Messinia, Peloponnese, Greece Book from

Reviewed by Jane Foster
Two family-sized villas and an annexe-for-2 in a tranquil walled garden with a pool, near Kardamyli's beach
Hidden away in a pretty walled garden, a stone's throw from Ritsa white-pebble beach, Liodentra is a haven of calm. Planted with olive trees, fragrant rosemary and lavender, the gardens centre on a pool and wooden deck with sunbeds, parasols and big terracotta urns. Two natural stone villas each sleep 4-5, with a separate annexe for 2 if you need it. There's also a shared barbecue, and a children's play area with swings, slide and a seesaw.

The quaint fishing village of Kardamyli lies a 10-minute walk along the coast. It's made up of old stone cottages, with a pretty main square rimmed by cafes, where locals meet to put the world to rights. Overlooking the deep blue waters of the Messinian Gulf, the entire scene is presided over by the rugged Taygetus mountains; hike up the spectacular Viros Gorge into the heart of the range. Kardamyli is the gateway to the Mani, a region known for its dramatic rocky landscapes, medieval tower houses and a history of blood feuds. Most Greeks consider the region wild and remote, but that's also its appeal - it remains relatively undiscovered.


  • Great for families: each villa has a spacious living area, a double and a twin bedroom, full kitchen and outdoor dining
  • Bring another family - or get together with a group of 8-12 friends - and you can hire the whole place
  • Ritsa beach is 50m away; swim in azure waters before breakfast or as the sun sets
  • Interiors are tastefully furnished and comfortable
  • Kardamyli offers a modest choice of cafes, restaurants and shops, without feeling touristy


  • The garden and pool are shared so there's not much privacy
  • No cooking facilities in the annexe; best for a couple who are happy to eat out
  • It's 10 mins' walk from the village shops and restaurants: you'll probably want a hire car
  • Not the easiest place to reach: limited flights into Kalamata or a 3-hour drive from Athens

Best time to go

Shoulder season periods (May-Jun and Sep-Oct) are the best times to visit, when it's nice and sunny, with the sea warm enough to swim, but the beach and village not too hot and crowded. Spring and autumn are the best times for hiking too, and you're more likely to find cheap flights during these months. In peak season (Jul-Aug) the region gets very busy, with Greek visitors as well as foreigners, and temperatures can soar to over 100°F (38°C).

Our top tips

Pack a copy of Mani: Travels in the South Peloponnese by British travel writer and adventurer Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011), who used to live in Kardamyli. It's beautifully written, and highly regarded by both Greeks and foreigners as a reliable and amusing source of Maniot history.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Rentals
  • 2 villas for 2-5, 1 annexe for 2
  • Self-catering (restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 1 Nov 2016 - 31 Mar 2017
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Laundry Service
  • English-speaking caretaker
  • Pool/beach towels and daily cleaning


Virtually identical, the 2 stone villas are built in traditional local style. Downstairs, both have open-plan living spaces, combining a lounge and dining area with a fully-equipped modern kitchen, and a double bedroom with a shower bathroom. The furnishing is somewhat aristocratic, but not pompous, and includes Persian rugs, Chinese vases, French engravings, 19th-century dowry chests from Sweden, and boxy cream sofas and armchairs. Patio doors open onto a stone terrace overlooking the shared garden and pool, where there's a table for alfresco meals.

Upstairs, there's a second bedroom (double/twin), plus a slick ensuite in earthy colours, with terracotta tile floors, walk-in shower, big mirror and lovely Korres toiletries.

The annexe, ideal for couples, has a double bedroom and shower bathroom. There's no kitchen, but you get a fridge and Nespresso coffee machine, plus an outdoor seating area.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fireplace
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchens in the villas
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Nespresso coffee machine
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Shared BBQ
  • Terrace
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


Both villas have full kitchens. Facilities include an oven and hob, a Nespresso and a fridge, plus cooking utensils, crockery and glasses. The annexe is more modestly equipped, with just a Nespresso coffee machine and fridge, but each accommodation has a private stone terrace with dining table and chairs, plus a shared barbecue area. On arrival you'll be given a welcome hamper, with breakfast ingredients (milk, juice, yogurt, butter, jam or honey, bread, cereal and local lalangia (fried pastries).

There are plenty of decent eateries nearby. A 5-minute walk away, with tables set in an olive grove overlooking Ritsa beach, Elies offers an informal atmosphere and hearty home-cooking. In the village, most people's favourite remains family-run Lela's Taverna, a stone house with a lovely terrace looking down to the sea. Expect classic Greek fare (try the homemade taramasalata, the lamb casserole and a carafe of house wine) and magical sunsets.

Features include:

  • Fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Welcome hamper
  • Shared BBQ area


  • White-pebbled Ritsa beach is steps away; Liodentra has its own sunbeds and parasols
  • Walk along the coast to Upper Kardamyli to admire its medieval tower houses and an 18thC church
  • Hike the spectacular Viros Gorge, past Byzantine churches then down into a steep-sided canyon
  • Hire a mountain bike and explore the lower slopes of Mt Taygetus
  • Swim and sunbathe at beautiful Kalogria beach, in Stoupa (6km), an arc of golden sand in a sheltered cove backed by tamarisk trees and tavernas
  • Go scuba diving from Kalogria or join a sea kayaking tour with Explore Messinia, beginning in either Kardamyli or Stoupa
  • Visit Diros Cave near Areopolis - you enter by boat to see a huge cavern filled with stalactites and stalagmites - then lunch at picturesque Limeni

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Caving
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Trekking


Liodentra is perfect for families - kids can run free in the walled garden and play area, and will love having barbecues and swimming in the pool or at the nearby beach. The village is safe for teenagers to visit on their own.

This would make a great group rental for 2 families, with room too for a set of grandparents or an additional couple without kids.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The villas - each has a double bedroom, a double/twin bedroom and space for an extra bed or baby cot (on request). The kitchens are fully equipped. Note that there are no bathtubs, just walk-in showers.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • Baby bath
  • High chair

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • Pool
  • Play area (swings, slide and seesaw)
  • Spacious garden
  • TVs and DVD players

Kids Activities nearby:

  • A beach with safe swimming
  • Sea kayaking
  • Caves

Families Should Know:

The pool is not fenced. The nearest beach (Ritsa) is pebbled, but there are sandy beaches 10 mins' drive away


  • Airport: 40 minutes' drive (Kalamata)
  • Shop: 1km
  • Medical Centre: 10km (Agios Nikolaos)
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...


{{ review.firstName }}{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},

Rates for Liodentra