Messenia Travel Guide

Explore Exotic West Coast of Greece : Messenia

Introduction

Messenia Travel Guide – A adventure to the west coast of the Peloponnese peninsula well-knownshows stunning seashores with golden sand and crystal clean waters, infinite olive groves and vineyards, and castles with wealthy history, unveiling the real photo of the Greek countryside. Where the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea meet the exoticism to the Messenia vicinity, magic is born. Undeniably, the handy allure of the vicinity will enchant you from the primary moment. The shoreline of Messenia is a blessed land enchanted from the prism of history. It is a truth that Messenia is one of the maximum stunning and up-and coming locations of Greece that also has many mysteries to unveil. Although summer time season in Greece is synonymous with the cool breezes of the Cyclades, Messenia is a actual revelation. From the fortified castles of Methoni and Koroni, the olive-oil town of Kalamata and the picturesque village of Kardamyli to the implementing waterfalls of Polylimnio, the flowing waters of Neda river with the fairytale gorge, the Mycenaean palace of Nestor and the isles of Sfaktiria, Messenia will truly blow your mind. Built at the coronary heart of the Messenian Gulf, Kalamata is a pleasing musical observe for tourists who search for authenticism,  a cause itself for this adventure.

Yet, Pylos, Methoni and Koroni compose the large triangle of Messenia. Passing via a labyrinthine avenue community with dense vegetation, as Messenia is an excellent vacation spot for riding explorations, Pylos rests peacefully below the auspices of Niokastro fortress. The actual aristocratism, however, is located in Methoni, one of the seven towns presented to Achilles with the aid of using Agamemnon to steer him to go back to the battle of Troy. All the roads of this captivating city result in the imaginary fortress with the stone Bourtzi in Navarino Gulf, the world-well-known Methoni Castle. The Navarino bay, though, is as one of the maximum stunning landscapes of Messenia; Nonetheless, sceneries of huge herbal splendor will tour you to the real fairytale power of Messenia.

Messenia Travel Guide

The fifteen consecutive lakes of Polylimnio appear to have sprung out from the colourful creativeness of the Renaissance painters whilst the lagoon of Gialova, o ne of the maximum vital Greek shelters for migrating birds and the simplest European habitat of the African chameleon, will magnetize nature lovers. Walking via fortified castles, coming across Byzantine churches, exploring Mycenaean fragments, journeying abandoned islands and vital wetlands, rappelling waterfalls and gorges with verdant vegetation; Messenia has it all. The view from the fortress of Pylos, the final turquoise waters of Voidokilia, the emerald lakes of Polylimnio, the sundown from the Palace of Nestor, the awesome waterfalls of Neda, the heart-formed isle of Sapienza, the stone village of Kardamyli, and the colorful mosaics of the Ancient Messene, a phantasmagorical UNESCO World Heritage Site, will take your breath away. Messenia is but one of the maximum actual locations of that country. Where the private factor of the Mediterranean, Calypso Deep, is found, mysteries emerge. Tamed splendor and actual exquisiteness will journey you to any other generation of Greece. Like no different destination.

Self-Drive Classical Tour with Meteora

Ancient Messene

Messenia Travel Guide : Ancient ruins of Messenia

The imperious town of Ancient Messene is one of the maximum exciting archaeological webweb sites of the country. Spreading on thesouthern s lopes of Mt Ithome, as soon as the most powerful herbal and artifical citadel of Messenia, Ancient Messene changed into based in 369 BC via way of means of the Theban wellknown Epaminondas, and have become the capital of the loose Messenian country following an extended duration of profession of the Messenian territory via way of means of t he Spartans. Strong fortification partitions with towers and gates are preserved alongside a direction of almost ten kilometers, wherein there are preserved public and non secular buildings, lots of them reconstructed to a huge degree. Ideally located on a fertile valley over a hillside, and nonetheless present process archaeological excavations, Ancient Messene has a chain of reconstructed huge systems which include the Ecclesiasterion, the Theatre, the Arsinoe Fountain, the Bouleuterion, the Agora and the Stadium in addition to an in depth institution of funerary monuments. All of those monuments endure witness to the dimensions of the town and its economic, political, non secular and social importance. In phrases of length and p reservation, Ancient Messene is one of the maximum critical towns of antiquity, which certainly really well worth a go to, because it has the uncommon gain of now no longer being destroyed via way of means of different settlement, and being an untouched Mediterranean herbal surroundings par excellence. Combining the mountainous majesty of Delphi and the lowland tranquility of Olympia, Ancient Messene is a need to go to imparting an insightful illustration of the historical Greek manner of lifestyles in an historical Greek town. The archaeological webweb page of Ancient Messene is open from 08:00 to 15:00

