Vathia 230 71, Greece

The ancient village of Vathia sits on the Mani Peninsula, where the wild and rugged landscape made it difficult to invade and fostered the inhabitants’ fierce independence. This often led to blood feuds, resulting in the region’s distinctive war towers and fortified houses. The old village of Vathia (not to be confused with the nearby modern town of the same name) became depopulated in recent years; today it’s all but abandoned. After wandering the cobblestoned streets and admiring the 19th-century buildings, strike out to explore the surrounding hills, which ignite with wildflowers in spring and summer.

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