Part 3: Gythio, Skoutari and the Deep Mani
Gythio und Skoutari
When driving down from Athens, Nafplio or Monemvasia to the Deep Mani, we recommend the route via Gythio or the Lower Mani. The main reason is that Gythio is a lovely town to spend one or more nights or just stop for a meal or a drink. Although the fishing port is the most captivating it is worth taking a stroll into downtown a bit inland from the harbour. It is full of charmingly made up traditional shops selling local food produce, wine and housewares.
Harbour in Gythio
Where to eat in Gythio and Skoutari
There is a row of waterfront fish restaurants in Gythio with a view of the fishermen’s port and ocean. We recommend the Taverna Saga a bit further out at the southern exit of town.
Gythio: Saga tavern
If you are staying in Skoutari, the Kalamakia Tavern right above the beach has good food and a splendid view over the bay
Kalamakia Tavern, Skoutari, Mani, Greece
Where to stay in Gythio and Skoutari
We stayed in a converted fisherman’s cottage in Skoutari. The location was unbelievable but the cottage itself needed urgent attention, reason why we cannot recommend it at the time.
Fisherman’s house Skoutari
Breakfast in the fisherman’s house Skoutari
We also did not find any boutique hotels or charming bed and breakfasts in Gythio itself, but discovered two beach resorts that although not really authentic are well done with a beautiful sandy beach in front of them and are perfectly suitable to spend one or more days in this region.
One of them is the Hotel Castello Antico and the other is the Margo Beach Hotel both of them just a few kilometres south of Gythio.
Beach at the Castello Antico, Gythio
Margo Beach Hotel
From Gythio it is just a 30 minute drive over to Areopoli, the main village of the Deep Mani.
Deep Mani (Mesa Mani)
The southern Mani is probably the most impressive and beautiful part of the Peloponnese. It is the middle “finger” in the south. Still seemingly undiscovered by mass tourism it is an ideal place to get away from it all. High, bare and rocky mountains seem to go down directly into the ocean. Every now and then you will come across a little town or village. Together with its rich tradition and history it is a captivating destination.
The nicest and most known are Areopoli, with the coastal Limeni just below it and Gerolimenas further south.
A secluded beach in the Deep Mani
Gerolimenas, Deep Mani, Peloponnese
The best beaches on the Mani Pensinsula
The beaches, although beautifully set, are mostly peddle beaches, so we do recommend buying rubber shoes you can wear when going into the water.
The best beach and one of the few ones with sand is the one in Skoutari, on the eastern coast of the Mani. It is just a 25 minutes’ drive from Areopoli. You can spend a day on the beach before heading for Gythio for a delicious dinner. The Skoutari beach does get crowded in July and August. An alternative although a bit more commercial is the sandy Mavrovouniou beach south of Gythio.
Other beaches are the Dexameni beach in Limeni, the Almirou beach in Gerolimenas and the Foneaas Beach.
Where to eat in Mani Peninsula, Peloponnese
The Black Pirate Tavern in Neon Oitylo a mile north west of Limeni port. Much better than the two more famous taverns in Limeni.
Black Pirate Tavern, Limeni
Black Pirate Tavern
Where to stay in Mani Peninsula, Peloponnese
Although there are not many hotels in the area, you will find some surprisingly beautiful and spectacular boutique hotels here. In Areopoli we recommend the Antares hotel, Limeni the Pirgos Mavromichali and the luxurious Ariá Estates Suites & Spa, Areopoli. In the far south in Gerolimenas, the best luxury hotel is surely the Kyrimai hotel.
If you prefer a hidden gem in the country side, go for the Citta dei Nicliani halfway from Gerolimenas.
The most awesome place to stay in the Deep Mani is the Tainaron Blue, perched high on a mountain slope and looking down on the ocean and southern tip of the Mani peninsula.
Hotel Kyrimai in Gerolimevias in the far south of the Mani peninsula
Suite at the Kyrimai Hotel
View from the suite at the Kyrimai Hotel
The stylish and luxurious Tainaron Blue Retreat on the far south end of the Mani Peninsula has awe inspiring views over the Ionian Sea.
Awesome views just south of the Tainaron Blue retreat.