The mythical gates of the underworld
The cape was named after the mythical hero and son of Zeus, Taenarus
Cape Tenaro, otherwise known as Cape Matapan is the southernmost point of mainland Greece
Cape Tenaro has been an important place for thousands of years. This unique place is situated at the end of Mani, in the Peloponnese and it separates the Messinian Gulf in the west from the Laconian Gulf in the east. The name Tenaro derives from the mythical hero and son of Zeus, Taenarus, who was believed to have built a city named after himself near the tip of the peninsula.
Leave your car and follow the path which begins from the Byzantine chapel of Agioi Asomatoi, built on the remains of Poseidon Sanctuary and Death Oracle to reach the Cave of Hades.
The distance is around 20-30 minutes by feet, but as soon as you get there you will be rewarded with the sense of ultimate freedom.
The Lighthouse was built in 1882 by French and it was renovated in 1950.
As the southernmost point of the Balkan Peninsula, the cape is on the migration route of birds headed to Africa.
It might not seem like a holiday highlight, taking a trip to hell, but Cape Tenaron is home to the entrance of Hades in a cave in a small bay.
Hades was the God of the Underworld in Greek mythology and the dead were ferried across here to their final destination. Great myths surround it – Orpheus descended here in search of Eurydice and the three-headed dog Cerberos made an appearance here.
The great travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor in chapter 10 of his book the Mani has a wonderful description of exploring this cave. But take care, old Gods die hard, so organise a local boatman to escort you.