About the village of Megali Mandinia
[aka Megali Mantinia]
High on a ridge overlooking the Koskarakas gorge, Megali Mandinia has three excellent tavernas and a café, and stunning views towards the sea and mountains. Old stone houses rub shoulders with more recent homes in narrow lanes where bougainvillea and geraniums tumble over walls.
Tracks lead to carefully tended vegetable gardens and little fields of free-ranging chickens, goats and the occasional donkey. Being a working village, there are picturesque alleys as well as scruffy-corners – in one an old VW camper van serves as a hay barn.
Some 200 people live in the village, predominantly Greek with a smattering from other EU countries. Farming the surrounding olive groves and raising animals are the main local occupations. Kalamata, famed for its olives, provides other work and schools, plus a good range of shops and entertainment.