 

Bird Watching at the Lagoon of Gialova

Messenia Travel Guide : Eagle owl

The Djarova Lagoon is considered one of Europe’s most important wetlands and is located at the southernmost tip of the Balkan Peninsula for migratory birds. Seven kilometers from Pyrrhus, between the beach of Voidkiria and the settlement of Jaloba, the Jaloba Lagoon, also known as Divari, covers an area of ​​6,000 hectares and has a maximum depth of 4 metres. This is a true bird paradise as more than 270 species of his birds have been counted here by his Greek partner of BirdLife International, the Ornithological Society of Greece. Thousands of birds flying to Africa in the fall stop at lagoons for final rest before his 3,000-kilometer long journey across the Mediterranean and the Sahara. In spring, the birds take refuge in the wetlands of Europe’s southernmost tip to rest and feed again. Bird species include ruff, gargany, grey, purple, sable heron, little egret, smooth ibis, curlew, golden plover, crowing slate, kingfisher, osprey, swamp, great heron, little egret, flamingo, and imperial eagle. , Curlew, Wood Sandpiper, Kestrel, Eagle Owl, Peregrine Falcon. One of the lagoon’s rarest species is the endangered African chameleon. At the Observatory of the Ornithological Society on the Gialova Lagoon, you can get to know and observe this shallow brackish lake declared a Natura 2000 site. Birdwatchers can follow nature trails to explore the lagoon’s rich diversity. It’s a one-kilometer trail that traverses his eight major ecosystems in the Jaroba Lagoon. For each ecosystem along the route, visitors can be informed by signage describing habitats, vegetation, and the organisms that colonize them. A beautiful experience for nature lovers is the 45-minute nature trail. The best time to go bird watching in the lagoon is from September to May.

Exploring Messenia

Messenia Travel Guide : Kalamata

Built in the heart of the Gulf of Messenia, Kalamata is a soothing note for authentic travelers and the reason for this trip. The town itself may not be Greece’s most charming town, but it has the lively atmosphere of a bustling market marked by a long seaside promenade. The reference point of Kalamata city is the historic center of the city. A stroll through the alleyways of the historic center allows visitors to learn about Kalamata’s rich history. Don’t miss the legendary Isabeau Castle, which hosts the International Dance Festival every year. Built by William Vilhardouin in the 13th century, the castle was built as an amphitheater on the site of the Farai Acropolis and was expanded several times by Venetians and Turks. Today it is a wonderful outdoor venue for dance, music and theater events. At the foot of the castle, visitors have the opportunity to stroll through Kalamata’s old town. The Archaeological Museum of Messenia displays an interesting collection of archaeological artifacts. Built in 1986, the Kalamata Museum of History and Folklore houses an interesting collection of the 1821 Revolution. The Railway Park is a wonderful surprise with locomotives and wagons from different centuries set in a green landscape. Last but not least, Navarinou’s seaside pedestrian street is lively day and night, especially in the summer, making it the perfect place to experience Kalamata as a local.

Beaches of Glossa and Voidokilia

Messenia Travel Guide : Voidokilia beach

One of the most beautiful beaches in Greece and named one of the top 10 beaches in the world by The New York Times, Voidokilia Beach offers the ideal setting for relaxing under the cool summer breeze. increase. Definitely worth finding your way to Voidokilia Beach. Surrounded by the majestic Jaloba Lagoon, nature lovers will fall in love with this place. Like an ancient theater, the beach stretches out like an amphitheater in a perfectly round bay of beautiful turquoise waters and fine golden sand. However, while exploring Voidokilia Beach, don’t visit Glossa Beach, one of Messinia’s secret gems. Go to Tomb of Thros in Ancient Mycenae and follow the road on the right side of the hill. There you will find the wonderful sandy beach of Glossa. Mystery Greece tip about these two great beaches is to sit back and relax, as nowhere in Messenia mimics their beauty. However, a hike to the ruins of Paleokastro Castle, an ancient Pyrrhic acropolis from the 13th century, is highly recommended. From here you can clearly see the northern entrance to Navarino Bay. The castle is officially closed, but keen travelers can explore it with caution. The view from the top of Paleokastro is breathtaking.

