Heading South after Vathia the peninsular narrows and the sea is visible on both sides of the peninsular with the Messinian Gulf to the west and the Laconian Gulf to the east which is pretty amazing. Cape Tenaro is the furthest South you can go on the Greek mainland, there are a couple of villages in the vicinity where you can eat and stay overnight that seem to cater mainly for the yachting community. Porto Kagio is the most attractive option, but you may find accommodation cheaper at Marmari.
From a distance Porto Kagio looks a bit untidy with a cluster of taverna’s and buildings hugging the thin beach. You actually have to drive onto the beach to get from one side of the village to the other. It pretties up on closer inspection and it’s a lovely place to stay with some wonderful accommodation options and quality restaurants. You will pay a little more but I think it’s worth it. The views of the bay are beautiful.
On our last visit we stayed overnight at Psamathous Guesthouse which is on the far side of Porto Kagio just 50 metres from the beach, [see pics below]. We absolutely adored our stay. We had a small apartment on two floors, it felt as if we were living in our own mini castle! The owners also run a restaurant on the beach front.
The restaurants in Porto Kagio all look tempting and have a fishy focus. We chose to dine at Akrotiri Rooms Restaurant – my grilled squid was superb and Danai who served us was very friendly [and witty].
I recommend the short 10 minute walk around the headland to the south of Porto Kagio where there are lovely views out to sea and back towards Porto Kagio. The path ends at the tiny Church of Agios Nicholaos.
Cape Tenaro [Cape Matapan]
There is not much left to see of Ancient Tainaron but it’s definitely worth the effort to get here as it’s a lovely spot. There is a large car park below a taverna and then you need to walk in order to explore. I was keen to find the entrance to Hades that I had read about. After much scurrying we found it on the left of the car park hidden under bushes on a small shingly bay. It was slightly underwhelming as it was quite a small cave and smelt of shit and piss, [which is probably appropriate] and not of the goat variety. No sign of a deep hole heading towards hell which was disappointing.
You can see the remains of an old Chapel in front of the car park but most visitors are here to walk to the lighthouse which you can reach via a path which starts on the right hand side of the car park.
The walk [at times a scramble] to the lighthouse takes around 40 minutes each way and takes you past a couple of lovely coves which are perfect for a dip on the way back. If you follow the path, after a few minutes you will pass the remains of a mosaic just off the path to the right.
When you finally reach the lighthouse it’s the perfect place to have a rest or a picnic watching the ships sail by before you return to your car. [Don’t forget to have a dip in the lovely cove near the Mosaic].