Just like the entire Peloponnese, Messinia is a place that calls for endless explorations and road trips. The journey begins from Kalamata and Messiniaki Mani where you get a good taste of the Peloponnesian hospitality and exceptional gastronomy. In between, hiking lovers will have the chance to traverse the magical gorge of Rintomos, counting almost 19km, laced with small rivers, thick vegetation and steep rocks. Following the shoreline from Kalamata and Messini, the scenery changes a lot with numerous long, sandy coasts and traditional seaside villages that enjoy unobstructed views to the sea. Koroni will be your next stop, a stone-built village resembling a fortress town with slopy roads, small graphic alleys and a mystical aura. The castle of Koroni is thought to have been the most impenetrable castle of the entire Peloponnese.
Heading further to the south, Methoni will be your next destination; a small settlement whose coastline is adorned by its imposing castle that extends in the sea. Visitors can traverse the stone-built bridge and reach the outer part of the castle that literally dwells on the water. As you ascend the western coast of Peloponnese you will find yourself in Pylos, a calm and quiet seaside settlement that was the protagonist in the battle of Navarino but nowadays basks in the serenity of its setting. Visit the Archaeological Museum and head for a coffee or meal in one of its seaside restaurants that overlook the azure Ionian Sea.
Very near Pylos lies Gialova that is famous not only for its precious wetland and biotope but also for the popularity it got throughout the past decade from the nearby Coast Navarino resort. Gialova has been completely transformed from a traditional fishing village into a laid-back seaside settlement of understated luxury that hosts some of the world’s celebrities that stay at Coast Navarino facilities.
The mainland part of Messinia also boasts some hidden gems like the numerous wildlife shelters, the Archaeological sites of Messini, Polylimnio and numerous areas of untouched natural beauty as well as small, traditional villages.
BEST BEACHES IN MESSINIA
One of the most popular beaches of western Messinia (Mani), Kalogria is a charming sandy shore, mostly organized and surrounded by green slopes.
An ultra-scenic coast found at the end of a small road in Messinian Mani, Foneas is a hidden gem with white pebbles and lush surrounding vegetation, completely unorganized.
Found as soon as you reach Kardamyli, this is a long and wide coast with whitish pebbles and transparent, azure waters that is partially organized but almost never crowded.
The favourite hangout for youngsters in Kalamata and nearby areas as it boasts numerous beach bars and a large coast with sand and small pebbles, partially organized.
The coast of the homonymous small village right at the foot of Taygetos where the lush vegetation reaches the sea. White pebbles, a blue flag and a serene ambience!
Only 5km from Kalamata’s centre, Verga is a pebbled coast with tranquil, warm waters that attracts youngsters due to the many beach facilities it offers.
Maybe the most organized coast of Messinia, Mpouka is a 3,5km long sandy coast with turquoise waters, ample facilities and an utterly vibrant ambience.
In the homonymous settlement 20km western from Kalamata, Velika is a long and wide sandy coast of pristine natural beauty and a popular meeting point for locals and visitors alike.
Another popular summer resort, Petalidi is a beach with pebbly coast and sandy seabed that has preserved its natural charms and offers natural shade as well as easy access to nearby smaller beaches.
A graphic sandy coast with calm waters and a charming setting featuring steep slopes with cypress trees in the backdrop, ideal for families and those who need utter relaxation.
the coast of the homonymous popular summer resort, Foinikounta is a sandy coast with shallow, warm waters and many facilities that make it ideal for families with young children.
West of Foinikounta, you will come across a large and wide coast with golden sand and calm waters that deepen gradually making this coast also ideal for children.
Worldwide known for its peculiar size and the adjacent biotope of Gialova, Voidokilia is a heaven on earth with thin white sand resembling a circle that protects it from harsh winds and big waves.
Very near Voidokilia, the beach of Glossa on the Sfaktiria island is actually a small stretch of land that enters the sea, resembling a tongue (Glossa in Greek) and offers utter tranquillity.
Kalo Nero is part of the ultra-long western coast of Messinia which is actually a huge beach in itself. Golden sand and crystalline waters on a beach that never gets crowded.
Right at the border of Messinia the area of Elea features a sizable, wide coast surrounded by a lush pine forest ideal for naturists or just those who want to bask in the sun all day.