Castle of Methoni

Messenia Travel Guide : Castle of Methoni

Located on the southernmost tip of the western coast of the Peloponnese, Methoni Castle is one of Greece’s most beautiful castles, built on a site that has been inhabited since the 7th century BC. was attached. According to the Treaty of Sapienza, the fortress was used by the Byzantine Empire until 1204 AD, then by the Venetians who became rulers of the area. During the first Venetian occupation (1209-1500), Methoni was established as a financial center and commercial port, and the city reached its zenith. This was the time when the impressive Castle Methoni was built, with its massive ramparts and defensive structures that are among the most characteristic of medieval Venetian architecture. Around 1500, Sultan Bayezid II’s conquest of Methoni Castle began a turbulent history, and the area continued to decline. In 1685, Venetian forces led by Francesco Morosini recaptured the Peloponnese. However, the Ottomans returned in 1715, and their rule remained unshakable until the beginning of the 19th century, when the Greek War of Independence began. The region of Methoni was home to the Pashas of Western Messenia until it was liberated in 1828 by the Moreas Expeditionary Force under General Nicholas Maison. Today Methoni Castle is well preserved and the castle’s medieval town has also managed to survive. Some of the most important monuments include the Byzantine church of Agia His Sophia, the Turkish Bath, the Church of the Transfiguration of 1833, and the ruins of the city’s buildings. But the most elaborate work at Methoni Castle is the burzi (meaning tower). Built by the Ottomans between 1500 and 1573 on a rocky island to the south of the castle, it reinforced the region’s defense network while also serving as a prison and torture chamber. The entrance is accessed via a stone bridge with 14 arches built after the French General Maison. The bridge is still intact and visitors can admire the amazing work of the engineers during its construction. Through the bridge, travelers have the chance to visit the spectacular Methoni Castle and explore all its mysteries. Methoni Castle is an undeniably magical sight.

Palace of Nestor

Messenia Travel Guide : Palace of Nestor

Nestor Palace is the best-preserved palace in Mycenaean Greece, described in Homer’s Odyssey as the court of the mythical hero Nestor, who took part in the Argonautian voyages and sent 90 ships to fight in the Trojan War Civilization of the late Bronze Age. The palace was built in the 13th century BC. It was built by King Nestor, son of Nereus. Nestor leads Pyrrhus into the Trojan War with his 90 ships, and Homer is portrayed as a wise old man whose opinion was always respected by the Achaeans. It occupies an area of ​​4 acres consisting of his 3 main his wings divided into 4 main buildings and his 105th floor apartment. The most important structures of the Nestor Palace include the rectangular ‘throne room’ with a round fireplace, the bathroom with a ceramic bath and numerous storage vessels. It is worth noting that the walls of the palace were decorated with wonderful murals. His 1000 linear her B clay tablets discovered in the palace attest to the function of this place as the financial, administrative, political and religious center of Mycenaean Messenia. Nestor’s palace was largely abandoned after a great fire in the late 13th century BC. Or it was almost completely destroyed in the early 12th century BC and never rebuilt. In 1888, Heinrich Schliemann launched the first searches to locate Nestor Palace, but unfortunately he was unable to find it.

