The Hotel Palota in Lillafüred, Hungary.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Zvolen, Slovakia.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Crossing into Czechia later this week!

Saturday, January 8, 2022

This should be listed as one of the world's great scenic coastal drives

Before we left our parking spot on the basketball court, we had to wander down to the historic village of Vathia to have a look around. 

The village of Vathia dates back to the 16th century. It's such a remote area that it has never had a large population, however the population has fluctuated wildly. They say that at one point in the 1800's there may have been as many as 400 people living in the area, and even as recently as 2001 there were almost 200. 

However now, there might be 20 living in the area full time, if that. And even fewer in the actual village itself.

We woke up to a beautiful day. They had been calling for rain, but they were wrong!

The village of Vathia.

The vast majority of houses are abandoned.

The roof has collapsed on some of them.

There are still a few cats around.

It's a really odd place to wander around.

These tower homes are probably about 500 years old.

Still some old furniture lying around.

The most recent period (in the last 20 years or so) of abandonment is probably related to the Greek financial crisis. You can definitely see where people have lived in some of these places not all that long ago. But it seems that when a house is not being lived in, it deteriorates quickly.

What a beautiful view they had!

Interesting plant.

Someone's bedroom at some point in time.

It's all a bit creepy.

You can see some areas where they have tried to rebuild some sections.

An old press of some kind.

The village church.

As we were wandering around the entire village, we saw only one person, in a house that had a sign on it saying it was available for rent. And there were maybe three or four other houses that were obviously occupied, and maybe three or four more that were in various stages of reconstruction, but with no work being done in the last several months (or perhaps even years).

The village of Vathia.

This area of Greece is called the Mani Peninsula. Not many tourists make it down here. You would need your own vehicle in order to explore it properly. And the drive around the peninsula is spectacular. It should be listed as one of the world's great scenic coastal drives.

Here's a video that Ruth took of part of our drive yesterday...

Scenery along the way.

Another remote village.

Why were these terraces built many years ago?

Church in another village.

Going through a village.

The main road is in decent condition, but it's narrow. It gets even more narrow going through some of the villages where I have often had only inches to spare on either side. Fortunately, there is hardly any traffic and it really hasn't been an issue.

Wow, what a view!

Another little chapel along the way.

We arrived at the town of Kokkala, which is actually an inhabited community, although again there is hardly anybody around at this time of year. Found a great overnight spot by the playground, overlooking the sea.

Yep, this will do!

Max, parked at GPS 36.529735, 22.472555

View looking north from where we are parked.

We left Max there and went for a walk around town.

Church overlooking the sea.

The waterfront area.
You can see a van parked on the left. It was an older couple from Poland. 
They were not staying the night.

There was a second beach a little further on....

Ruth, testing the water.
Too cold for swimming!

The beach had these perfectly egg shaped rocks and pebbles.

All white rocks with the occasional black one. Why?
Geology is interesting!

This motorhome (with German plates) is about the same size as Sherman.
Good for them, but I am so glad that Max is more maneuverable!

The town of Kokkala.

Kind of surprised we didn't have any company where we were parked up. There was easily room for two other vans or motorhomes, but we had it to ourselves.

The weather forecasters may have been wrong yesterday, but not so far today. Had a big thunderstorm pass through over the last two hours, starting at about 8am this morning. Lots of thunder and lightning, hard rain, and even some hail!

And they are calling for rain on and off for the next four days. Hopefully we won't get as much as they say.

Yesterday's drive, 21 kms (13 miles).

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  1. That drive certainly looked interesting! I've driven round Crete before and the mountain roads can be a bit scary when you're used to guardrails!

    1. It was definitely a fun drive. The no guardrails are fairly normal to us now because we have driven a lot in Mexico and in Albania on steep roads with no guardrails. The odd time it can still feel a little unnerving though, or at least from me and especially if the drop off is on my side.

  2. Replies
    1. I love the tower homes and too bad so many of them are abandon.

    2. Kevin always tries to remember the map on the days that we drive and it is really nice when he does because you can zoom in and out on the map to get perspective of where we are in relation to the rest of Greece, or Europe or even the world. :-)

      It is a shame that so many of these tower homes have been abandoned but it takes a lot of money and effort for their upkeep. Hopefully with time more of them will be bought by people and fixed up, some of them are quite isolated though.

  3. Beautiful! Have you read the Bucket to Greece books? They take place in the Mari Peninsula.

    1. No we have not, sounds like and interesting and humorous series. I have added it to my need to read book list, thanks for the suggestion.

  4. I drop in and M always fascinated by the places you visit. Good job with the pictures and posts.

    1. Thank you very much, we are glad that you enjoy seeing some of the fun places that we visit. :-)

  5. So VERY interesting!!! We have never been that far to "nowhere" in Greece! Thanks for so many photos and the video.

    1. If we were to return to Greece again we would definitely head straight down to this region and spend a lot more time exploring this interesting and pretty remote area. We love the mountains and coastline scenery and know that a lot of hiking could be done here. We are glad that we could show you a part of Greece that you haven't seen before. :-)


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