The old port and arsenal of Sparta has become a small resort. With many hotels and restaurants that are dotted along the seafront, without forgetting its old medieval castle and its picturesque streets, Gythion proves an ideal base for touring in Laconia, and in particular to explore the nearby Magne.
The village lies at the foot of Mount Koumaro, former Larysion dedicated to Dionysus, opposite the island Marathonisi. The latter, connected to the mainland by a causeway, is identified with the Kranai island Phoenician resort to trade in purple when Pâris took refuge after the abduction of Helen. An ancient Ottoman fort built in 1780 and recently restored houses a small museum dedicated to the history of Mani.
After a stroll on the harbor and in the streets, where still rise is beautiful neoclassical mansions, we will climb to the Kastro, at the top of Larysion. At the base of the latter, to the left of the road to Sparta, a niche with a cubic altar carved in the rock (now Pélékito) passes to belong to the sanctuary of Zeus Térastios. He was often identified with the stone altar of Zeus Kappotas where Orestes sat down and cured of his madness.
The ancient city was located 250 m beyond the Selenitsa stream. On the left stands the triangular hill of the Acropolis, covering some remains of walls. At the foot widened the small Roman theater (near a barracks). Other remains are partially submerged. The ground floor of the town hall (on a square near the sea) houses a small archaeological museum which contains stone inscriptions, ceramics and some sculptures.
The beaches abound around Gythion. The most pleasant is undoubtedly that of Mavrovouni (3 km by road south of Areopolis). Further along the same road, the beach of Vathi Bay is also very beautiful.
The beautiful Areopolis road through a green valley where many small gray stone villages cling to the hillside. Shortly after a show, she suddenly opens to the immense sea, in the austere landscape of Mani.
Castle Passava (Passe-Avant), built in 1254 by Marshal Jean de Neuilly Morea, was restored by the Turks and then dismantled by the Venetians. It controlled the crossing on the road Magne. The site is identified with the Las Homeric.
The route then goes low for several characteristic villages of Mani (Karyoupolis and Panitsa particular).