Shores and rocks worn away by the sea, tower houses straight out of bygone eras and an old-time city with an island temperament. A voyage to the past, to a strange but enchanting land !
Gythio is amphitheatrically laid out on the top of a hill, facing the port and the blue waters of the Laconic Bay. It looks as if the houses are proudly gazing their reflections in the sea mirror. Well-preserved red tile roofs, small balconies, neoclassical lines, pastel colours, all come together into a cheerful small town.
Using the tarmac road network you will head to the south, towards the arid scenery of Mani, a most peculiar piece of land in the eastern Mediterranean, worth discovering.
Walks in Gythio
Most houses were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, according to neoclassical patterns, and have been listed as preserved traditional settlements. The City Hall, quite remarkable, houses the Archaeological and Byzantine collection. On Kranai – a small green island across the city– apart from the old stone lighthouse you will single out the tower of Tzannibeis that belonged to the historical Tzanetakis-Grigorakis family of politicians, built in 1829, nowadays housing the Historical and Ethnological Museum of Mani (+30 27330 22676).
History at a glance
Ancient Gythio was the port of Sparta. The legend choose Paris and Helen to spent their first amorous night here, before sailing off toTroy, providing thus the inspiration for Homer and later on…Holywood to concoct stories about cheating wives, wars and heroic deeds! In the archaeological museum of Gythio you will see many noteworthy findings from excavations in the region (+30 27330 22427).
Northwest of Gythio, on the road to Skala, first you come across the organized beach of Selinitsa and right after the rusty hull of a stranded shipwreck that emerges on the shore of Glyfada. Further to the east, lie the beaches Valtaki and Trinissa. Close to Gythio the golden sandy shore Mavrovouni (4 km) is host to a number of hotels. Vathy Ageranou is a lovely beach with plenty of vegetation and organized camping sites. Further to the south the sandy bay of Skoutari is found, with crystal-clear waters. But if you are looking for more peace and quiet select Kamares pebbled beach.
Excursion to Vathy Ageranou
Following the coastal road to Areopoli, after passing village Nea Marathea, take the discernible path that leads to the medieval castle of Passavas (1254 AD), built on the site of the ancient Acropolis. You continue on the main road axis through olive groves and orchards till you descend to the beautiful beach Vathy – Ageranou. A scenic seaside route will bring you to Ageranos village, where you can admire the impressive Mani tower of Antonobeis.
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Copyright photo: Theo Athanasiadis / Views Of Greece
Copyright text: Germaine Alexakis/ Views Of Greece
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