Restored Traditional Hillside Cottage in the Center of the Town of Gythio

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Last updated: 10/11/2016
Check availability
23 Available
21 Unavailable
22 Today
23 Selected dates
  • Minimum stay:5 nights
  • Internet:No
  • Pets considered:Ask Manager
  • Wheel chair accessible:No

Property description

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.

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Property Type

  • House
  • 70 m²

Accommodation Type

  • Vacation Rental


  • Guests Provide Their Own Meals


  • Children Welcome
  • Non Smoking Only
  • Wheelchair Inaccessible

Bedrooms: 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 3, Beds for 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....moreless

Bathrooms: 1 Bathroom

  • Bathroom 1: toilet, combination tub/shower, outdoor shower


  • One full tiled bathroom, with tub and hand-held shower.

Other Amenities

  • 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....moreless


  • Books:

    Excellent selection of books and maps to borrow while staying....moreless

  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television


  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions


  • Churches
  • Marina
  • Museums
  • Playground
  • Restaurants
  • Ruins

Local Services & Businesses

  • ATM/Bank
  • Groceries
  • Medical Services

Leisure Activities

  • Antiquing
  • Beachcombing
  • Boating
  • Eco Tourism
  • Scenic Drives
  • Sight Seeing
  • Walking

Location Type

  • Beach View
  • Monument View
  • Mountain View
  • Ocean View
  • Village

Sports & Adventure Activities

  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Pier Fishing
  • Sailing
  • Snorkeling
  • Spelunking
  • Swimming
  • Wind-Surfing


  • Dining:

    Dining is usually al fresco, on the terrace, around a marble-topped table. A multi-use indoor table can be used for dining indoors....moreless

  • Dining Area
  • Seating for 6 people


  • Air Conditioning:

    Electric air-conditioning and ceiling fans over the beds....moreless

  • Clothes Dryer:

    Sunny terrace with clothes lines....moreless

  • Heating:

    Electric heat....moreless

  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking:

    Parking is always available on-street at the foot of the stairway....moreless

  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine


  • Coffee Maker:

    Stove-top espresso pots and an electric hot-pot....moreless

  • Dishes & Utensils:

    Complete set of dishes, silverware, and cooking utensils....moreless

  • Kitchen:

    Small and simple but complete kitchen, including pots and pans, china, silverware and linens. ...moreless

  • Oven:

    Combination electric oven with two electric burners....moreless

  • Refrigerator:

    Full-sized refrigerator....moreless

  • Stove:

    Combination electric oven with two electric burners....moreless


  • Balcony:

    Small balcony separate from the private courtyard....moreless

  • Bicycles:

    Gythio provides bicycles for rent....moreless

  • Deck / Patio:

    Large private, walled courtyard with table, chairs and two chaise longue that convert to cots for sleeping....moreless

  • Lawn / Garden:

    Grape arbor, pomegranite, flowering shrubs and herbs in the courtyard....moreless



Write a review 4.8
from 9 traveler reviews
Rental basis: Per property
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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Last updated: 10/11/2016
Check availability
23 Available
21 Unavailable
22 Today
23 Selected dates


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

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.


Manager info

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.

Contact us

Speaks: english, greek, The property manager speaks Greek & English

Guestbook comments from the property manager

1 of 1


  • The private courtyard with grape arbor.

    The private courtyard with grape arbor.

  • The private courtyard, under the shade of the grape arbor.

    The private courtyard, under the shade of the grape arbor.

  • The private courtyard.

    The private courtyard.

  • The private courtyard with herb garden.

    The private courtyard with herb garden.

  • The fully-equipped Kitchen

    The fully-equipped Kitchen

  • The very bright and airy Kitchen.

    The very bright and airy Kitchen.

  • Queen bed.

    Queen bed.

  • Gythio, as seen from an olive grove above the village.

    Gythio, as seen from an olive grove above the village.

  • Commercial fishing boats on the main street port of Gythio.

    Commercial fishing boats on the main street port of Gythio.

  • The sandy Mavrovouni beach.

    The sandy Mavrovouni beach.

  • Friendly Mani donkeys.

    Friendly Mani donkeys.

  • Ancient monastery built into the side of a Mani mountain.

    Ancient monastery built into the side of a Mani mountain.

  • The private courtyard.

    The private courtyard.

  • Double French doors into the courtyard, taken from inside the courtyard.

    Double French doors into the courtyard, taken from inside the courtyard.

  • Chaise longues on the Terrace

    Chaise longues on the Terrace

  • Inside sitting area.

    Inside sitting area.

  • The Kitchen

    The Kitchen

  • Double French Doors to small balcony at the front of the house.

    Double French Doors to small balcony at the front of the house.

  • Single bed.

    Single bed.

  • The Island Cranae, taken from the top of Gythio

    The Island Cranae, taken from the top of Gythio

  • Sailboat in Port of Gythio

    Sailboat in Port of Gythio

  • A traditional Mani tower house or 'Pyrgos'.

    A traditional Mani tower house or 'Pyrgos'.

  • Sheep and goats grazing freely in Mani.

    Sheep and goats grazing freely in Mani.

  • The traditional Mani tower village of Vathia.

    The traditional Mani tower village of Vathia.

VRBO #498043

This listing was first published here in 2013.

Date last modified - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

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  • Reviews
  • Sleeps
  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Property type
Member since: 2013
Speaks: english, greek, The property manager speaks Greek & English
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  • Response time Within 24 hours
  • Response rate 100%
  • Calendar last updated 10/11/2016

Chris Trost & Bill Mantis, Owners

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

Githio, Greece #498043

1 BR  1 BA  Sleeps 3

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