Messinia has a fascinating history that goes back 4,500 years, as evidenced by
awesome palaces and vaulted tombs from the Mycenaean era, magnificent Classical temples,
evocative Byzantine churches and more than 33 well-preserved medieval castles.
World Heritage List sites, including famous Olympia, Mystras and the Temple of Apollo Epicurius, as well as Ancient Messini, one of the best preserved ancient cities built in 369 BC, the Palace of Nestor and the marvelously preserved medieval town of Monemvasia, are all within driving distance.
Messinia enjoys pristine coastlines - among the longest in Greece, secluded bays and endless sandy beaches. A total of seven different areas have been designated EU Natura sites. The Gialova lagoon, Greece's southernmost major wetland, has been declared an Important Bird Area, providing shelter to 271 bird species, many rare, and the only refuge in Europe of the African chameleon. Gialova lagoon is surrounded by the natural bay of Voidokilia, one of the best beaches in the world, which is also an archaeological site, making it a unique ecotourism destination.
Enjoy a round of golf at Costa Navarino’s highly acclaimed courses, which are among the best in Europe. Play the seaside Dunes Course, designed by former US Masters champion and Ryder Cup Captain Bernhard Langer, in association with European Golf Design, or the nearby Bay Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., directly over historic Navarino Bay with sublime views. At the state-of-the-art Navarino Golf Academy, players of all levels can benefit from multi-lingual coaching from experienced PGA Professionals and a full service Clubhouse is operating.
Enjoy scuba diving or snorkeling, in an area once frequented by notorious pirates such as Katoulias of Proti Island. Swim alongside the rare Caretta caretta sea turtles and spot some intriguing fish. One of largest Dive Resorts in Europe and the Middle East is operating, in Costa Navarino, operated by Aqua Divers Club. All courses offered, including introductory programs, lead to PADI certification. The training takes place either in the hotel’s swimming pools or in protected bays, ideal for beginners. Special programs for children aged 8+, are also available.
All around Navarino, Messinian villages are alive with the sounds and rhythms of everyday life. Throughout the region, locals carry on the long lasting traditions in agricultural production, gastronomy and crafts. In Messinia, there are more panygiria, or fiestas, than anywhere in Greece, where authentic local dishes, based on the famous Kalamata olive oil, are cooked lively and offered generously to everyone. Almost every week locals and visitors dance, eat, sing, and drink to celebrate a saint’s day or the fertility of the land, in village squares, in tavernas, or in homes.
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