Gythio is an attractive small fishing port that was once the port of ancent Sparta. It has a busy waterfront backed by old Turkish houses on the steep wooded hill behind. Accessed by the ship's tender service, it is a nice location for a lazy stroll along the town's harbour or exploring some of the historic streets higher up, which run parallel to the seafront. Gythion has a large number of fishing taverns and restaurants serving fresh traditional seafood.
The small island called Marathonisi (ancient Cranae), famed for its part in Paris and Helen's romance that started the Trojan Wars, can be reached in 15 to 20 minutes on foot from the harbour. A causeway connects the island to the town, which houses a lighthouse and ethological museum. Most of ancient Gythion lies submerged below the Lakonian Gulf, but there is a well preserved ancient theatre and an overgrown acropolis.
Gythion gives access to the Mani Peninsula, a rugged land populated by the fiercely independent Maniots, who claim to be direct descandants of the Spartans. Although there are no ancient sites, this remote area is dotted with stone towers and churches. It is also possible to reach the wonderful ruins of powerful Mystras, crowned by an imposing fortress.
There are more
than 30 cruises calling at this port. Click the month or cruise line
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