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Nonetheless, the big breakthrough took place in 1939 from Konstantinos Kourouniotis along with Carl Blegen, who conducted intensive excavations until the first findings of the palace were brought to light. From the excavations, more than one thousand plates with texts in Linear B were discovered from the archives of Nestor’s Palace, which were later (1952) deciphered from Michael Ventris, an architect, and John Chadwick, a linguist. By this way, historians were able to learn important information for the daily life, as well as the economic and commercial activities of prehistoric Pylos. Two royal vaulted tombs were also found in the surrounding area, one of which was restored in 1957 by the Archaeological Service. Numerous archaeological findings from the site of the Palace of Nestor are kept at the Archaeological Museum of Chora ( Address: Hora village Telephone: 0030.27630.31358 Working Hours: 08:30 to 15:00 except Mondays), the Archaeological Museum of Messenia (Address: Benaki & Agiou Ioannou Street, Kalamata Telephone: 0030.27210.83485, Working Hours: 08:00 – 20.00) and the National Archaeological Museum of Athens (Address: 44, 28is Oktovriou Street, Athens Telephone: 0030.213214.800) The archaeological site of Nestor’s Palace will open its doors to the public on June 12, 2016 after a huge restoration project that took place during the last three years with the participation of the University of Cincinnati, of USA. It is open from 08:00 to 15:00.

Waterfalls of Polylimnio

Messenia Travel Guide : Waterfalls of Polylimnio

Polylimnio Waterfall is one of Messenia’s best kept secrets. Wander through this fairytale forest and discover the mysteries of this corner of Greece. In a bright green landscape with carved paths and wooden bridges, travelers have the chance to discover hidden waterfalls and emerald lakes. Polylimnio is a breathtaking green space with 15 natural lakes and majestic waterfalls, the largest of which, Cadi Falls, reaches a height of 20 meters. Cuddy Lake is the ideal depth for diving. However, the water in the lake is always cold, even in summer, so be prepared for freezing moments. One of the first large lakes was Lake Italia, a little further on is Lake Cadura. The view from this point is spectacular, all the lakes and waterfalls are visible! Access to Polylimnio is easy by following the road from Kalamata through the village of Chalabgi to Piros. From there, travelers can ask locals or follow signs. Both parking lots are easy to find. After leaving the vehicle, travelers will have to walk for some time on dirt roads. You’ll find a narrow walkway leading to the Polylimnio site. The promenade through the canyon is easy to walk because it has stilts. Rubber-soled shoes are highly recommended as it is quite slippery. Put on your hat, pack your bathing suit, and fill your bag with snacks and bottled water. The best time to visit Polylimnio is summer, so you can jump off the rocks into the cool water. However, beware of Polylimnio’s inhabitants, such as large crabs, frogs, and small water snakes. It’s nature exploration time!

Isle of Sapienza

Messenia Travel Guide : Sapienza Island, see the Hearth-shaped rock formations.

Just off the southern coast of the Peloponnese peninsula lies the heart-shaped island of Sapienza, the second largest island in Messinian Oinnoussai, home to Calypso Deep, the deepest point in the Mediterranean Sea, at a depth of 5,267 metres. Sapienza is one of the best kept secrets in Messenia, untouched by human activity. 98% of the island is lovingly devoted to nature as an abundance of shrubs, oaks and arbutus trees are scattered across the island. Various animals live in Sapienza, including Kri-Kri goats, partridges, pheasants and various other types of beautiful creatures found in nature.For this reason, Sapienza has been included in the European Natura 2000 network, along with the other Oinnoussai Messenians.The landscape of the island is green with slopes covered by low vegetation, while the arbutus forest is in the Mediterranean center of the northern Part. The remarkable thing is that the height of strawberry trees is more than ten meters, and large blueberries the size of a small apple are obtained. This forest was officially declared a natural treasure in 1986. The center of the island, Spartolaka, is within walking distance from both sides of the island and the view is just beautiful.A clearing surrounded by forests, covered with dry clay and fossilized pollen, forms a unique landscape!Those who enjoy hiking should be aware that as soon as they enter the forest, they are , can have the feeling of being able to enter a jungle, since the wild and uncontaminated forests of Sapienza are not visible from sea level. In and around Sapienza, keen divers have the opportunity to explore several ancient shipwrecks as they lie on the main sea route between Italy and the Middle East and are therefore vulnerable. The underwater beauty of Sapienza is irresistible. An interesting fact is that the local authorities have plans to create an underwater park to showcase Sapienza’s underwater treasure.There is also an important lighthouse on the island, built by the British settlements in 1885. Although there is no lighthouse today, the lighthouse is powered by solar powered beehives and its light can be seen up to 28 nautical miles away. Don’t forget to visit the lighthouse on the path that starts from the natural port of Porto Longo, as it offers a magnificent view of the surrounding landscape. Sapienza is a great alternative destination in Messenia, offering exciting exploration and hiking opportunities for nature and history lovers. Take a seat in one of the charming caiques sailing from Methoni and Finikounda and don’t forget to ask the captain to take a dip at Ammos beach.

