One of the most beautiful parts of this region of the Peleponesse is the plain of Laconia which extends from Sparta to the port of Gythion. The many neo-classical houses of this harbor town are built amphiteatrically at the foot of Mount Kourmaros. Aside from its remaining ancient theater and cultural museum, visitors can enjoy local beaches and a variety of dining opportunities. The inhabitants of Gythion claim Hercules and Apollo as its founders. According to mythology, Paris and Helen of Troy were reputed to have spent their first night together on nearby ancient Kranae, now called Marathonissi. Enlarging the natural harbor, it was used by the Spartans as their naval base and the main port of trade. Today Gythion is visited mostly for its scenic beauty and access to numerous historical sites. these include the cliff side city of Mystras, one of the finest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture in Greece, and ancient Sparta.