Explore the unique area of Messinia
Messinia is a region in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese. The natural beauty of Messinia with the indented shores, golden sand beaches, crystal clear waters, forested mountains and olive groves, coexists with rich archaeological monuments and reveals the genuine image of the Greek countryside.
Messinia became part of independent Greece as a result of the Greek War of Independence (1821-1832). The famous naval Battle of Navarino took place near Pylos in 1827, and was a decisive victory for Greece and its allies. What it meant to be a warning for the Turkish ships to leave the bay, results with those ships still there to this day and can be seen in the clear waters.
Pylos is also the home of the African Chameleon and in fact it is the only place they can be found in Europe. There are only 300 individual chameleons left and they are endangered.
Unspoiled by tourism the area still has many mysteries to unveil. Where the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea meet the castles and their history, you will discover one of the hidden gems of Greece.
There are several location you cannot miss. Like the famous Voidokilia beach, which is not only a spectacular beach and wildlife area but a place of great historical value with evidence of habitation from the Neolithic period. It is also the location of what is known as Nestor's cave.
Behind Voidokilia beach, you will find Gialova Lagoon, a combination of salt and fresh water. A migration hotspot where you can encounter Greater Flamingo, White-winged Tern, Kentish Plover and Collared Flycatcher.
You can also visit the Mycenean Palace of Nestor one of the best preserved of all Mycenean palaces. Many of the frescos and artifacts found here are now in the archeological museum in Chora. More impressive than the Palace of Nestor is the ancient olive grove which surrounds it with trees that are several hundred years old.
The fifteen consecutive lakes of the imposing Polylimnio Waterfalls, will be the perfect place to refresh during the hottest days of the summer. With emerald waters and different trekking paths, you will discover the beauty of the Messinian forest.
Our Region Sea Life
Due to the surrounding landscapes, the Ionian Sea is well oxygenated and full of life. In these waters live a great variety of fish, amphibians and cetaceans.
Messinia is the place that the second largest reproductive population of Caretta-Caretta sea turtle of the Mediterranean calls home.
Sea turtles are reputed to be strongly home-loving, and always return to the same beach where they were born to lay their eggs. Sea turtles are an endangered species and they need the help of us all. They are severely threatened by development, both legal and illegal, around and on their nesting beaches.
You can find few different species of dolphin. The Striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) has a length of 2 meters and long beak, along with the dark bluish-black stripe running across the entire length of the body, which their take the named after it.
You can also find the common dolphin around the Ionian waters. Their length is 2 meters, and have a downward V-shaped dark mark under the dorsal fin. There are two recognized forms: The Common dolphin (Delphinus capensis) and the Short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis). They prey on schooling fish and squid. They have been known work in teams when hunting.
MEDITERRANEAN MONK SEAL
And one of our favorite, the Mediterranean Monachus monachus. Unfortunately there are only 450-520 individuals remaining, it’s the world's second-rarest seal and the most endangered mammal in the world. It is present in parts of the Ionian Sea. The monk seal, one of the largest seals in the world, grows up to an average of 2.4 meters adult size. They live up to 45 years old and their reproductive maturity is reached at around age four.
Pregnant monk seals typically use inaccessible undersea caves to give birth now instead of lonely beaches, resulting in high mortality of pups due to extreme conditions. There is no breeding season, since births take place year round, but there is a peak in October and November. They feed on a variety of fish and mollusks, octopus, squid, and eat up to 3 kg per day.