Patrick Leigh Fermor – Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese

The Mani peninsula is an alluring and memorably barren part of the world, almost at odds with everyone’s usual vision of Greece. If you’ve ever been there you’ll have felt that feeling of history all around you and in this book written in 1958 you get a real understanding of that history and how hard life was there.

From Amazon: “This is Patrick Leigh Fermor’s spellbinding part-travelogue, part inspired evocation of a part of Greece’s past. Joining him in the Mani, one of Europe’s wildest and most isolated regions, cut off from the rest of Greece by the towering Taygettus mountain range and hemmed in by the Aegean and Ionian seas, we discover a rocky central prong of the Peleponnese at the southernmost point in Europe.

Bad communications only heightening the remoteness, this Greece – south of ancient Sparta – is one that maintains perhaps a stronger relationship with the ancient past than with the present. Myth becomes history, and vice versa.

An extraordinary book of adventure and encounter, fantasy and learning, observation and experience (Sunday Times)

From the Mani he has brought back riches. How can one do justice to the fascination and poetry of this book, its generosity and its learning – its love? (Spectator)

Campervanman Star Rating: stars-3.5 4/5