Summer Road Trip: Pylos

Explore Navarino Bay, the lagoon and small seaside town of Gialova, as well as the castles of Methoni and Koroni.


The addition of Costa Navarino to an area with glorious history and beautiful beaches resulted in the fame of Pylos and Messinia spreading worldwide. There are plenty of opportunities for excursions and trips in the surrounding area. Explore Navarino Bay, the lagoon and small seaside town of Gialova, as well as the castles of Methoni and Koroni.

Roads of castles and palaces

The rich history of Pylos makes the area quite interesting from an archaeological perspective. Its glorious past is present in the Palace of Nestor, a reference point of the Mycenaean period, located 18km away from Pylos and overlooking the entire Bay of Navarino. The first findings came to light in 1939, and today’s visitors can wander through the large throne room and the baths, admiring vases and inscriptions.

The Niokastro fortress dominates atop a hill above Pylos, built in the 16th century by the Ottomans. It is one of the best-preserved castles in Greece. Driving south, Methoni takes the stage with the much-photographed octagonal Bourtzi, and to the east, Koroni; they are known as the “two eyes of Venice,” as the castles have been known over the centuries.

Roads of swims

The most famous beach in the area is Voidokilia, located 17km north of Pylos. Its fame is not accidental, as the bay, resembling a perfect half moon, has crystal-clear waters, fine sand, and resembles an exotic Caribbean setting. The beach, which during the summer months is literally flooded with visitors, is unserviced and forms part of the protected Natura 2000 area, also due to the Gialova lagoon located just behind it.

At the southern edge of the lagoon, the beach of Divari, also known as Golden Beach, stretches along and boasts turquoise shallow waters. North of the lagoon, you can swim at Almyrolaka and Aghios Nikolaos, ideal choices if you seek tranquility and want to avoid the crowds. A little before reaching Costa Navarino and even further north, you will find Romanos beach, featuring a beach bar, sunbeds, beach umbrellas, fine sand, and a few pine trees for shade.

Roads of refreshment

The central square of Pylos is located next to the sea and is filled with large plane trees that generously offer shade, ideal for enjoying a coffee in the morning or afternoon. Dominating the square is the Monument of the Three Admirals, Codrington, De Rigny, and Heiden, who were the heads of the British, French, and Russian fleets, respectively, during the Battle of Navarino.

Roads of taste

The brand-new Navarino Agora (Costa Navarino, Tel. (+30) 27230.950.00), a beautiful open space for visitors, houses shops, a weekly local market, options for coffee, food, drinks, as well as an open-air cinema and cultural events. The inspiration for its design comes from both the ancient agora and traditional village squares as meeting points. There are plenty of diverse dining options, from Peruvian and Lebanese cuisine to the Oyster Bar and Ouzeri, an eatery created by Papaioannou.

On the pedestrian street of Gialova, the restaurant Anama (Tel. (+30) 698.225.7869) is located by the sea and is housed in a stone building. Modern industrial design is combined with an original and creative menu, bearing the signature of chef Chrysanthos Karamolegos. From shrimp with piri piri and grilled squid marinated in lime, basil, chili, and coriander, to pasta with shrimp and white bougatsa (Greek custard pie with filo pastry), the menu is full of surprises that change according to the season.

 

For Italian flavors, look for La Cucina Italiana (Gialova, Tel. (+30) 27230.233.01), also by the sea. Classic recipes such as vitello tonnato, carbonara, and amatriciana are prepared with high-quality ingredients and served in generous portions. At Elia (Gialova, Tel. (+30) 27230.235.03), try the grilled meats and handmade appetizers, and at Notre Maison (Gialova, Tel. 27230.222.55), taste traditional cooked dishes, such as lamb with wild artichokes or lemon-flavored veal.



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