Kalianeika is a settle-mint in the municipal district of Doli, 20 km from Kalamata. There are two routes from Kalamata to Doli: Kalamata – Stavropigio – Doli, and Kalamata – Kitries – Doli.

Its name is derived from the family Kalian, the first people to come and settle in the area. Later they emigrated, but many years afterwards they returned. It is one of the new settle-mints in Mani, probably built during the 19th century. From an encyclopedia we found that in 1928 there were about 115 residents, a school, and that they produced figs, olive oil and wine of excellent quality.

In Kalianeika there are some important monuments such as the church of Agios Nikolaos (13th -14th century) recently restored, and the historical monastery Prophet Elias, which belongs to the Rousakis family. The church of Zoodohos Pigi (Source of Life) in the central square of the village has its celebration  on the Friday after Easter, when there is a festival organized by the Church Council and  the Cultural Association of the village, which is attended by many people.

Also in the area there is a cave. 25 years after the first exploration, 3 speleologists Apostolos Tseklkenis, Yiannis Kofinas and Georgios Makris, entered the cave and discovered its wonderful works of nature.  Apostol’s Tseklenis said: You have to see it to believe how magnificent it really is!  It is so rich in wonderful features.Υ its ex-plantation and development is difficult because of the situation of the cave (the entrance now is from a precipice 24 m above). Special studies will be under-taken by the scientists relating to the geology of the ground, seismological and geotechnical conditions of the area, for the final evaluation of caveΥs future development. The related studies will include architecture, static strength, electro mechanics and lighting.

There is much interest from the Municipality of Avia and the residents, politicians, businessmen and the people of the church who care for the development of the cave. This cave will be a point of interest which will further develop the whole area.

Population and occupations: at the last census (March 2001), there were 86 residents. Their main occupations are olive growing and cattle breeding. The production of carob beans is important, too, as they use them to feed the animals.

Transport – road construction – rural roads.

There is a bus once a week to and from Kalamata. The central road connecting the area to Kalamata is narrow, necessitating much care and concentration on the part of drivers. Soon, work will begin to asphalt the Santava – Kitries – Kalianeika, at a cost of 73.000.000dr. The existing roads do connect the rural areas but they still need to be cleaned and maintained.

Water supply:  the water supply is from the springs of Pidima. Normally, there is sufficient water, although there are a few problems in August because of tourism.  The extension of the water supply network, completed by the Association of Water Supply of Kalamata – Messini and its surroundings in 2000, means that there is now water to all the houses in the area.

We want to thank Mr Elia Giannea, President of the Local Council of Doli for the information and for his conducted tour of the area.

Antonis Roumaneas