MESSINIA

MESSINIA

MYSTICAL MESSINIA!

Messinia, a ravishingly remote corner of the southwestern Peloponnese Peninsula, and the most southerly extremity of mainland Greece.

An amazing area, it affords all you could wish for in a holiday destination, brilliant beaches, enchanting villages, ancient ruins, Venetian castles, vast olive groves and vineyards, gorgeous green valleys, mountains, gorges and intimate coves. You will be struck by mile after mile of olive trees, silvery leaves that flicker in the breeze, trunks twisted into surreal shapes, they cover the plains and hillsides from Kalamata, the principle town of the region, to Pylos, for this is the largest grove in the whole of Greece and accounts for much of its extra virgin oil and famous purple olives.

Pylos, historically also known by its Italian name, Navarino, from the days when the area formed part of the Venetian Republic. It is the main harbour on the Bay of Navarino. As with most of Greece, the area teems with history and archeological sites and many are mentioned in Homers epic poem, The Iliad, such as The Palace of Nestor. Over 3,500 years old but still remarkably well preserved.

One of the most impressive of the monuments is the Methoni Castle, built in the 13th century by the Venetians to oversee safe passage for pilgrims heading for the Holy Land during the crusades. Located on a rocky promontory jutting out into the sea, it is reputed to be one of the largest castles in the Mediterranean and is definitely worth a visit. Inside its massive walls lies the remains of a Turkish mosque, a Hammam (washhouse), a web of underground passages and spooky chambers waiting to be explored. The whole place looks like something out of a filmset.

However, not all of Greece’s history is from ancient times. In the 19th century, during the Greek War of Independence, the Bay of Navarino witnessed a famous naval battle which would ultimately bring the Greeks victory over the Ottomans. It is said to have occurred almost by accident, as the combined navies of Britain, France and Russia only sailed into the bay to give the Ottoman fleet a scare. Unfortunately, a shot was fired by a nervous Turkish recruit and the combined canon of the great powers thundered back! By dusk they had sunk 53 ships and 6,000 sailors had gone down with them. Not a single allied ship was lost and only 174 men died. The wrecks are said to still be visible through the crystal clear water of the bay.

Greece is also renowned for its sensational swathes of sunkissed sands and there is none more sensational than Voidokilia Beach, a crescent shaped expanse of soft white sand sandwiched between towering sandstone cliffs and backed by an enormous lagoon it is claimed by many to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Despite Messinia’s many alluring attributes, it has somehow managed to escape the attention of the mass tourist market. Holidays here focus on relaxation and soaking up the laidback local ambiance.

Golf in Messinia or to be more specific, Costa Navarino, is the result of one man’s dream, Vassilis Constantakopoulos, or Captain Vassilis as he was affectionately known. A sea Captain turned shipping magnate, the Captain was born and bred in Messinia. Costa Navarino was a long held dream of the Captain, whose vision was to preserve, promote and give something back to the land of his birth by attracting tourists, particularly golfers from throughout the world, to experience the natural beauty, history and traditions of his native land. By the way, he also commissioned two sublime golf courses that have not only put golf in Messinia onto the world map, but also elevated Greece into an emerging golfing destination.

Messinia entices with a mesmerizing mix of memorable moments, the perfect canvas for an exceptional golfing holiday. Whether you are seeking golf galore, a cultural crusade, a lazy, relaxing break watching the world pass you by or all, you’ll find the perfect place is…

MYSTICAL MESSINIA!