Verified Review icon check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr svg-house svg-sleeps svg-bedrooms svg-bathrooms svg-stay svg-toilet calendar svg-report-flag pet-dog svg-multiunit Default Owner Icon heart-filled Family icon
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Restored Traditional Hillside Cottage In The Center Of The Town Of Gythio

Bedrooms 1
Space 753 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 5 nights


About the property

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.

More Details

Property Manager
Chris Trost & Bill Mantis, Owners, or Pierros Thomakos, Manager
Member since: 2013
Speaks: english, greek, The property manager speaks Greek & English
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 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 Githio

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.

Guestbook comments from the manager

I've been meaning to email you since we got back after our stay at your

wonderful house in Gythio in May. We had a great time, and really loved the house.

We could have happily spent all of our holiday sitting out on the wonderful terrace, taking in the view and soaking up the sunshine. I've attached a picture of one of our early evening meze and ouzos on the terrace to show that we made the very best use of it!

The house is in a great position and we loved going to the local shops and

exploring the town and then coming home feeling like locals.

The space inside the house is beautifully done, and felt very spacious, calm and comfortable. It was also a marvel of organisation and efficiency, with everything we could possibly need, and lots of thoughtful extras.

Pierros was really helpful and all the arrangements very easy. I went up and visited him and Chyrsoulla and came back with some delicious homemade wine and tsiporou plus an enormous bag of oranges that kept us in orange juice for the rest of the stay.

It all suited us perfectly - thank you so much for sharing it with us.
May 2014
  • 1 of 1


Githio House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 753 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 3
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Beach View
  • Monument View
  • Mountain View
  • Ocean View
  • Village
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Heating ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , outdoor shower
  • One full tiled bathroom, with tub and hand-held shower.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 3
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , 1 twin/ single , 2 child bed
  • Our house is an open floor plan. The queen bed and the single bed are in separate areas and are not visible one from the other, but they are not behind doors. Two cots are suitable for children, allowing a maximum of four, if two are children.
  • Books ...
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television
  • Balcony ...
  • Bicycles ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • churches
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • mountain climbing
  • pier fishing
  • sailing
  • snorkeling
  • spelunking
  • swimming
  • wind-surfing
Rent a car and make day trips throughout the extraordinarily beautiful southern Peloponnesos, or arrive by bus or taxi and relax at home, explore Gythio, rent bicycles or walk to one of the beaches.


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(16 traveler reviews)

81% Complete
12% Complete
6% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
Restored Traditional Hillside Cottage In The Center Of The Town Of Gythio
average rating of 4.75 based on 17 reviews

Just what we were looking for!

  • 5 of 5

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.

  • Submitted: Oct 6, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: 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. Regards, Chris Trost
Did you find this review helpful?
2 0

Beautiful house, in a beautiful setting!

  • 5 of 5

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.

  • Submitted: Aug 18, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
1 0


  • 5 of 5

beautiful little place, we really enjoed it!

  • Submitted: Sep 5, 2016
  • Stayed: August 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks, Barbara. I'm so glad that you enjoyed your stay! Regards, Chris Trost
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Stylish, clean and comfortable stay in the beautiful city of Gytheio

  • 5 of 5

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.


  • Submitted: May 6, 2016
  • Stayed: April 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: 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.
Did you find this review helpful?
1 0

excellente adresse dans le centre et au calme

  • 5 of 5

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)

  • Submitted: Mar 13, 2016
  • Stayed: February 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: 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.
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Beautiful house - generous hosts

  • 5 of 5

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)

  • Submitted: Aug 13, 2015
  • Stayed: July 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: 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
Did you find this review helpful?
1 0


Nearest Airport
287 Kilometres
Nearest Barpub
100 Metres
Nearest Ferry
0.25 Kilometres
Port of Gythio
Nearest Train
100 Kilometres
Nearest Motorway
0.5 Kilometres
Sparti-Gythio E961
Nearest Restaurant
100 Metres
many restaurants and caffeneion
Nearest Beach
1.5 Kilometres
Car: recommended

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.




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.

Manager's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.

You might like these similar properties