Kardamyli also called "Skardamoula", especially on old maps, is a picturesque, seaside village on the Mani Peninsula, 38 kilometers southeast of Kalamata. The small diamond of Mani is a small, unspoilt resort with enchanting stone houses, lush gardens, a picturesque harbor and fantastic beaches. Kardamyli is a popular destination for families and companions, but also of yachters and trend-setters. A place with fanatic visitors from all over the world. Many of them return every year to this cosmopolitan village with the unique atmosphere. The stone-built village with the traditional architecture, the houses with the tile roofs and the towers, is built on a sheltered cove at the foot of the Mt. Taygetos. Around the high street there are most of the shops, cafes and bars.
Indescribably picturesque, "burdened with flowers, lapped by the sea, surrounded by olive groves and clumps of cypress trees, overhung by cliffs and escarpments on which perch tiny domed chapels" as Charles Robert Cockerell, the British architect and romantic wrote. One of Britain’s best loved authors Patrick Leigh Fermor, lived and wrote in Kardamyli until his death at the age of 96, his works including the novels ‘A Time of Gifts’ and ‘The Traveller’s Tree’. “Passing by you see Mani in three days, walking in three months and in order to see its soul you need three lives. One for the sea, one for its mountains and one for its people.” wrote about Mani.
Steeped in history, this village still goes by its ancient name. First mentioned in Homer's epic poem the Iliad. Homer cites Kardamili as one of the seven cities offered by Agamemnon to Achilles as a condition to rejoin the fight during the Trojan War. At the back of the old town, known as Old Kardamili, you will find the tombs of the twin gods Castor and Pollux. The older buildings in the main town tend to be around 300 years old and are built from local stone. Old Kardamyli or "upper village”, a fortified cluster of tower houses, rises around the 18th-century church of Agios Spyridon. Many of the building in Old Kardamyli feature a mix of traditional Greek and Venetian design. Over the old port of Kardamyli stands The “Vardia ton Dimitreon”, the watchtower that overlooks the area while close to the port is located one of the largest factories in the Balkans during the interwar period, the old factory of Kardamyli.
The area is filled with beautiful beaches: Ritsa, Delfinia, Foneas beach with its imposing rocks and Katafygio are some of them. For hiking lovers, east of Kardamyli, on the slopes of Taygetos, there is an excellent network of trails, some of which lead to the peak of Mount Taygetus. Opposite to the small port of the village lies the tiny islet of Merope where ruins of the post-Byzantine period can be found. On the islet there is also the church of Panagia of the 18th century. The church is celebrated every year on August 23. Both the church of Agios Nicolaos and the fortress complex have been characterized by the Ministry of Culture as historical monuments. The island was inhabited by Venetians until about 1818. It is also, known by the name of “Amygdalonisos”, which means almond-island.
Nearby is the Viros Gorge and further afield, one may visit Oitylo, Areopoli and the Diros caverns. Shots of the film "Before Midnight" starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy were filmed in and around the village.