Cape Malea

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Cape Malea (Greek: Ακρωτήριο Μαλέας) is on a peninsula in the southeast of the Peloponnese in Greece. It separates the Ionian Sea in the west from the Aegean Sea in the east. It is the second most southerly point of mainland Greece (after Cape Tainaro) and once featured one of the largest light-houses in the Mediterranean.

In ancient times it was a busy shipping lane, and one of the major routes for crossing the northeast Mediterranean to the west. However, the weather in the region was notorious for changing almost instantly, most famously as recounted in the Odyssey. Homer describes how Odysseus on his return home to Ithaca rounds Cape Malea only to be blown off course, resulting in him being lost for up to 10 years by some people's reckoning.

The Cape's importance declined with the opening of the Corinth Canal, which allowed ships to bypass the Peloponnese rather than circumnavigating it. However, it still has significant amounts of sea-traffic.

In World War II the Nazi occupiers of Greece began construction of a military tower for defence and surveillance of the major shipping lane. The construction was halted by the end of occupation in 1944.

Cape Malea is in the prefecture of Laconia. The municipality of the Vatika (Greek:Τα Βάτικα) is on the southern extremity of the peninsula. Neapoli is the largest town on the peninsula.

On the west of the peninsula lies the island of Elafonissos, known for its long, light-coloured sandy beaches.