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Fairytale Messinia: All the Greek charm you can get in one area!

Kalamata

Fascinating history and magnificent archaeological sites, one of a kind landscapes of the Messinian shores under the shadow of the great Taygetus, a “feminine” river, an epic naval battle that changed the flow of Hellenic history, a beach named after cattle’s stomachs and two iconic castles. Messinia Prefecture looks like a fairytale and waits for you to explore it! Kalamata Capital of Messinia and one of the most beautiful cities in Greece, Kalamata lays at the foot of Taygetos, where the ancient city of Fares was once situated. This is truly a well-planned city, where a casual walk can lead you through cobbled streets with flowered balconies to the central square and, from there, down to the famous beach of Kalamata. Kalamata has a pure youthful spirit and fresh energy, with strong artistic and cultural concerns. You can catch Kalamata International Dance Festival during the summer, as well as many other interesting acts and performances, always at the epicentre of everyday life. Kardamyli - Taygetos The beautiful seaside Kardamyli is the jewel of Messiniaki Mani, a spot of rare natural beauty. The town itself speaks volumes for the existence of Homeric Peloponnese, with a strong presence of medieval characteristics. This is where multiple exploration routes begin, with Taygetus being the principal one, excursions full of lush vegetation, fresh air and exhilarating mood. If high altitude is not your cup of tea, you can follow other paths of equal beauty, through the Gorge of Vyros.

Polylimnio

As you continue wandering, you cannot miss a stop at Polylimnio. Follow the signs and you will reach the end of a path. You can already see the first lakes that get more and larger as you find your way through the lush path. Destination: The waterfalls!

Ancient Messini

Ancient Messini is situated north of the modern town, at the foot of mount Ithomi, near the village of Mavromati. There it is then, you have just encountered one of the best preserved ancient cities of Greece, with architectural remains dating back to the 4th century B.C. Quite interesting, don’t you think?

Koroni-Castle

As you reach Koroni, you’ll be surprised by the way the pretty little houses are laid full of flowers, secret alleys and idyllic cobbled streets. The famous Castle of Koroni still has been standing proud since the 6th century A.D., an excellent example of Venetian architecture. Inside the fortifications, you can still see some of the remaining houses and churches of old times. On your way, rest your body and soul at the magical beach of Finikounda and continue up to Methoni.

Methoni – Sapienza

If you think the Castle of Koroni is worthy, we see you and raise you the Castle of Methoni! One of the most characteristic examples of a medieval castle town, Methoni once covered an enormous piece of land. The castle gate is accessible through an arched bridge. Once you’re inside, you can find another bridge attached to Mpourtzi, the famous islet that houses an iconic octagonal tower. Starting from Methoni, you can find yourselves to two important ecosystems: Take the ship to isle Sapienza and have a wonderful daytrip among rare plants and wild animals or make your way to Pylos and stop at Gialova lagoon, one of the most important Greek wetlands, NATURA-protected.

Pylos-Niokastro

Pylos or Navarino, the city that sits at the pantheon of Greek history due to the heroic naval battle that defined the history for Greece, nowadays remains charming and mesmerising, pretty much like an island. Of interest here is Niokastro, the “New Castle” of Pylos, built by the Turks in the 16th century and one of the most beautiful castle of the country. Highlight of your time around Pylos is Voidokilia beach, meaning “Cattle’s stomach”. No words can describe this particular beach, where golden stripes of sand interrupt the shallow blue sea, creating a tiny Caribbean-like archipelago.

Neda

Neda is one of the few rivers in Greece named after a woman. A destination that was quite undiscovered up until now, Neda has been climbing up the ladder of tourist popularity. Yet, it refuses to lose its magical, almost mystical atmosphere that surrounds it. The most courageous can follow the whole path (32 kilometres) through lakes, plane and oak trees, always following the river. Remember to wear proper outfit and shoes, bring snacks, water and waterproof equipment and.. you’re ready! You can always skip the long path and get really close by car. Either way, you will find the mighty Neda waterfalls! Just dive into the cold water and you’ll remember it for as long as you live!  

Article and photos by www.travelkiki.com

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