Sightseeing and excursions

Boat trip to the island of Sapientza and Marathi

Meeting point is the getty of Finikounda, where the boat trip starts at morning. Captain Kostas with his caique with the orange colored sun sail takes you along the coast to the island of Sapientza (about 50 minutes) and from there along the south side of the small island of Agia Mariani to the calm and beautiful beach of Marathi, where you will take a two and a half hour break to swim. From there Kostas will take you along the coast back to Finikounda where you will arrive around afternoon. Please take snacks with you as they are not provided. Kostas will provide water melon on the beach.


Walk to the tower underneath Akritohori

The tower was built by the Venetians during the 13th century and was used as a look out. Signals were relayed to the castle "Grizi" in Grizokambos. Go to the eastern end of "Loutsa" beach (3 km east of Finikounda) and enter the small path that starts from there. It will lead you to the tower. Walking time starting from the beach: approximately half an hour.


The rock graveyard of Holy Onoufrios

On the foot of the Podarina Heights near Methoni lies the Christian graveyard with almost 50 graves carved into the rock. The graveyard dates from the 4th to 5th century a. D. and is named after the monk Onoufrios. There used to be six chambers, the top of the columns of which are still visible in part. During Byzantine times the cemetery was used as a place for ascesis and there are some wall paintings dating from the Paleologos times. Reaching the football field of Methoni, turn right towards Pylos. After 900 meters you will see a little chapel on the left side of the road. Park your car there and follow the unpaved path uphill, passing the water cistern a bit further up. About 50 m after the cistern the road turns into a goat track, a bit further there is a tree growing out of the side of the hill on your left. Go on for about 15 more meters and climb to the next level. From there you will already see the fence of the cemetery. On its left there is a hole which you can slip through.


Walk to the little chapel of the Prophet Ilias

This little church is located on the tip of the Koulouras peninsula between our campsite and "Lambes" beach which belongs to the village of Finiki. Drive (or walk) about 2,2 km towards Methoni on the national road and just before the tip of the hill before Lambes beach turn left into a dirt road. Follow this road south and you will arrive at the chapel, enjoying beautiful views of the sea and "Lambes" beach. From the national road you will need approximately half an hour to get to the church on foot. The chapel is usually open so you can enter and look around. Around the church there is a built bench that is ideal for a quiet rest.


Koroni - The "queen" of Messinia

Koroni and Methoni were called "The eyes of Venice". The architecture of Koroni invokes a Greek island feeling and the view of the Messinian Bay and the Taigetos mountains is quite impressive. Koroni is crowned by its castle, which you can enter at any time of the day as there is no entrance that closes. The best way is to enter from the top using the entrance near the old town hall and then walk along the church overlooking Zaga Beach (foto), the cemetery and the little monastery, exiting towards Koroni. Take your camera for a photo of Koroni port framed by the bow of the gate that opens toward Koroni.


Methoni - Visit the historical castle

Methoni is only eight minutes away by car and can easily be reached by bicycle provided you have trained a bit at home. The main attraction of Methoni is its castle, which, due to the fact that it has been neglected during the past years, has a particular charm to it. During the past the castle has had changing owners: Venetians, Turks and Greeks). Some of its exterior walls have started to slide into the sea, so you want to watch your step. In spring season the castle area is dotted by wild flowers and wild garlic. Don’t forget to cross over the causeway to the "Bourtzi", and get an impression of this sea tower which at one time was used as a prison.


Pylos - Discover the history of this beautiful town

Do not miss a trip to the lovely town of Pylos. Sit under the old trees on the main square to sip an iced coffee, visit the castle or take a boat trip of the bay with one of the water taxis. Pylos is 15-20 minutes away by car, You will find a lot of shops, banks, a post office, doctors and an optician there. On the main square the obelisk commemorating the admirals of the Battle of Navarino in which 16.000 men died and 53 Turkish ships were destroyed. Just before entering Pylos, the castle is somewhat hidden in a pine tree to the left of the main road. The castle was built in 1572 by the Turks, was taken over by the Venetians later and fell back to the Turks. During World War 2 it was used as a prison by the Italians. During summer, there are sometimes concerts being held in the yard of the Acropolis. Especially during full moon nights this is an unforgettable experience. Inside the castle there is a small museum that displays mainly paintings of important personalities of the independence war and weapons. Pylos has also a small archaeological museum on Filellinon Street


Voidokoilia

This famous omega shaped bay north of Pylos can easily be reached by car. North of Gialova you will see several road signs leading to Voidokoilia. Ignore those and follow the one that says Romanou – Petrohori – Voidokoilia!


Paleokastro and Nestor's Cave

Climbing up from the beach of Voidokoilia you can reach the old castle of the Franks (built 1287-1290), visiting Nestor’s Cave on the way. According to Homer King Nestor kept his cattle here ((Vodi=cattle, koilada=valley, Voidokoilia=cattle valley). The cave is about 40 m deep and has some stalaktites. Daylight enters the cave from above through a hole in the rock. Not much more than the exterior walls remain of the old castle, but it nevertheless worth a climb for the spectacular view! Please note that you need to climb over uneven terrain, so good shoes and a good physical condition are a must. Do not take small children.


Nestor's Palace

The archaeological site of Nestor’s palace is located on the road from Pylos to Kyparissia. Near the parking lot there is a large tholos tomb.


The Museum of Chora

The museum is located in Chora, 3 km north of the site of Nestor's Palace and displays interesting findings of the tholos tomb and the palace.


Ancient Messini

To reach Ancient Messini turn towards Meligala at the traffic roundabout in Messini (where the Lidl supermarket is). Drive towards Meligala for about 15 km and turn left at the sign for Ancient Messini. You will reach the little village of Mavromati and see the site below to your left. Drive through the village and turn left towards the site itself where you can park. The site very well maintained with information signs; it is open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset. There is no entrance fee. At the exit of the village towards the site there is a museum too. After your tour, do not forget to sit down in the central restaurant overlooking the site from above and sip a cool drink or enjoy lunch with a fabulous view.


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