About the property
- House753 sq. ft.
- Half Baths0
- Minimum Stay5 nights
Small House With Open Plan And Private Courtyard Overlooking Gythio And The Sea.
Our house is small and simple with an open floor plan. We started renovating my mother’s house in the late 1990’s, removing the top floor of one whole building in order to create what is now an open, private courtyard. Natural---mostly local---materials have been used throughout: marble, slate, fir, pine, and unglazed ceramic tile. In 1922, Bill’s grandfather moved his young family into this house in Gythio from the tiny village of Marathea so that his children could attend school.
The courtyard is large and private. It overlooks the central part of the village and offers a view of the nearby harbor, which was the main seaport for ancient Sparta. The courtyard is partially shaded by a grape arbor and pomegranate tree and features an outdoor shower and an old sink, hollowed out from one solid piece of marble. Gythio, like many Mediterranean villages, is built up the side of the mountain. Prospective renters should be warned: our house is 45 stairs up from the main street and is not accessible by car. Parking is always available on the street at the bottom of the stairs.
We, the owners, Bill Mantis and Chris Trost, live for most of the year in Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA. Our cottage in Gythio is managed by Pierros Thomakos, a long-time friend who oversaw the original reconstruction of our house. The Thomakos family restaurant and wine bar, in the nearby village of Karvelas, serves fresh, local seasonal dishes and sells their own olive oil and wine. Visitors should consider biking to Pierros’ place for lunch, which is approximately 10 km over country roads. Gythio provides bikes free of charge, available upon presentation of your passport.
Gythio (variously spelled Gythion, Gytheio, or Gytheion, or Yithio), located in the heart of Lakonia, is a working port for freight, cruise ships and commercial fishing craft. The town offers a vast array of bakeries and restaurants featuring Greek traditional home-cooking and local foods and wines. There are grills, tavernas, coffee shops and sweets shops, butchers, fish sellers, gift and tourist shops, and hardware stores selling camping and beach gear. Virtually all eateries offer wireless access to the internet, including Yanni’s “Fast Food” at the foot of the stairway leading up to our house. The pedestrian walkway along the waterfront remains active until well after midnight. The farmer's market operates until early afternoon every Friday throughout the summer.
A sandy, public beach lies a few minutes’ walk up the coast. Or Mavrovouni beach lies in the opposite direction, approximately 3 km south. It is popular with windsurfers and with foreign and Greek visitors. It is a long, broad swath of sand with beachside restaurants and campgrounds along its length. Further south are smaller, almost private beaches in Vathi (4 km) and Skoutari (7 km).
In town, you can relax in the amphitheater built by the Romans (the sculpted front row seats are the most comfortable.) or stroll over to “Cranae” Island (where Paris and Helen of Troy eloped) with its tree-shaded public park, a lighthouse, a small museum and a picturesque chapel. You can wander along the paths and stairways that hug the hillside, ending up in Mavromichalis Square for an ouzo and octopus and olives hors d’oeurves. Or make your way up through the pines and cypress to the highest point and the church, Agii Pantes, which overlooks the southern part of town. A few minutes’ walk inland will take you past olive and citrus groves, fig orchards, often with the sound of sheep and goat bells off in the distance. Or there are sparsely populated “ghost” villages within biking distance: Rachi, Diros, Thomianika, and Tsoumianika.
People with access to a vehicle have a vast number of sight-seeing options open to them. To the north is Mystras, once the center of the Byzantine scholarship; the fortified town, its fortress, palace, and monasteries have been collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Sparta---both ancient and modern---is located a few km east. The village of Arna is an excellent destination for a mountain hike. The European walking path E4, which follows the Taygetos mountain range, passes just to the west of Arna. An alternative destination for hikers is the spectacular Anakolos Gorge, located further north of Arna and west of the town of Xirokampi.
South of Gythio is the small, tidy town of Areopolis. Further south: the caves of Diros, the fortified towers of Vatheia, and deserted landscapes; where an owl gazes from a silent stone tower, a goat munches olives from a low-hanging branch, a donkey slowly approaches to see if you’re bringing him a carrot. Along the east coast of the peninsula, scenic villages perch on hillsides, overlooking the sea below.
The easternmost “finger” of the Peloponnesos is equally inviting. Lovingly restored homes in Monemvasia, the white sand beaches on Elafonesos. Everything within easy driving distance from Gythio.
For more photos of Gythio and sights nearby, check out the links provided in the 'Manager Info' tab.
Chris Trost & Bill Mantis, Owners, or Pierros Thomakos, Manager
- Response rate:
- Response time:
- within a few hours
- english, greek, The property manager speaks Greek & English
- Calendar last updated:
- May 23, 2018
About Chris Trost & Bill Mantis, Owners, or Pierros Thomakos, Manager
Bill and Chris live in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Bill has become a proficient cook and bread baker in his retirement, while Chris still enjoys working for an architectural firm. They spend as much time as Chris' work allows in Greece and plan to spend significantly more time there once both are retired.
Chris Trost & Bill Mantis, Owners, or Pierros Thomakos, Manager purchased this House in 1922
Why Chris Trost & Bill Mantis, Owners, or Pierros Thomakos, Manager chose East Mani
Bill's Mother is from the tiny village of Marathea, where her family lived until she and her two brothers were old enough to attend school. Bill's grandfather bought this house and moved the family into Gythio, the closest larger village with a school. The property was transferred to us in 1992. The house required a complete renovation, which we accomplished over about five years.
