The Areopoli-Gerolimenas-Tenaros route is one of the most popular and stunning in the Peloponnese as it takes you right through Mani. Picture the road as forming the backbone of Mani, wending its way down the Saggia mountainside, with small roads and detours shooting off in every direction and leading to hamlets that lie hidden amongst the vast olive groves and prickly-pear trees.

Heading south from Areopoli along the main road will bring you to Pyrgos Dirou and its famous caves, as well as to nearby Haria. The road to Kita and Nomia makes you feel that you are travelling past the same landscape again and again: a landscape of olives groves, wild raspberry bushes, prickly-pear trees and dry-stone walls, with the nude slopes of Saggia above and the Messinian Gulf in the distance. It is worth making the detour for a quick stop at two lovely villages, Triantafyllia and Nikandri. Continuing south down the main road will take you past the Faneromeni Monastery, the village of Aghios Georgios Minas and the imposing Voudiklari Fortress, while in Mezapos, one of the old pirate bays of Mani, you can still see the ruins of the castle of the legendary one-eyed pirate Nicolos Sassaris. A•er passing through Kita, you will come to one of the loveliest seaside villages in Greece, Gerolimenas. Going further south will bring you to Alika and Kyparisso, and then down to the most famous and most photographed village of central Mani, Vathia. Its imposing towers, which once served as rather gloomy inns, are today deserted and somewhat forlorn. The landscape flanking the main road further south is quite stark as it leads past the rocky and inaccessible coast down to Marmari.

The road ends at Porto Sternes Bay, just before the Tenaros Peninsula, where, according to legend, one of the gateways to Hades was located. It is an easy trek to the tip of the peninsula and the recently restored lighthouse. Here, at the southernmost tip of mainland Europe, you can hear the sea roar.

2016-03-11T19:11:34+02:00