River Rafting at Neda River

Messenia Travel Guide : Rating

On the slopes of Mount Lykaion, travelers will find the sources of the impressive Neda River. The only river with a female name is wild and calm, but above all beautiful. Neda Canyon is a rare and until recently unexplored corner of Greek nature. The constant changes of landscape, lush vegetation, huge stones from the rivers to the bright green water and majestic rocks make your trip a real challenge that delights travelers. The spectacular waterfalls of the River unexpectedly appear in its course, forming crystal clear lakes.It is really interesting that the waters of the Neda River follow a thirty-two kilometer path of natural wealth and finally reach the Ionian Sea. Mythology has it that Neda was the water nymph who nursed the infant Zeus and protected him from Kronos who ate his own children. Neda’s nymph turned into a river, and the long braids of her hair turned into beautiful waterfalls decorating the water passage in the gorge. Perhaps that is why the Neda Gorge is such a wonderful sight of the Messinian landscape. Without a doubt, the Neda River is one of the most exciting rivers in Greece as it remains a hidden gem.Whether you are a lover of extreme sports or not, it is essential to practice canyoning, hiking, rafting or trekking through this spectacular canyon. Explore Messinia’s rafting and hiking route starts in ancient Fygalia. Following the creek that leads to a totally unspoilt natural environment, avid travelers will trek among wild vegetation, centuries-old plane trees, narrow rocky passages and impressive ponds to discover a well-hidden natural paradise. Right next to the village of Neda, you will discover an enchanting portrait of nature with crystal clear waterfalls and blue ponds that spill into the main river and quickly follow its course towards the sea. The Neda River is one of the jewels of Greek nature as this region has managed to remain virgin and untouched by tourist development.Every summer, local clubs and naturalist groups organize trips to the Neda Gorge. Undoubtedly, the green landscapes, the turquoise waters and the majestic cliffs make crossing the gorge an unforgettable experience.

Town of Pylos

Messenia Travel Guide : Pylos Castle and Church

The enchanting seaside town of Pylos is situated on the southwest coast of the Peloponnese peninsula in the beautiful setting of the Messinian Lands and sprawls across the wide Bay of Navarino. The city of Pylos has a rich history dating back to the Mycenaean period until its final liberation by the famous battle. The city’s name borrowed its name from the neighboring Homeric Pylos of Nestor. Pylos Port is one of the largest and safest ports in the world, and the island of Sfaktiria off Navarino Bay serves as a natural breakwater. The presence of the conquerors is still visible today through the neoclassical architecture of some buildings.One of the monuments that visitors must visit is Niokastro Castle, one of the best preserved fortresses in Greece with beautiful pine trees and important monuments, offering a panoramic view of the entire town of Pylos. Within the castle grounds, visitors have the opportunity to admire the impressive Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior, which functioned as a mosque during Ottoman rule. Built in 1573, it played a key role in the famous Battle of Navarino. Pylos rests peacefully below Niokastro and resembles an island village. The city is built according to a special architectural design in the form of an amphitheater.Enjoy a refreshing coffee in the shade of the trees in the traditional cafes of the central square of Trion Navarhon with the imposing monument of the three admirals and the two cannons of the naval battle of Navarino, visit the Archaeological Museum of Pylos with an interesting collection of Finds from the Pylos area and the Museum of Underwater Antiquities, which houses important archaeological treasures from the shipwrecks of the Peloponnese. Also worth a visit is the two-storey house of Olympic champion Kostis Tsiklitiras, renovated in , which houses the remarkable collection of philhellene René Puaux. Before leaving, be sure to visit the island of Sfaktiria and the Bay of Navagio on an enchanting boat trip.

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