The Southern Driving Route No. 1 explores the mountain range overlooking Neapoli and the area’s picturesque villages. It includes a stop at Kastania, one of Greece’s most impressive caves. Detours of a few minutes provide access to several attractive beaches. A dense network of hiking paths criss-cross the pristine nature of this mountain range and the rugged coastline reaching down to Cape Maleas.

The road heading east from Neapoli first leads to the village of Mesochori. On the outskirts of the village lies the abandoned castle of Aghia Paraskevi providing astonishing views of the Neapoli plain, the coastline and the islands of Elafonisos and Kythira.

The road then goes further up the mountains, past some sleepy villages and leads to Kastania cave, one of the country’s most impressive geological sites. A must-visit!

Recommended beach: Panagia

The next stop is at the village of Paradisi. Its residents, taking advantage of the numerous water springs of the area, created a network of watermills over the centuries. Nowadays only one recently restored watermill continues this tradition.

The tour ends at Velanidia, one of the area’s most picturesque villages. Its white, traditional tiled-roof houses form an amphitheatre on the slopes of Mt. Krithina, with a superb view of the Aegean Sea. Next to the village’s small port lies an attractive pebble beach.

Recommended beach: Velanidia