The capital of the Mani is the small port town of Gythio which is situated near the top of the Laconian Gulf. Restaurants line the harbour and it is a pleasant place to stay a night. There is not much to do in the town itself, although when we visited we did seek out what remained of the ancient theatre. [Worth a butchers but it is no Epidavros]. There is also a small museum but we never made it there.
From the west you would probably take the road from Areopoli to Gythio or from the north, the Sparta road. However, we drove to Gythio from Laconia in the East which is a fair way, but coming this way meant we were able to stop and have a paddle near the shipwreck on the beach. There are some lovely beaches this side of Gythio but we did not have time to hang around, we were tired and hungry.
We stayed in the Aktaion Hotel on the main harbour road. Leashia loved our room, not just because it was large, two rooms in fact, but it had a double balcony and she enjoyed sitting on it, looking down at the other smaller balconies and feeling like a princess surveying her estate.
If you are approaching Gythio from the south you may be able to catch a glimpse of the walls of the 13th Century Passavas Castle which is just off the main road.