Peaceful nature, warm climate, verdant landscapes, fertile regions, sea with extended sandy beaches, Venetian castles and traditional villages compose the exceptional allurement of the wonderful prefecture of Messinia. During summertime or during wintertime, Messinia is always enchanting. Long, cool summers, the sweetest of springs, gentle autumns, and mild winters, many springs and abundant water, fertile soil, verdant mountains.
One of the best spots of the country, Messinia boasts of some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, charming port villages and impressive Venetian fortresses. It is a quiet, family-oriented destination that offers spectacular landscapes and affordable prices.
The capital city and port of Messina is Kalamata, renowned for its world famous olives. Above the town, Mt. Taigetos stands majestically and gracefully plunges into the crystal clear waters of the Messina Gulf below. Here you will enjoy visiting the castle, where in the summer cultural events like concerts and plays are put on by the Kalamata theatre and are held in its amphitheatre. The old town, churches, monasteries, libraries, picture gallery, the neoclassical buildings and the tobacco factory, as well as the archaeological and cultural museums are some of the most interesting sites to see.
Peer down from the lush hillside town of Gargaliani and you will be gazing upon a magical carpet of olive trees and vines that stretches to the sea. Hora is a village that was built on a hilltop and has preserved its old-fashioned appearance with narrow lanes and stone houses with tiled roofs.
Pilos is a pretty little town, which is also built on a hill, is one of the most attractive coastal villages in Greece. You’ll want to take photographs of the white houses and their flower-drenched courtyards. The main square is on the waterfront where most of the town’s life revolves around. Visit the numerous pastry shops and enjoy the sweets you’ve purchased under the shelter of the centuries-old plane trees. You can visit the TurkoVenetian fortress, the Mycenaean Palace of Nestor and the Paliokastro (Palionavarino) castle.
In the town of Methoni you will happen upon some enormous Venetian wells whose marble rims are furrowed by the pressure of huge ropes over the centuries. The town also boasts of a huge 13th century fortress surrounded on three sides by the sea and the fourth by a moat. Journey inside the fortress to discover an entire medieval town where you can literally spend hours wandering around.
The picturesque fishing village of Finikounda lies at the back of the bay with its caiques and drawn up and dotting its sandy shore. Savour the aroma and taste of the day’s catch at its taverns on the water’s edge. If you enjoy windsurfing, this village is one of the best destinations in Greece to do so, with its string of fine beaches. There are also many restaurants, hotels and campsites waiting to tend to your every need.
Follow the winding road, which are envelope by lush fields and you will eventually arrive at the little port town of Koroni. Its medieval atmosphere is imprinted in its old mansions, churches and castle. Relax along the still, translucent waters and sandy beaches.
The beaches round about Petalidi are shallow and sheltered from the wind, not to mention that banana trees surround it. Agia Theodora has to be seen in person, as it is the most interesting and impressive church in Ellada. It brags of 17 enormous holly and maple trees growing on its roof. Most of them are taller than 30 meters!
There are so many other villages, beaches and ancient buildings and sites that we only didn’t mention because of lack of space. But know that whatever part of Messina you choose, it will be a vacation that will be talked about with excitement for years to come. You will be awe-struck by its natural beauty and cultural wealth. So come, visit this unknown land and experience one of the oldest “cradles of man”.