Cape Tainaron

Cape Tainaron, Kokkinogia: Address, Cape Tainaron Reviews: 4.5/5

Cape Tainaron
4.5
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2-3 hours
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Tom Carter
427 contributions
Jun 2021 • Couples
The hike to the lighthouse is beautiful. Even in the blazing sun the 2km are manageable. The reward upon return is a cool swim in the ocean.
Written July 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Harry R
Ramat Hasharon, Israel343 contributions
Nov 2020 • Couples
Buffered by strong winds this eerie cape marks the meeting point of the bays at the southern tip of the Mani peninsula. We arrived too late in the day to make the lighthouse walk. Instead we soaked in the atmosphere of what was once described as the gates to Hades.
Written November 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bluelizard
N Wales1,089 contributions
Sep 2019
Great 2km walk from car park to the lighthouse located on the southernmost part of mainland Greece. A beautiful spot with stunning views in all directions. No facilities and limited shade so take plenty of water and a hat during hot weather. Path is rugged so wear good shoes, no flip flops! Plenty of parking at the start with a taverna close by. 2 small coves nearby if you fancy a refreshing dip after your walk, one you pass at the start of the walk, the other is to the rear of the sanctuary. Watch out for nibbling fish! The sanctuary was peaceful, we ate our picnic inside the small space as it was the only shade. Unfortunately we didn't find the gate to Hades but did find the mosaics, easy to miss if you're watching where you're walking. They're above the bay on the way to the lighthouse, and are easier to spot on your way back. Once you look at the area properly, you can make out foundations of ancient buildings. Still blows my mind! One of the highlights on this trip.
Written November 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

traveller1959
Schluchsee, Germany2,910 contributions
Sep 2019
The king of Tiryns told Heracles to bring Kerberos, the three-headed guardian of Hades, to the surface. Here you find the place where it happened. Pausanias wrote that Kerberos was originally a giant three-headed snake and not a hound. But anyway, here, right on the beach of a narrow cove, is a cave that was a gate of Hades.

In antiquity, gates to Hades (there were more, farther north, at the Acheron river) were very valuable, since they offered the opportunity to talk to the souls of the dead. And since there is no time in the underworld, the souls know about the future. So, the ancient people built a sanctuary around the cave where the souls could gather. The sanctuary served as an oracle (it had connections with Delphi) and became a favourite destination for pilgrims. A temple for Poseidon was erected nearby, and a town grew around the sanctuary. Its name in antiquity was Taenarum.

What is left today? Your GPS and roadsigns lead you to a small parking lot. If you look southwards, you see the remains of a small church on a knoll that separates two coves (Odysseus once anchored here, too). The Gate to Hades is on the beach of the left (eastern) cove. When you follow the path to the beach, you will almost fall into the cave, whose roof has partly collapsed sometime during the last 2,500 years. From the beach, you can walk into the cave which is, however, half overgrown with fig trees and weeds (see my photos). This is the very place where Heracles grabbed Kerberos and brought him to light. In antiquity, the cave was much larger, but it is still a cave, albeit partly collapsed.

Next to the cave, you can see the foundations of a rectangular building. This was probably the building where the priests communicated with the souls of the dead who gathered in the cave. There are more foundations of buildings, partly carved into the cliffs right above the water line.

Then you walk up to the church which was built in early Christian age to Christianise the pagan sanctuary. You will notice that one wall of the the church was built of huge, heavy stone blocks: this wall is the original wall of the former temple of Poseidon. Inside the church, you find capitals from temple columns. The church once was dedicated to St Michael, the bodyless saint who was the Christian equivalent of the god Hermes who guided the souls into the underworld. Locals say that they had seen a spectre of St Michael walking down to the cave several times not long ago.

After inspecting the church, look into western direction. You will see the foundations of a town that consisted of regular rectangular buildings. You can see the main street and the remains of the city wall. When you walk the trail to the Cape, you will pass the foundations of a house where a floor mosaic from Roman times is still visible.

After exploring the site and maybe the lighthouse, do not miss a swim in one of the coves. Do not forget swimming googles or a diving mask! I have never seen seawater as clear as here! Visibility is at least 50 metres deep - unbelievable. The crystal clear waters are full of different species of fish, many of them are visible from the surface.

You find yourself at a mystic spot, that is, apart from a rough parking lot and a few signs, still undeveloped. There are no facilities, no food, no water. So, bring everything or have a meal in the tavern of the nearby village.
Written September 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Anna C
Stockholm, Sweden2 contributions
Aug 2019 • Friends
Very nice hike to a special place, the most southern point of continental Europe. One can feel the spirituality of it. Do the hike in the evening but before sunset so the return is not made in the dark. I would maybe bot recommend flipflops but sandals were fine, in any case you will watch your steps. Very nice little beach that you can swim in after coming back.
Written August 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Martin J
Levice, Slovakia539 contributions
Sep 2018 • Couples
Great location and an unforgettable experience. Take a solid shoes (low hiking shoes is ideally). Take a time for this attraction (minimum 3 hours). Its hiking and not a walking. At the beginng of path are three small beaches and ascient ruins.
Written September 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kyrimai restaurant
Gerolimenas, Greece128 contributions
Sep 2018
Great walk to the southernmost tip of continental Europe.!!
A spiritual hike of moderate difficulty for all the family.
A truly wonderful experience.!!
Written September 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

HomeInAbag
Dublin, Ireland86 contributions
Jul 2018 • Couples
Gale force winds that day ahaha, but we pushed through! Was insanely wild winds, at parts nearly blew over and even still it was worth it. I can imagine on a calm day even more pretty. You just kind of feel like it is a special place, but you don't quite know why. Wear good shoes as rocky and bring water.
Written August 18, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

6infamily2014
Westfield, IN28 contributions
Apr 2018 • Family
Hike takes about 45 minutes to get from start to the lighthouse. Terrain is rocky and uphill for parts. Fun for the family! Beautiful views! Loved that there were not many people doing it. Also the drive through southern Mani just to get to the hike is breathtaking!
Written April 11, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Vasilis T
Athens, Greece87 contributions
Oct 2017 • Solo
This is as South as you can get on continental Europe. It is a nice walk of about 45 mins from where you park your car.

Make sure you have a good pair of shoes for this. The trail is not always smooth.

At the end you see the lighthouse built in the late 19th century. Great views all along the trail, but especially at the tip. You see the large cargo ships passing close.

If you want, you can carefully climb down the rocks in front of the lighthouse, to get a great picture.

Remember you have to walk 45 mins back, I would not do it after sunset.

On your way back you can enjoy a swim at one of the two small pebble beaches along the way.
Written October 29, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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