Gytheio is 42,5 km from Sparti and is accessible by road from the rest of Mani and from Skala. There is also a ferry line connecting the port of Gytheio to Neapoli, Kythira and Crete, while there is also a supply port for private yachts.
Gythion is the largest town in the Mani with 5000 permanent residents. The drive from Athens is a little more than three hours so like Nafplio many Athenians come for weekends. Sparta is a twenty minute drive north so you can visit Mystras and then come back to one of the many beaches and spend the entire afternoon swimming and eating fish.
The most important and interesting place to visit in the vicinity of Gythion is the Diros Caves which are a half hour drive southwest. From there you can continue into the Mani going down the west coast and returning up the east. The beach at Skoutari is one of the most lovely in the Peloponessos and the small family run seaside taverna To Akroyiali serves inexpensive fish they catch with their own boat.
North of Gythio along the coast you will find a long sandy beach that you can't miss because there is a big rusted hulk of a ship sitting on it. The Lakonikos bay is home to Loggerhead sea turtles, also known as Caretta Caretta and nests are found along the Evrotas beach, Mavrovouni, Selinitsa, Valtaki and Vathi where ar sand dune restoration is taking place, the first of its kind on Greece. The town of Skala has an Environmental Awareness Center run by the Archelon Organization who also have an information kiosk in Gythion in the summer where you can buy pictures, books and gifts that help to support the protection of the turtles.
In the north of the city today, on the hill, the relics of the acropolis bear witness to the ancient city. At its foot lies the ancient theatre, still in use today during festivals. The ruins of roman structures bring home the times of prosper of the Roman Era, when it was part of the Commons of Free Laconians. The amphitheatric spread of the town on a mountainous terrain overlooking the blue sea gives it an aura of an island: neo-classical buildings, two or three-storey tall, around the port with its many colorful fishing boats, which make sure there is always fresh seafood on the tables of the ouzeri at the seafront, make up a picturesque place to stay.
Gytheio is a well-organized tourist resort, with its own representative of the Greek Tourist Organization Office, modern hotels, renovated hotels and hostels, camping sites, and blue-flag awarded beaches, to some of which the caretta-caretta sea turtles come to lay their eggs.
In the beaches of Selinitsa and of Mavrovounio, you can enjoy swimming or do sea sports, especially surfing thanks to the favorable winds of the area. In the small island Kranai, in the south of Gytheio, you can visit the historical and ethnological museum in the Tzannetaki tower (est. 1829) and also get a bird’s eye view of the blue sea from the marble octagonal lighthouse (est. 1872). Pausania records that this is the island where Paris spent the night with Helen of Troja before they traveled to Troja.
Travelling 10km towards Areopoli the remains of the castle of Passava are still lying where the French conquerors built it to be their base. Along the coastline of Gytheio, for 43 km the options for a dive are many, in Ageranos, in Kamares, in Glyfada and in Valtaki. Of course the marvelous cluster of small islands, with their crystal clear waters and their natural seclusion, will steal your heart.