Loganikos is a traditional Greek village, located in Lakonia prefecture, in the ancient and historical Peloponnese area of southern Greece.
Longanikos is part of the municipality of Pellana. The village population was 534 in 2001. Longanikos is part of the synonymous municipal district wit a population 704.
It is about 30 kilometers north of Sparta, and is also very close to the cities of Kalamata, Tripolis and Megalopolis. It rests on the northeastern slope of Mount Taygetos. Because of the small size of this village, residents of this town identify themselves as Spartans to other Greeks or foreigners.
The village changed location and name many times since the earliest record of its existence in Mycenaen times. The area of Loganikos has been identified with the ancient village of Velamini (Velmini), documented in ancient writings by Pausanias over 1800 years ago. The current name has been documented in writings as far back as Stefano Magno in 1453. It is believed that this area has been inhabited since Neolothic times, and much later served as a front-line military outpost for the powerful Spartan city-state.
As a result of its geographical position between the 3 prefectures of Messinia, Arcadia and Laconia and because of the morphology of the ground where Taygetos and Parnonas converge without connecting, thereby creating the Laconian valley of Eurotas, Loganikos has served as a key transit point for the movement of people and armies in the Peloponnese. It had also served as a military staging area and rampart for the state of Sparta.
Today the village of Longanikos, with a population of 700, also includes the settlements of Vergadeika, Kiparissi, Giakoumeika and Foundeika. It is nestled along the green slopes and fir-covered mountain range of Mt. Taigetos and one can find stone houses, natural springs and fountains and forest roads that lead to the highest points of the mountain (Koutouni, Limna). Nearby one can also find some fountains that feed the Eurotas valley and the historical monasteries of Rekitsa and Ampelaki, close to the Arcadian border.
Most of industry in this area centers around olive cultivation, resulting in the production of olive oil as the main cash crop. The extra virgin olive oil that is produced is of the highest standards and quality and is sought out by olive oil importers globally.
During the turn of the 20th century and also during the 1960s and 1970s, there was a huge outflow of residents to other major Greek cities, including Athens and Sparta, and also externally to the United States, Canada, Germany, South Africa, and Australia. This emigrant population still maintains strong ties with the village and during summer months the population swells with diaspora residents who have returned for summer holidays. In addition to its central location between Sparta and Tripoli, it is also only a 2.5 hour drive from central Athens and within driving distance of many famous sites, including Olympia, Monemvasia, Caves of Dirrou, Githeo, Kalamata, Corinth, the Argolid (Epidavros, Nafplion), amongst others.
Municipal district of Longanikos
Vergadeika (written as Vergadaiika in Greek )