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Messinia - Towns and Sites


KALAMATA
Capital and chief port of the prefecture is the muchsung Kalamata. Of succulent black olives andhoneyed figs. The town is dominated by the 13th century castle above it, built by Geoffrey de Villehardouin. On the north side of the citadel there is a small Byzantine church, dedicated to the Virgin of Kalomata (of the good eye), from which the town may have acquired its name. From the castle you can survey the expanse of sea below with its sandy and pebbly shores or turn your gaze upon the deep green plain, the "happy land" of the ancients. The old city is spread out underneath the castle. This is where the Byzantine church of the Virgin Ypapanti and the convent of the Kalograies are situated.
Kalamata
KORONI
Its medieval atmosphere is imprinted in its old mansions, its churches and its castle.
Still, diaphanous water, sandy beaches and opposite the little island of Venetiko with its enchanting beach.
From its hilltop site the Venetian citadel crowns the town.
A proper eagle's nest, with thick walls and massive gates, it cuts a powerful and magnificent figure.
Below the fortress in a little palm grove is a small building housing Koroni's collection of historical and archaeological artefacts.
The beauty of the area, unchecked, unbroken, is a constant surprise.
VOUNARIA
A picturesque quiet village that has preserved its old-fashioned appearance. A tranquil, carefree sanctuary with very lovely sandy shores and emerald waters.
Methoni Castle
METHONI
A the southernmost tip of the west coast of the Peloponnese lies Methoni. In the town are some enormous Venetian wells whose marble rims are furrowed by the pressure of huge ropes over the centuries.
Homer called Methoni "rich in vines". You enter the castle by crossing a massive bridge, impressed by the gigantic walls, imposing bastions and monumental gates.
To the south another bridge unites the citadel with the Bourtzi, a fortified islet with case mates and towers.
PETALIDI
It juts out from the head of a little bay.
The sandy or pebbly beaches round about are shallow and sheltered from the wind.
And surrounded by banana trees.
What would you remember first about this place?
Here, there, everywhere are souvenirs and expensive gifts.
FINIKOUNDA
It's a beautiful fishing village at the back of a bay.
Caiques and fishing boats are drawn up all along its sandy beach, while its taverns serve their fresh catch to little tables at the water's edge.
PILOS
It's a pretty little town built up a hill on the south coast of the bay of Navarino. The bay, in the shape of a horseshoe, is bounded on the western side by the island of Sfaktiria. On the north side of the bay is the ancient Pilos, now called Pila. Snow-white two-storey houses with courtyards drenched in flowers. The arcaded streets make you think you've been transported to an island. The main square ringed with pastry shops is sheltered by humongous, centuries-old plane trees.
Pilos
KIPARISSIA
The town sits as if wedged into the base of its fortress, its lower districts reaching as far as the sandy shore lapped by the lonian sea.Round about the castle is a plain planted with olive trees and grapevines. The sea opens into an infinite expanse of azure. They say that the view of the sunset from the castle is one of the most splendid in the world.
KARDAMILI
A wonderful seaside town, near the Virou gorge with a very lovely sandy beach. A castle used to be situated on the nearby hill, dating back to the 12th century, ruins of which are in evidence. Nearby is also one of the oldest churches in Greece, that of Agios Spiridon dating back to the 6th century.
STOUPA
A lovely seaside town with many tavernas (fresh fish served daily in the summer). With warm shallow waters, it is rather busy with tourists and locals alike.

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