composed a “neighborhood” for four generations of Mani inhabitants.
Approximately 7km from Aegila Boutique Hotel, is the Byzantine chapel of St. Nicholas, built in 1.113 AD. Continuing on the same road, after 3 km, you will find the traditional town of Laya, the former capital of the municipality.
Of course, if you don’t feel like exploring, at 1,000m from the Aegila Boutique Hotel, you will find the picturesque Kokkala pebble and sand beach.

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