It is a local compartment at Smynos Municipality. It belongs to the semi mountainous zone and covers an area of 360 km2; the 100 km2 are cultivated area, the 350 Km2 is forest and the rest pastoral land. The population of the village was in 1940, 293 inhabitants, in 1991, 125 and in 2001, 200. In the last few years, locals and immigrants that had abandoned their village, come back, in summer months, creating a happy image and enjoying at the same time the tranquil stay.
The inhabitants are basically farmers and cattle breeders. They shape, with the particularities of their small society, the whole character of the area adapting their life to the characteristics of the environment.
The road to Palaiovrysi goes by the local compartment of Melitini. When you enter the village, you are impressed by the very beautiful square that was created with the personal work of the villagers.
Elegant houses, others new others renovated, with a really interesting architecture are the ornament of the village.
The last few years, taking advantage of the program Leader II from the Developmental Company of Mani, the community council, at that time, went through the construction of a guesthouse and café, exploiting a building of the village. They completed the project very fast, promoting the development of the village and attracting many tourists both from the neighbouring areas and all over Greece.
Palaiovrysi is a meeting point of alternative tourism in Arna and Vasiliki forest. Apart from the natural beauties and the cool climate that characterizes the area, there is a live museum with monuments, the Byzantine monastery of Agios Jeorgios with the Byzantine icons and the cemetery of the Priests on the road that connects Palaiovrysi to Arna. It’s worth mentioning that the monastery is active and has founded villages in many parts of the area, such as Pritsa village in Gythion. There are cisterns from Byzantine times, which used to water the village.
The springs at Kryo nero and Maganio are some of the places worth visiting.
Agios Nicolaos is the parish church of the village, whereas there are chapels with important frescos, which have been destroyed by some people who believed in the superiority of their own truth. In our days, only a few of us know about their existence, but still the chapels stay firm, through the years and seasons, and they remind to the few visitors of old and forgotten times.
The Cultural Association “Agios Jeorgios” unites all the villagers of Palaiovrysi and leads them to progress and development.