Mani tour: The gates of HadesMani, Greece
Mani: The gates of Hades Tour is a fascinating self-guided audio tour in the southern Mani were it was once believed to be the entrance point to Hades. Discover credible and original stories written by top local professionals after extended research. Take your tour now and enjoy it instantly on your smartphone device.
The tour takes you to the southern part of Mani, a region related to the underworld. According to the ancient belief, Cape Tainaro (at the end of the Mani peninsula) was the entrance point to Hades. The area’s geophysical topography, the arid landscape and the imposingness of the rocky cliffs contribute to the myth and create the appropriate scenery.
Tigani Castle may or may not be the famous castle of Megali Maini, the famous Frankish fortification that helped the Franks control large parts of the Peloponnese. What really impresses the visitor is the large number of cisterns. According to tradition there were 365 of them, one for each day of the year. Kita is well-known as a village-fortress where the first war towers appeared in an effort to protect the local lords and the population from the marauding Turks. Killing for honor was an integral part of Mani’s daily routine, especially in Kιta but there were strict rules about which homicide was acceptable, proving that in this rugged part of Mani even murderers lived by the rules. The settlement of Vathia somehow managed to lose all of its inhabitants as a result of the isolation and the inaccessibility of the place, in addition with the “vendettas” and the assassinations of the male inhabitants.
Τhe tour ends at the temple of Poseidon in Cape Tainaro. According to the ancient tradition, this was the entrance to Hades. Poseidon was worshiped as the god of the underworld and not of the sea, while with the advent of Christianity the temple was rededicated to Archangel Michael, who took over the job of escorting the souls of the Christians to the underworld.
1. Pan CastleA strip of land protruding towards the sea for 1,700m creates a pan-shaped peninsula. The natural fortifications of the site were reinforced by the Byzantines during the reign of Emperor Justinian.
2. Commercial GerolimenasIn spite of the shelter it could offer to seafarers, the bay of Gerolimenas, on the eastern side of "Kavo Grosso", remained uninhabited and untapped until the 19th century.
3. The bay of Porto CayoPorto Cayo took its name from the flocks of quails (Port aux Cailles) that stopped here before migrating to warmer climates.
The Lost "Great Mani"
Pan CastleDuring the 13th century big parts of the Peloponnese were under the control of the Franks. Around 1248 the Franks built, the castle of "Megali Maini" on the western side of Mani, on pre-existing fortifications. Although the historical sources provide lots of information about its architecture, operation and location, the exact location of the castle remains unknown to the present day. Some researchers, however, identify it with Tigani castle.
“Laloudes” for good luck
Commercial GerolimenasThey are typical of several beaches of southern Mani and the trademark of Gerolimenas. They are the white, round and smooth stones of the small beach of the bay, which the locals call "laloudes". At a place where rough stone has a place of honor, the "elegant" laloudes were considered synonymous with good luck. They were widely used as a raw material by local artists.
The King’s reception
The bay of Porto CayoDuring the Bavarian Regency period in the newly established Greek state, the port of Porto Cayo was used to disembark military units whose purpose was to maintain order and to suppress internal conflicts in Mani. The locals “welcomed” the Bavarians with their weapons. Many soldiers were killed in the battles that took place in 1834 and were buried in a spot which is called until today "Bavarous".
historistai is a cultural Group of Public History aiming at the creation of aesthetically upgraded history projects with applications at education, tourism, and culture.
|Starting point||Pan Castle, Tigani, Itilo|
|Finishing point||Lighthouse Tenaro, East Mani|
|Areas||South Mani, Gerolimenas, Porto Kagio, Cape Tenaro|
Why take a self-guided tour?
This is a self-guided tour based on the award-winning storytelling concept developed by Clio Muse and the fascinating narratives prepared by our handpicked destination experts.
You can enjoy each multilingual tour by using your smartphone or tablet at your own pace even if you are offline. The interactive map on your screen will guide you step-by-step as you explore all points of interest along your route. Each stop comes with a selection of our signature stories allowing you to tailor the tour experience to your personal interests and schedule.
After downloading Clio Muse app, you can access this tour and activate it any moment you wish and also repeat it any time. To best enjoy our multimedia self-guided tour (comprising maps, video, audio and text) we recommend the use of headphones.
By clicking "Add to cart", you are purchasing this tour in English. This tour is also available in the following languages: Ελληνικά.