Vathia…The balcony of the Mediterranean

by Tithis


One of the most impressive Settlements throughout the Laconian Mani.
Located at the southern end of Cape Matapan (in the Middle leg of the Peloponnese) and it is built in a prominent position like Acropoli on a hilltop.
The towers, churches, the olive oil presses, alleyways, in total about 150 buildings, located all the small plateau of the hill, overlooking on one side the coast and on the other the wild mountains.
Vathia has occupied the top this for centuries.
The historical sources of the record from the mid-16th century.
Today’s settlement stood on the Hill especially after the 18th century, flourished in the 19th and began to decline from the beginning of the 20th century.
In the 19th century the settlement had about 300 inhabitants
who have occupations elementary cereal farming, poultry farming, hunting and piracy.
In the late 19th century turned to cultivating the olive and the settlement were built four olive oil presses.
By the early 20th century
began the exodus of residents towards urban centres
and so in 1979 within the traditional settlement
only 11 residents remained,
especially lonely older women,
to live a life difficult,
cut off and bereft of everything,
surrounded by ruins, abandonment and memories.

Electricity arrived there in 1980.
During the 1980s the settlement’s recovery efforts have been made by the EOT for some of the towers forming them in motels with restaurant and Café giving for some years the tourist development in forgotten until then gorgeous Laconic Land.

Over the last few years left the EOT from the village, the lodges were returned to their owners,
guests of the village captures the proudly Towers, a sign of glory for proud Mani.