Zen Rocks is about 5 minutes away from the villages of Kallianeika, Doloi, and Stavropigion.
The nearest beaches are Kitries, about 6-8 minutes away, and Kardamili, about 20 minutes South.
A further drive down brings you to other beautiful rocky and sandy beaches and the scenic seaside towns of Stoupa and St. Nicholas. Some of the most memorable destinations are the Diros Caves of Stalactites and Stalagmites, the ancient ruins of Messene, and the house of the celebrated British writer Patrick Leigh Fermor, author of the book “Mani”, to name but a few.
There are a lot of choices in the area for swimming and snorkeling:
Kardamili: The area is filled with beaches: Ritsa, Belogianni, Salio, Tikla, Amoni, Santava. The oldest includes medieval castle outwork, and the imposing church of Saint Spyridon. Many of the buildings of Old Kardamili, also known as "Pano Kardamili" or "Upper Kardamili", were built by the Venetians and featured a mix of traditional Greek and Venetian design.
Stoupa: Stoupa beach, centrally located in the village, is a large sandy beach with facilities. You can rent pedal boats and canoes here, and there are sunbeds and parasols. It is also an excellent place to snorkel. Stoupa beach is the most popular beach in the village. The water is steeper here, though, than on Kardamili beach.
Kalogria: The water is clear and warm; the sandy beach is long and easily accessible by car, motorcycle or bicycle. There are at least two bars on the northwest side of the beach, offering cool drinks and snacks.
Gerolimenas: Located at the end of a long natural harbor, Gerolimenas was an important port in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Gerolimenas is the most tourist-friendly place in this stark part of Mani, with several hotels, tavernas, shops, and a lively town beach.
Limeni: Limeni is a coastal village of Mani and one of the region's nicest and most traditional villages. Located within 5 miles of Aeropoli and about 27 km from Gytheio. The village is beautiful, with houses «over the sea». It combines the sea and the unique landscape.
Discover a different view of Southwestern Greece, the Peloponnese, and Messenia of the Olive.
In the Peloponnese, are many routes that you can follow to experience the olive culture... On your way, you will see beautiful olive groves, century-old olive trees, traditional and modern olive presses, important olive-related industrial monuments, monasteries, and small churches illuminated even with olive oil lamps and numerous taverns where you can taste the famous Kalamata olives and local dishes cooked with the olive oil of the region, one of the best olive oil in the world...
Paddling at the foot of the imposing mount Taygetos, you discover the wild beauty of a place that was never conquered.
Sea Kayaks allow us to explore inch by inch the rich imagery and diverse indented coastline of the Mani. You paddle in warm turquoise waters, exploring hidden coves and impressive rock formations. You visit sea caves and discover idyllic beaches sprouting between the region's rich history and traditional coastal fishing villages. You get our kayaks and begin to enjoy an excursion where each little cove hides a special surprise, such as hidden caves, cliffs with spectacular formations, and unique beaches with sand or pebbles, such as the well-hidden beach of Foneas with the white pebbles and the sandy beach of Delfinia. Halfway you can make a relaxing stop for swimming, snorkeling, and a picnic with local traditional delicacies.
An easy hike from Zen Rocks of around 2 kilometers. Nice nature, flowers, sceneries, and an enjoyable hike.
After visiting the old Kardamili complex, you should walk up the nice kalderimi (old traditional stone path) to the small church of Agia Sophia. You will enjoy the magnificent views, almost all the way, of Kardamili. Taking your camera is a must. It is a very easy ascend, even for small children. If you like to walk further, you can continue to the paths after the church.
Land of stone and light, villages perched on the outskirts of mount Taygetos with tower houses and countless chapels, settlements bordering with the sea, steep canyons and caves, and beaches entangled with olive groves.
The charm of Mani is precisely these contrasts. This is a hike to the land and the traditions of Mani, the place where every stone has its history. Here, the magnificence of the mountainous nature is harmoniously combined with the allure of the sea as gigantic mount Taygetos is so close to the embrace of the Mediterranean. Our tour starts from the fortified tower houses of old Kardamili as you follow the path that once was part of the ancient so-called ‘’royal road’’ connecting Kardamili with Sparta. Along the way, you visit some of the region's traditional, beautiful little villages, and you walk through their narrow streets as you learn about their past. Byzantine churches, stone-built watchtowers, old fountains, olives, and grain mills reveal the life of the past. A small break for a healthy picnic with traditional local delicacies gives us an additional energy supply.
Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011), universally known as Paddy, was one of the last century's most charismatic and adventurous British personalities.
An author, scholar, soldier, decorated hero, and adventurer, he was widely regarded and celebrated as the finest travel writer of his generation. As a member of the British mission, he played a prominent role in the Cretan resistance during the 2nd World War. A great admirer and lover of Greece, he and his wife Joan chose to live at their home in Kardamili, Mani, for the rest of their lives. His house built beside Kardamili seaside is considered as the perfect writer’s house! In 1996 Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor bequeathed their home in Kardamili to the Benaki Museum with the intention that the ownership would be transferred to the Museum after their death.
Have an amazing cycling experience around Mani and Taygetos mountain areas. Rent your bike and arrange a tour of the area you will never forget.