Welcome to Messinia, the southwest end of Peloponnese is a region of magic and beauty. With outstanding archaeological sites, stadiums and theatres, fortresses and castles, churches and monasteries, overwhelming landscapes with forests, lakes, rivers, caves, gorges and wonderful sandy beaches, is a destination not to be missed but well worth exploring.
Visit the numerous archaeological sights some of which being the Ancient city of Messini with its solid fortification system well maintained till date, the castles of Methoni and Koroni, and tour around the traditional villages of Pylos, Kardamili or Kiparissia situated at the mainland as well as its coast. In the area some of the most profound luxury hotels of the country are situated at spots of magnificent natural beauty, to offer high quality services along with excellent conference facilities. The natural beauty of the region and the diversity of the landscape offer a number of outdoor activities in the country side as well as the coast.
Currently the prefecture of Messinia is a destination for all forms of tourism; agro tourism, religious tourism, sports tourism, cultural tourism and environmental tourism, thermalism tourism, golf tourism with a variety of areas to admire and explore as part of one’s summer or winter holidays. Suitable for relaxing, as well as educational, historical and cultural holidays, Messinia satisfies each and every visitor, bringing past and present together in a seamlessly simple way.
Messinia and its capital city Kalamata can be accessed by air or road. Kalamata house the sole airport of Peloponnese connected with the city of Athens as well as some other destinations in Greece, Russia and the UK. Regular bus services connect the capital city and the villages of the prefecture with Athens and Thessaloniki. However the most convenient way to explore the area is by renting a car in order to reach the remote and picturesque villages and discover at one’s own pace the magic natural beauties of its mountains and coast.
Sightseeing & Monuments
Ancient Messini is an immense archaeological site almost intact in time, founded by Epaminondas in 369 B.C., right after his victory over Spartans, as the capital city of the independent state of Messinian and flourished during the Macedonian and Roman years. The city was protected by an excellent fortification system consisting of a 9km long thick wall with four massive gates with two-storey watchtowers and battlements, along with an Acropolis. The stones used to make the surrounding walls of the city are not only surprisingly bulky but also so tightly arranged to make Ancient Messini considered as one of the finest examples of military architecture of the 4th century BC, also explaining how the whole defensive system is so well maintained. Within the premises of the ancient city lies the Temple of Asklipios and its Conservatoire as a place of rhetorical demonstrations and assemblies, the Temple of Artemis, the Sanctuary of Zeus where the is statue as a child was found, a couple of theatres and a stadium, all wait for you to visit and admire the long history of the area.
The historical castles of Koroni and Methoni facing the east and the west side of the Messenian cape, share a similar history. Initially used as fortresses by the Byzantines, the two castles went under the occupancy of Venetians and Turks till their liberation by a French general. The caste of Koroni nowadays houses the Byzantine Temple of St Sofia, St Charalabos and Eleistria, while the castle of Methoni is a house for remains of a Byzantine Temple, Turkish baths and residence ruins, the Temple of Metamorphosis of Savior, as well as reservoirs and relic of cemetery of British captives during the World War II.
Things To Do
Messinia, blessed with natural beauty, forests, mountains, rivers, lakes and caves, provide endless opportunities for outdoor activities. Hiking, cycling, mountain and rock climbing, canoeing and kayaking, caving, bird watching as well as windsurfing, sailing, yachting and diving, even jeep safari and a huge golfing course, can all be found in Messinia. Close to the village of Gargaliani lie the sulphurous springs of Vromoneri, ideal for healing the thermalism tourism. Mervelous beaches surround the prefecture some of which being Petrohori, Kalamitsi, Gialova, Aghia Triada, Petalidi, Gargaliani etc. as some of the most distinctive destinations for summer holidays. Finally, discover the olive roads of Messinia through organized trips during the period of harvesting in order to get an insight on the collection and processing methods of olives along with the production of oil at traditional stone mills and discover how olive oil soap is produced.
Messinia with its excellent soil, the mild climate along with the tradition of cultivation going back in centuries, is the birthplace of some of the most exquisite national products. The local variety of Kalamatan olives still harvested with old methods is a national protected product of designation origin, thoroughly exported worldwide. The Messinian vineyards cultivated for hundreds of years produce grapes not only as part of the winemaking process followed for millennia to produce fruity wines with strong aroma and colour, but also for the production of vinegar and raisins. The area is also well known for its fig production which can be found ether fresh to be eaten as fruits or dried as a healthy snack, likewise pasteli, a bar made of locally produced honey and sesame, considered as superior to others around the country. Additionally, in coastal areas fresh fruits and vegetables are grown, such as tomatoes, potatoes, peas, cucumbers, squash, melons, aubergines, peppers and watermelons. Last but not least, traditional diary and bakery products, fresh herbs as well as fruit spoon sweets are well available to local taverns and shops waiting for you to taste them.
Useful Telephone Numbers
Kalamata Railway Services: +30 27210 95006
Kalamata Bus Services: +30 27210 26428
Kalamata Police: +30 27210 44600
Kalamata Tourist Police: +30 27210 24680
Kalamata Hospital: +30 27210 85203