Cape Tenaro Lighthouse Trail
This is a spectacular hiking route towards the imposing lighthouse of the Cape Tenaron at the southernmost point of mainland Greece. The walk takes you past pretty little rocky beaches, barren hills, the Temple of Poseidon and a Roman mosaic near the parking lot, just at the beginning of the hike. The path offers panoramic views and can be enjoyed by the whole family, though some people might find it too hot in summer. On the way to the very end of Cape Tenaro you will probably meet a plethora of other hikers. This is probably the best hike in the area and a “must-do” if you are staying nearby.
Driving towards this southernmost point does feel like you are nearing the edges of the world. You can leave your car in a car park near a small settlement marked on Google maps as Kokkinogeia. The path starts from the Byzantine church of Agioi Asomatoi allegedly built with stones from the ancient temple of Poseidon. Early in the walk you will come across the “Star of Aria”, a beautifully restored Roman mosaic. The mosaic is actually quite fascinating, as it’s in the middle of nowhere, and all you can see around it are stones and bushes. Throughout the walk you will definitely be distracted by the profusion of wild flowers. They are mostly small due to the rugged nature of Cape Tenaro, but the number of different species is huge. Once you reach the lighthouse, take some time to rest and enjoy the beautiful views.
It is a beautiful 2 km walk along an uneven rocky path to one of Europe’s southernmost points, Cape Tenaro, where the lighthouse stands. It takes 45’-50’ minutes to get there with plenty of photo stops, and about 40’ minutes to get back. The path is very uneven and rocky in places with uphill and downhill portions so make sure to wear sneakers or good walking shoes. Also, bring a hat, sunblock and plenty of water. The scenery is stunning and the lighthouse offers striking views of the sea.
Apart from being home to the temple of Poseidon, Cape Tainaron was believed to be one of the numerous Gateways to Hades and a Nekromanteion operated here. If you want to visit it, return to the parking lot and head towards the left, following the sign to Hypno-oracle. It is the place where the dead entered the gate that led to the Underworld; however, the exact spot of the gate hasn’t been determined.