Restored Traditional Hillside Cottage in the Center of the Town of Gythio(10 Reviews)
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- Minimum stay:5 nights
- Property type:House
- Pets considered:Ask Manager
- Wheel chair accessible:No
About the Property
Small House With Open Plan And Private Courtyard Overlooking Gythio And The Sea.
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.
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Member since: 2013
- 70 m²
- Max. occupancy 3
- Children Welcome
- Non Smoking Only
- Vacation Rental
- Guests Provide Their Own Meals
- Wheelchair Inaccessible
Bedrooms: 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 3, Beds for 3
Bathrooms: 1 Bathroom
- One full tiled bathroom, with tub and hand-held shower.
- Satellite / Cable
- Away From It All
- Tourist Attractions
Local Services & Businesses
- Medical Services
- Eco Tourism
- Scenic Drives
- Sight Seeing
- Beach View
- Monument View
- Mountain View
- Ocean View
Sports & Adventure Activities
- Mountain Climbing
- Pier Fishing
- Dining Area
- Seating for 6 people
- Air Conditioning:
- Clothes Dryer:
- Linens Provided
- Living Room
- Towels Provided
- Washing Machine
- Coffee Maker:
- Dishes & Utensils:
|Dates||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
My Standard Rate
5 night min stay
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.
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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.
Year Purchased: 1922
About: 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.
Why Githio, Greece:
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.
The Unique Benefits at this House:
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.
- Primary: 651-328-0934 Chris Trost & Bill Mantis, Owners
- Secondary: +30 69474 25177 Pierros Thomakos, property manager in Greece
Links to more information:
The private courtyard with grape arbor.
The private courtyard, under the shade of the grape arbor.
The private courtyard.
The private courtyard with herb garden.
The fully-equipped Kitchen
The very bright and airy Kitchen.
Gythio, as seen from an olive grove above the village.
Commercial fishing boats on the main street port of Gythio.
The sandy Mavrovouni beach.
Friendly Mani donkeys.
Ancient monastery built into the side of a Mani mountain.
The private courtyard.
Double French doors into the courtyard, taken from inside the courtyard.
Chaise longues on the Terrace
Inside sitting area.
Double French Doors to small balcony at the front of the house.
The Island Cranae, taken from the top of Gythio
Sailboat in Port of Gythio
A traditional Mani tower house or 'Pyrgos'.
Sheep and goats grazing freely in Mani.
The traditional Mani tower village of Vathia.
This listing was first published here in 2013.
Date last modified - Friday, April 21, 2017
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