Cape Tainaro, also known as Cape Matapan (Greek: Ακρωτήριο Ταίναρο), is situated in Mani, Laconia, Greece. Tainaro is the most southern point of mainland Greece and Europe. It separates the Messenian Gulf in the west from the Laconian Gulf in the east.
Tainaro has been an important place for thousands of years. The ancient Spartans built several temples dedicated to various gods. Tainaro was once the place were mercenaries waited to be employed.
More recently a lighthouse was constructed but it is now in disuse. In March 1941, off the coast of Tainaro, a major naval battle, the Battle of Cape Matapan, occurred between the Royal Navy - supported by units of the Greek Navy - and the Regia Marina, in which the British emerged victorious in a one sided encounter. The Battle's main result was to drastically reduce any future Italian naval activity into the Eastern Mediterranean.
There is a cave at the tip of Tainaro that Greek legends claim was where Hades the god of the dead lived. As the southern most tip of Europe, it is famous for being on the migration path of birds headed to Africa.