Goethe’s effusive praise for the Hellenic Republic, with its heady mix of unparalleled history, charm, and incredible food is not without merit. While the Greek isles are deservedly fawned over, mainland Greece is a hotbed for discovery. Take our newest addition, Manna, set to open mid-July, located at an elevation of 1,200 meters and surrounded by the virgin fir forest of Mount Mainalo, in the aptly named Arcadia.
A former sanatorium built in 1929, Manna's distinctive architecture with its Neoclassical influences is not what you’d expect to see in a small mountainous Greek village. The listed building has been carefully revived with mosaic floors and a gray limestone façade that’s been left largely intact. Here, K-Studio’s timeless interiors favor a natural palette, with chestnut wood, rattan, wool, and linen adding to the earthy sophistication.
But it is Manna’s surroundings in the heart of the Peloponnese that are truly magical: the green mountains, the rich waters, the dazzling valleys, and an ever-present sense of history. Arcadia’s legendary beauty includes one of Europe’s cleanest and clearest rivers, Lousios, where you can raft under a tunnel of trees, or hike along the Menalon trail among fragrant Greek fir and Crimean pine forests, gorgeous gorges, and ravines. The breathtaking medieval hillside villages of Stemnítsa and Dhimitsána offer a glimpse of the traditional way of living, which in the winter, includes devouring hearty food in local tavernas.
Another hill town, Andhrítsena, attracts archeology buffs with the nearby Temple of Apollo in Bassae that dates to 420BC. The columned temple is one of the best-preserved monuments of classical antiquity and an evocative, poignant testament to classical Greek architecture. Then there’s Olympia, the birthplace of the first Olympic games and home to the oldest of museums, the Archaeological Museum, where, in addition bronzes, sculptures, terracotta, and jewelry, you can also see the famous statues of Hermes of Praxiteles and Nike (goddess of victory).
With some of the most spectacular landscapes in Greece and a strong sense of history, Manna is set to become a year-round destination, far from the masses.