The Area

Pausanias at his great piece of work called "Laconica", informs us about the prevailing view of the people that Gytheion meant "Land of Gods" from the Homeric word Gaia (earth) and the word Theon (god). This is shown in the myth of Hercules and Apollo, in which the two heroes quarreled during the creation of the city to win the magic tripod of the Delphi Oracle. However, because the battle didn't bring up a winner, they agreed to name the town "Gods' Earth" instead of "Irakleia" or "Apollonia". Gytheion became the port of the ancient city-state of Sparta and has since become the main export center of Laconia and generally the Peloponnese.Near the port, you will see a little island, the Kranai or Marathonisi, artificially joined to the coast. Kranai was the refuge of Paris and Helen the night before their journey to Troy. According to tradition, while leaving, Paris forgot his helmet(kranos). In Kranai there is the Tower of Tzannetaki family, structured around 1829. It houses the Historical Ethnological Museum of Mani. A beautiful touch on the canvas of the island is the chapel of St. Peter. Another impressive sight is the 22-meter tall octagonal lighthouse with a 15-mile long lightbeam. It was built in 1873 and it is made of marble from Cape Tenaro.