Why go to Gythion?
Dine on fresh seafood and Greek specialties (with a heavenly view) at a cafe on the harbor
Local taxes can add a hefty chunk of change to your restaurant bill
Unspoiled and quiet, this sleepy seaside town offers beaches, pleasant waterfront cafes and historical sites
Gythion Cruise Port Facilities?
If you just want a sunny stroll ashore and a quick coffee -- or glass of wine and plate of calamari -- there are plenty of pretty little restaurants-with-a-view around the harbor. The main street is only a few minutes' walk from the tender drop-off.
Good to Know?
Hefty local taxes on restaurant meals can make an affordable lunch look a lot less so when the bill arrives. Checking one menu, I noted that VAT is 9 percent on soft drinks and 19 percent on alcoholic drinks; a 13 percent service charge and a 5 percent local tax are added on top of all that. So, if money's tight, look before you eat.
Look out, too, for heavy traffic along the coast road. Narrow pavements and lines of parked cars mean you often have to walk into the road to get along, so watch your back.
Head right from the harbor front, and you'll find taxis lined up between the small park and the Bank of Piraeus. Taxis are metered, but rates with waiting time are obviously subject to negotiation. I was quoted 80 to 100 euros for a roundtrip to Sparta and 100 to 120 euros to Mystras (each with about an hour's waiting time).
The going metered rate is approximately 1.20 euros per kilometer, so the Caves of Diros (38 km away) should cost about 50 euros each way and Areopolis (26 km away on the west coast of Mani) about 32 euros each way.
The taxi drivers were friendly and did their best to be helpful, so my advice would be to talk it through with them and agree on a fee in advance for the roundtrip plus waiting time.
Most attractions in Gythion are within reasonable walking distance.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The currency is the euro. See XE.com for the latest conversion rates.
You'll find an ATM machine almost opposite the tender drop-off. Just head left around the small marina, and follow it around to the main shopping street; look across the road, and there's an ALPHA Bank ATM point right in front of you. Alternatively, if you head right along the main promenade, you'll find two more outside the Bank of Piraeus and the National Bank, which are on the corner next to the small shady park on the right, about a five-minute walk away.
Greek is the official language, and as this is not a mainstream tourist haunt, don't assume you'll find English-speakers easily. Take along a phrasebook if you really want to connect with the locals.
You won't find English street names, either, so I've used landmarks for directions. Further confusion may be caused by the fact that various places around Gythion -- and the port itself -- have different names.
Gythion is also known as Gythio and can be spelled with a Y or an I; Mystras is also called Mistras or Mistra, and the little island linked to Gythion by a causeway (see Don't Miss) is variously known as Cranae, Kranai and Marathonisi.
Where You're Docked?
You tender into Gythion along a narrow sea wall, which is embellished with statues. Go left from the drop-off point, and walk right around the little harbor, and you'll find the main square with its cafes and restaurants off to the left. The main street, which runs parallel to the harbor, will be straight ahead of you