What makes this House unique
The best way to explore and understand Greece is to live in the heart of a village. While many properties describe their location as Gythio, most are far from the village and isolated. Our house is in the center of the village, fifty steps above the activity, including bread bakeries, sweets bakeries, caffenions and tavernas. Our large, walled courtyard provides a view of the harbor and a private place for reading or a quiet nap. Our house is the perfect home base for day trips throughout the spectacular Southern Peloponnesos.
Local Services & Businesses
Sports & Adventure Activities
Just what we were looking for!
This was just what we were looking for! The property has everything you need and has been tastefully furnished to make you feel totally at home. We loved the outside space which was fantastic for eating breakfast watching and the sun come up over the mountains. There are several steps up to the property from the main road but this meant that we had a fantastic 180 degree view of the surrounding mountains. We would highly recommend this property to those wanting to be in Gytheio, close enough to be in walking distance to all the eateries and bars but just far enough away from the main street, and a real treat to have a beautiful outside space to chill out in.
Thanks, Angela, for your kind review. I'm so glad that you enjoyed your stay in our house. We hope to see you again over another holiday.
Beautiful house, in a beautiful setting!
This was a really special place to stay - very tastefully restored, with a lovely spacious outside terrace. It's right in the centre of Gythio and has a great 'local' feel about it. There are many local cafes and restaurants around, as well as the more touristy ones along the front. All communications and arrangements with the owners and manager were clear and helpful. Thanks to both for a wonderful stay.
beautiful little place, we really enjoed it!
Thanks, Barbara. I'm so glad that you enjoyed your stay!
Stylish, clean and comfortable stay in the beautiful city of Gytheio
The house was Comfy, very clean, quiet. Beautiful decorated.
Pierro's house in Gytheio has a good location in a quite neighbourhood and a nice private terrace with view. It is a quiet retreat from big city life but with all the benefits for a comfort stay. A trip to the beautiful village of Karvelas is a must for a nice lunch or dinner in Pierro's and Chrysoula's taverna. The food there is a big surprise!!! Don't miss it! The local seaside town of Skoutari, is definitely worthwhile.
DEFINITELY RECOMMENDED... A characterful place.
NIK, THEO, VASSILIKI...ATHENS/GREECE
Thank you, Theodosia, for your kind review. We're happy that you enjoyed your holiday in our house and that you had excellent meals in Pierros' & Chrysoula's taverna. We hope to see you again. Regards, Chris Trost.
excellente adresse dans le centre et au calme
Nous avons passé 5 jours magnifiques fin février. La maison est très agréable, propre et très spacieuse pour 2 personnes. Nous avons apprécié la rénovation de cette maison qui allie le confort moderne et le respect de l'architecture traditionnelle. Nous avons eu du soleil en cette fin d'hiver et pu profiter de la terrasse. Nous avons été reçu très chaleureusement par Pierros. Nous avons diné dans son restaurant. Sa cuisine est absolument délicieuse, pleine de saveurs et généreuse. Le meilleur restaurant de toute notre semaine en Grèce ! Nous espérons revenir !
Christine et Patrick (France)
Christine & Patrick, I'm so glad that you enjoyed your stay in our house in Gythio. Thank you for your kind review. I hope to see you again.
Beautiful house - generous hosts
We stayed 5 days (2 adults and 1 teenager) in the house - and we simply loved the place. The design of the house is so nice. It is easy to stay in and the big terrace with the lovely view makes it just perfect.
We also loved the neighborhood with small shops, cafés and taverns. But most of all Chris and Bill are very generous hosts - the guides they had prepared, the welcoming words - it all makes you feel very comfortable and relaxed. We would also love to come back.
Charlotte and Arne (Denmark)
I'm so glad that you enjoyed your holiday in our house. Thank you for the lovely review. We look forward to your return. -Best Regards, Chris & Bill
July and August are always hot, dry and sunny in Gythio. But by afternoon a sea breeze usually picks up, and one can lounge in the shade on the terrace in complete comfort. In summer, swallows dive after flying insects and build nests under balconies. Nighthawks take over the skies in the evenings. In the fall, warblers congregate at day’s end and roost together in the parks, before their flight south for the winter. In the countryside hawks soar overhead. You’re likely to hear the melodious song of a blackbird (Turdus merula) or the distinctive hooping call of the appropriately-named hoopoe (Upupa epops), a bird considered sacred in ancient Egypt. You’ll rarely catch sight of the timid blackbird, and you should avoid approaching the hoopoe which is able to project a foul smelling stream of liquid onto its enemies. In fall, the hillsides become almost iridescent from the blooming heather. Wild onions send up spikes of small white flowers. And pink, fall-blooming cyclamens peak out from under rocks. In summer, wild thyme and capers are in full bloom. In spring, orange, lemon, and almond trees are in bloom, and the wild-growing sparto grass displays very fragrant, yellow blossoms.
Rates & Availability
Additional information about rental rates
The nightly rate is 50 Euros, or the equivalent in US Dollars. At this time, the rate in US dollars is listed as $65 per night. Payments are accepted in either US Dollars or Euros. The first payment can be made in US Dollars and the second payment can be made upon arrival in Gythio in Euros. Rate for one month of continuous nights is 1,200 Euros.