Kranai is an islet linked to Gytheio with a pier built in 1898. It is also called Marathonisi (fennel island) because of fennel growing in quantities.
It has been inhabited as early as the antiquity. Homer mentions that Paris and Helen of Troy came to Kranai to hide from Menelaus, King of Sparta and husband of Helen, and to spend the night. The next morning the unlawful couple left for Troy. The name Kranai is linked to this legend, as Paris forgot his helmet (kranos in Greek) when they left in a hurry.
Kranai is also known as the place of residence for Grigorakis family and the tower built by Tzanetakis Grigorakis in 1829 serves today as a museum, the Historical and Ethnological Museum of Mani. The island is covered with a beautiful pine forest with a marble lighthouse at its end. Its octagonal tower makes it a sight not to be missed. Built in 1873, it was used again as a lighthouse in 1949 and today it serves as the Naval Museum of Mani. Another must-see is the small church of Saint Peter.