7 h. tour (Private tour)
(transportation + guided tour of Mystras + visit at Diros Caves + optional stop for coffee or lunch at a picturesque seaside village)
Departing the beautiful port, you will enjoy a drive of approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes through the lush valley of Evrotas, till you reach modern Sparta, a city that doesn’t look at all as simple and remote as the descriptions about the ancient one let us imagine. Nowadays it is characterized by the beautiful architecture of the many neoclassical buildings in it and the several palm trees along the central avenue, which ends in front of the colossal bronze statue of Leonidas, the General, a legend of the ancient times.
Unfortunately there isn’t much left of the ancient city itself, apart from a few foundations of the ancient city and remainings of the ancient theater. If time allows it, you can get off and walk next to some of these ruins.
Soon after that you will start driving up the mountain to the ruined Byzantine city of Mystras. It is divided in 3 sections, surrounded by the ancient walls and has two gates, either to enter, or exit. There is one on the top level and one on the lowest one. Be prepared for extensive walking on a steep path made of stone and have your guide enter with you the most important of the remaining Byzantine churches, where you will see and hear explanations about the wall paintings and the floor mosaics. You will also see several foundations of houses where the nobles lived and the Palaces which are under restoration.
Then you will board your comfortable private vehicle with your driver and enjoy the drive to Diros Caves, passing the rocky and unique mountains and hills of the Mani region. Most of the rocky slopes as well as the olive trees, with the shape that they have, look like sculptures and can let your imagination be very creative. The whole landscape is very dramatic.
Your driver along the way will be able to point out some of the things of interest you will see, as well as stop at some of the impressive points from where you will be able to capture the spectacular and different views of the area.
Upon your arrival at the cavern you will embark small boats, in order to enjoy a ride through the unique lake and the breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites that date way back... They offer the service of audio guides in several languages where you purchase the tickets. After the end of this beautiful experience, you will walk up to the parking. If you are interested and time allows it, you can also visit the small museum there is, which has in display human skeletons, pottery and tools from the prehistoric times.
Getting on the road back to Gythion you may want to have a short coffee or lunch break in one of the small picturesque villages you will drive through. Top recommendation would be the village of Limeni.