Gerolimenas to Porto Kagio

South of Gerolimenas, the road continues 4km to the small village of Alika, where it divides. One road leads across the mountains to the east coast, and the other goes south to Vathia and Porto Kagio. The southern road follows the coast, passing pebbly beaches. It then climbs steeply inland to Vathia, the most photographed of the traditional Mani villages, comprising a cluster of closely packed tower houses perched on a rocky spur.

If you have nerves of steel and wish to see an equally impressive traditional village with practically no visitors, take the road into the mountains from Alika and then the turn-off to Mountanistika. The road is very narrow, with a drop to one side and few places for passing, so pray for a lack of oncoming vehicles.

A turn-off to the right 3km south of Vathia splits in two. The right-hand road also splits in two: the right branch leads to Marmari, with its two sandy beaches, while the main road heads as far south as you can go for 3km, to Kokinogia, where there's a taverna and little else.

The left-hand road from the turn-off south of Vathia cuts across the peninsula to the tiny east-coast fishing village of Porto Kagio, set on a perfect horseshoe bay, popular with the international yachting set. It's a tranquil place to spend the night. The waterfront tavernas there have similar menus (mains €8 to €17, fish per kilo €40 to €70) featuring seafood and local specialities, such as pie made with wild greens.