NoTos, Maria and Giorgos’ small and charming complex of holiday houses overlooking the sea, the Taigetos Mountains and the coast of Kardamyli in Mani is a wonderful, peaceful little getaway. Set in well-kept Mediterranean gardens, the stone-built houses are lovely to look at, and a quiet and friendly ambience pervades the whole place. NoTos consists of a total of 14 apartments and open-plan studios, each one with a fully equipped kitchen and a terrace or veranda. Inside, everything looks fresh and friendly, pleasant and unpretentious. The interiors are done in an unfussy, tasteful style with soft colours, wooden ceilings, hand-designed (and handmade) pine furniture, and simple, slightly arty decoration. They have a clean and airy feel and are just perfect for uncomplicated holidays. Come when the weather isn’t too hot to go for hikes in the nearby hills and mountains, and to explore the tower house villages of Mani, or come for your summer vacations to enjoy the pebbly beach of Kardamyli, the sea and the tranquility of this small hotel in the greener part of Mani.
The generally fresh and clean, 'sunny' feeling of Hotel NoTos, the quiet setting, the views from the terraces, and wonderful Maria and Giorgios.
NoTos is built on the hillside about 1 km from Kardamyli and 500 m or so from the beach. So it is better to have a car - otherwise you should be prepared for a bit of a walk, uphill, to get back from the village or the beach.
En-suite bathroom (shower)
Some of the apartments have a fireplace
Some of the accommodation have wheelchair access
Sitting room with fireplace
You can order breakfast any time you want, and it will be brought to your studio or apartment. All accommodation comes with a correctly equipped kitchen (without an oven though; just two cooking elements) so you can also, easily, prepare breakfast and some meals yourself.
There are several great restaurants nearby in Kardamyli, and you should certainly try Lela’s Taverna in the village run by Giorgios. He serves honest traditional Greek dishes prepared with fresh, local ingredients. The setting right by the sea is fantastic and guests staying at NoTos get the best tables. Another place where you will eat very well is Elies (700 metres from Notos), a charming beachside taverna run by Giorgos’ brother.
NoTos certainly is a child-friendly hotel. If you travel with young children, book one of the apartments which have two single beds in the living room, and if needed, you can ask for an extra cot/crib as well. If your children are a little older, you can also book two (or more) studios, some of which have single/twin beds.
The area is wonderful for walks: beautiful nature, olive groves, mountains and historical villages to explore. There are plenty of places to swim. The beach of Kardamyli has big pebbles and is never crowded. If your kids are very young and you prefer sandy beaches, you can easily drive to the beaches of Kalogria and Stoupa, only a few km away. They have fine sand and shallow waters (as well as umbrellas, sun beds, ice-cream vendors etc!) but in the high season they get crowded. Best to go in the morning before most people arrive.
Organised with sun beds and umbrellas or wild and secluded? Pebbles or sand? You find a bit of everything around Kardamyli. The beach closest to NoTos, Ritsa, has pebbles – not easy to walk on but the beach is long, beautiful and quiet. On the way to Skoupa you will find several gorgeous bays and coves with coarse sand and small pebbles, while the beaches at Skoupa are sandy.
Go scuba diving for the day, or longer. There’s a PADI certified diving centre in Kardamyli, offering courses at all levels, and they also rent equipment to experienced divers. You can also go sea kayaking and snorkelling, or rent a little motor boat to explore the beautiful coastline and swim or snorkel in little coves that are hard to reach by land.
Walking and hiking
Maybe I keep repeating myself, writing for so many different areas in Greece they are so great for walking and hiking (all true!), but the area around Kardamyli is particularly beautiful to explore on foot. The green hilly landscape is just gorgeous, and there are many properly signposted walking routes. They vary from easy half- to one-hour walks in the foothills of the Taigetos Mountains, to more serious hikes, notably the six-hour trek through the Viros Gorge. Giorgos is quite a hiker himself and will be happy to give you advice, provide you with maps and arrange pick-up transport for you.
Sign up for a one-day trek to the summit of Taygetos mountain range, the Profitis Ilias peak from Agios Dimitrios (with transport included). Or get a guide to make the six-hour trek through the Ridomo Gorge to the Mana Spring. Go on a mountain bike tour. Try your and at rock climbing in the Kalamitsi park a few km from Kardamyli. It has over 30 bolted climbing routes varying levels of difficulty. Beginners can climb with expert guides.
Hotel NoTos is situated on the hillside outside the coastal village of Kardamyli in northern Mani. There’s a nice pebbly beach nearby (about 600 m) and the village lies just a little further.
Kardamyli is situated about 35 km from Kalamata. (The town is no more than three-hour by car from Athens, mostly highway, and in summer there are international charter flights to Kalamata.) To get to NoTos, you have to drive from the village in the direction of Kalamata. The first kilometre of road is a straight stretch. Just before the road bends to the right, you will see a sign for the hotel to the left. NoTos is at the end of this 800-metre dead-end unpaved road.
We fell in love with this beautiful hotel when attending a flute/guitar concert in November 2008. Now we spent the first half of January in this lovely place. Due to the engaged personal support by the boss, Giorgo, and his assistent Xenophon (Greek: the voice of the stranger) we had a highly relaxing time in spite the austerity of the season. Thank you. Franz and Gisi
Franz and Gisi P.
My husband and I had too short a stay at Notos just 2 days. Still, we appreciated the calm, the views, and the comforts. Best of all, notos brought us to the town of Kardamyli, a “reunion” with the work of a beloved writer, Patrick Leigh Fermour, who has a home there, and exposure to history and natural beauty that is everywhere around Kardamyli.
West Babylon, NY, USA
We loved the hotel very much. Its location is superb. The service was perfect. We very much enjoyed the silence of the environment, the breakfast on the terrace, the evenings with the full moon. We appreciate they have build the hotel by using the rocks of the mountain of the place itself. They were very friendly.
Lieve and Rob C.
My husband and I had wonderful experiences staying at Heliophos and Notos. Heliophos was so beautiful, peaceful and romantic, a perfect location and we loved the eclectic decor in the atmospheric accommodations. Notos was very comfortable and well-appointed, with easy access to the sea and plentiful sites and activities in an area of spectacular beauty.
Mountain View, USA