Last Summer Bliss
Ενημερώθηκε: Απρ 10
As we are approaching in the middle of October, Peloponnese is the ideal place to a last excursion. Kalamata, the capital of Messinia, has the spots to walk around and to spend your time pleasantly. Kalamata really dresses up for a night out. Bright lights, dance music, chic gatherings, racing engines and the curtain rises for the evening’s entertainment in the heart of the Peloponnese. Grab the opportunity and carpe noctem. You won’t get back to the hotel before the cocks crow.
Discover the city’s history, imprinted on every street and building. You’ll come across sights and attractions everywhere. You could start with the church of Ypapanti, which stands out in town with its belfries and silver domes. North of the church is the Municipal Odeon on Alexandraki Street. At the corner of Kyriakou and Agiou Ioannou streets, a neoclassical building houses the interesting Historical and Folk Museum. Further south, Othon square used to be the site of the central market.
The Municipal Gallery, in another neoclassical building, is on Papazoglou Street, almost directly across from the town’s Archaeological Museum. In March 23rd Square you’ll find the historic church of Agii Apostoli, which was built around a much older Byzantine church. Every step has a story.
In case you have time or on the way back to Athens, you may visit Methoni. The picturesque seaside new town of Methoni, famed for its low stone homes, one beside the other, with their lovely patios and fragrant flowers, will charm you and invite you to enjoy its beaches, cafes and restaurants.
Moreover, as soon as you set food on Methoni Castle with its 14 arches, flirting with the swell, you’ll be impressed by the castle and its imposing gate. A second and then a third gate lead you to the inside of the castle, where there was once a settlement. Among its remains is the pretty church, Transfiguration of the Saviour (Metamorphosis tou Sotiros), the Turkish Baths ( dating back to the 19th century), the house of Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt and the Bourtzi, founded by the Venetians in the 13th century and rebuilt by the Turks in 1500.
Another place worth visited is Gialova lagoon.
Equipped with binoculars and camera, you’ll follow the footpath that leads to the bird observatory. Gialova is an incredibly beautiful natural reserve in the Peloponnese, home to 250 species of rare birds – among them flamingos, swans and mallards. Particularly important is the presence of the African chameleon. Gialova is the only place in Europe where it survives and reproduces!
Moreover, don't miss to taste the best ice cream served at Mr. Yogie. The best and unique flavors can only be found in this place with the best decoration ever.
Make sure also to include Finikounda on your route and stop for lunch or a coffee.
Situated on a sheltered bay, surrounded by sandy beaches with shallow waters, it is ideal for families with small children. Its name derives from the Phoenicians who had trade links with the region, while the modern village was developed by Cretan immigrants around 1840.
Last but not least, Western Messinia has hidden gems. One which is worth to be visited is Sphakteria aka The island-protector.
On this wooded islet, monuments have been erected, dedicated to the dead of the Battle of Navarino. With the boats that take you to Sphakteria, you’ll see the small islet Helonaki (‘little tortoise’), with its monument to the British soldiers that fell in the battle.
And finally there is Pylos, the ‘Hostess’ of the Peloponnese.
The calm of today belies a troubled past in a city so synonymous with the Battle of Navarino. Now it rests peacefully, built in the shape of an amphitheatre below Neokastro, reminiscent of an island hamlet.
Enjoy a leisurely coffee in the shade at the traditional kafenia in the central square of Trion Navarhon with its exotic palm trees. Visit the Archaeological Museum. Take a stroll along the coastal road and then sit down for dinner at one of its many restaurants.
No matter what you decide to do during your weekend, make sure that will please your heart and soul and when you go back home, you will be full of memories and totally relaxed.
* All photos featured are taken by me