Exochori

Τhe traditional mountainous village of Exochori is on the northwest slope of Mountain Taygetos, at an altitude of 500 meters and at a distance of 8 km away from Kardamyli. It belongs to the municipality of Western Mani and was known as Androuvitsa until 1932. In fact, Androuvista consisting of many small settlements and Chora as center of special architectural style and panoramic location, was not simply a village but a key region for going from Laconia to Messinia through the “Royal Road”. This region was firstly mentioned in historical source of the 13th century and was the mountainous fortified old capital of medieval and ancient Kardamyli. The modern surrounding settlements were colonized by Exochori.

In Medieval times and during the Ottoman rule, it was the Episcopal seat for the one hundred churches, many of which stand still there having beautiful hagiographies, such as the church of the Archangels with the raised designs of the 11th century. It also gathered the characterists ofthe region of Mani and emerged great captains such as the second Bey of Mani, Michahl Troupakis. The last remaining witnesses of those times are towers Faseas, Patriarchea, Prokopea, Zervea and the imposing tower of Kitriniaris of 1786 creating a unique monumental architectural wealth for the region.

Today Exochori, being on the rim of the gorge of Viros and inside the beautiful wildlife Taygetos, constitutes an ideal destination for mountain tourism offfering impressive routes and activities such as hiking or biking and demanding walking paths such as crossing the gorge and climbing on the highest peak of Taygetos ( 2407m ). More than seven hundred species of plants constitute the special flora of the region and it offers shelter to rare species of wild birds and animals preserving an important and unique natural ecosystem.

The remarkable and ruined  monasteries of Vaidenitsa and Samouel are between the villages Exochori and Saidona. Exochori also offers a guesthouse and  accomodation for agritourism, while the old school of the village houses the Historical Folklore Museum of Androuvista.