Getting there & away
ANEN Lines (www.anen.gr) has three weekly ferries to Kissamos-Kastelli on Crete (€21.40, seven hours), via Kythira (€9.90, 2½ hours) and Antikythira (€15.80, four hours), from July to early September, with two services weekly in winter. Check the ever-changing schedule with Rozakis Travel (27330 22207; firstname.lastname@example.org), on the waterfront near Plateia Mavromihali.
The KTEL Lakonia bus station (27330 22228; cnr Vasileos Georgiou & Evrikleos) is found northwest along the waterfront. Services run north to Athens (€22.70, four hours, four daily) or via Sparta (€3.70, one hour) and Tripoli; and south to Areopoli (€2.30, 30 minutes, four daily), Gerolimenas (€5.20, 1¼ hours, three daily), the Diros Caves (€3.20, one hour, one daily) and Vathia (€5.90, 1½ hours, three weekly).
Helpful George will explain the best way to see Mani from Gythio (return) in one day. Getting to Kalamata can be fiddly; it involves taking onward connections from either Itilo (€2.30, 45 minutes) or Sparta. There are only two buses daily (5am and 1pm) to Itilo (the 1pm bus may require a change at Areopoli).