A charming town of Grecian traditions
Beautifully perched on the Mani peninsula, Gythion was once the gateway to ancient Sparta and an integral seaport until an earthquake destroyed most of the town in the 4th century. Only a Roman amphitheater remains as a reminder from the past, as Gythion has re-established itself over the centuries as a now popular destination for cruises, since it still retains much of the charms and traditions of a Grecian town.
Fishing boats dot the harbor, and pastel-colored houses start at the ocean’s edge and climb their way up, as if they were built right into the mountainside. There are also many restaurants, ouzeries, and shops that line the waterfront, where you can buy local products like olive oil, figs, and oranges, and enjoy freshly caught seafood.
Explore the small island of Cranae, connected to Gythion by a causeway. According to legend, Paris of Troy and the abducted Helen from Sparta spent a night here. Take in Tzanetakis Tower, the Ethnological Museum, and the lighthouse, housing the Maritime Museum.
With sparkling clean waters and a sandy beach extending over 6KM, Mavrovouni Beach is an excellent spot for swimming, windsurfing, and surfing. The beach also offers nesting protection to endangered loggerhead sea turtles.
Surrounded by mountains and fragrant olive and citrus groves, today's Sparta is much different from its history as a military powerhouse. Explore ancient ruins, the Archaeological Museum, and the Museum of Olive Oil.
Gythion, Greece At a glance