Location of Messinía
The map of the Peloponnese looks like a big hand with 3 fingers and a thumb. The leftmost, western finger is the province of Messinía, with Kalamata as its capital. The middle finger is called Máni. The northwestern part of the province of Máni also belongs to the province of Messinía.
Average maximum temperatures
Messinia has the mildest climate on the Greek mainland with many hours of sunshine. The mild climate and the many hours of sunshine ensure an extremely fertile landscape.
April and May are certainly the nicest months because the many plants and trees are in bloom, the sea is usually warm enough for swimming, and many mountain tops are still covered with snow. The summer months are pleasantly busy, because many Greeks also celebrate their holidays in this area.
The months of September and October are wonderful because the peace has then returned. The residents come out of their houses again to enjoy the wonderful weather. The sea is then wonderfully warmed up.
Messinia also lends itself well for the winter. The months of November to February are approximately comparable to the climate in southern Spain, Tunisia and Turkey. In the period from mid-November to the end of December, approximately 60% of the total annual rainfall normally falls.
You will find many olive trees in Messinía. The largest fruits of this are also available in the UK: the Kalamata olive. The small olives are pressed into olive oil. The proceeds from the olive groves are still the main source of income here
Activities in the area
There are many beautiful hiking trails in Messinia. Walking area par excellence.
Tip: the Polilimnio waterfalls, a beautiful area with many lakes and waterfalls.
Make free use of our Endaxi hiking guide. It is also possible to take a nice walk with Peter.
The entire area is perfect for exploring on a mountain bike. You must be practiced due to height differences. Bicycles can be rented in Finikounda.
The Costa Navarino Golf Courses lie between Pylos and Gialova, with a wonderful location in the middle of the greenery and by the sea.
Surf school Alpha Watersports is located on the beautiful wide Anemomilos sandy beach of Finikounda.
You can rent a boat at Finidivers in Finikounda, to sail to the beautiful hidden beaches such as Marathi & Tsapi or to go snorkelling.
Local skippers can usually be found in the port of Finikounda and offer boat trips to the beautiful islands of Schiza, Aghia Marina, and Sapientza.
Pylos cruises are located in the port of Pylos. You can rent a boat here or book a boat cruise.
In Kalamata at Messinia Sailing they have various options for sailing trips and fishing trips.
There are plenty of shopping options in Kalamata.
Sun, sea and beach
The entire coast of Messinia is dotted with beautiful beaches.
Deserted quiet bays or busier hip beaches with nice beach clubs. So plenty of choice for everyone.
The beach beds are often free of charge if you order a drink.
Villages and cities in Messinía
There are several nice villages and towns in the area. In the south you will find for example Methoni (Venetian harbor), Finikounda, Pylos with its bay of Navarino, Palace of Nestor and the square with beautiful plane trees. If you drive north, you will arrive in Chrani, Petalidi with its delightful square and Kalamata, the capital of Messinía, with the cathedral, the archaeological museum and the lively daily market.
Finikounda is a very popular seaside resort with the Greeks and foreigners. The buildings have remained small and picturesque. Finikounda lies between Methoni and Koroni.
From Zizani you drive through the olive groves and then you see Finikounda with the beautiful blue sea in the distance. This trip of about fifteen minutes is great every time, you imagine yourself in unspoilt and beautiful Greece.
Finikounda has an abundance of exceptional natural beauty and some of the best beaches in all of Greece. It is a very charming fishing village with a harbor and a private beach. The taverns are on the beach (eat with your feet in the sand!). Here you can enjoy the warm Greek hospitality, the local specialties (ask for it!) And of course the local wine. The atmospheric shopping street is pleasantly busy in the summer and the meeting place for the people of the village in the evening. There are several supermarkets, butchers, bakers and there are plenty of good and cheap taverns.
There are several beautiful long, wide sandy beaches around Finikounda with several beach clubs. On the Lambes beach there is even one with a swimming pool where you can spend the whole day enjoying a snack and a drink. The long, wide Anemomilos beach is perfect for surfing.
Local skippers, usually found at the port of Finikounda, offer boat trips to the beautiful islands of Schiza, Aghia Marina, and Sapientza.
Kalamata lies at the foot of the impressive Taygetos Mountains and is the capital of the Messinia department, it is a modern city. It is about 50 km from Zizani and you drive about an hour.
At Kalamata is the only airport of the Peloponnese. You can already find a Lidl supermarket close to the airport.
You can divide Kalamata into 3 parts; the boulevard with the harbor, the shopping center and the old town around the castle. A new cycle path runs along the boulevard of Kalamata, the cycle path runs along the entire boulevard to the center of Kalamata.
There is a nice shopping mall, you can go shopping well; there are jewelers, leather shops, shoe stores and clothing stores. There are also plenty of souvenir shops. The opening hours of the stores are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Kalamata is known for its juicy black olives, honey figs and sesame seed-covered sweets with the name “Pastelli”.
The city of Kalamata is dominated by its beautiful 13th century castle, where many cultural events take place. From the castle you can see the wide sea take in the beautiful beaches or focus on the deep green land. The castle is closed on Mondays. Just below the castle you will find the Ypapanti; the cathedral of Kalamata from 1839. The city has many churches, including Agii Apostoli from the 13th century. This is where the Greek Revolution against the Turks began on March 23, 1821.
The evening and night life often takes place along the boulevard in the many bars and taverns.
The charming picturesque harbor town is located in the extreme southwest of the province of Messinía on the Gulf of Messini. Koroni, together with Methoni, used to be called “The eyes of Venice”. It lies at the foot of a Venetian castle that was built in 1206.
The town itself (1830) is built against the hill and is attractively divided by narrow streets, which are connected by alleys and stairs, which ensure beautiful views of the harbor and the sea. The shutters and wrought-iron balconies on the houses provide an authentic Greek atmosphere. It has several beaches and a wonderful boulevard with many terraces and taverns.
Along the quay are many cozy restaurants and cafeterias and a nice boulevard. Ideal for a tasty fish lunch. It is more than worthwhile to walk through the narrow streets and alleys of Koroni and to look at the colorful houses with the beautiful balconies.
At the end of the boulevard is the fishing port with a long pier in the sea. From the pier there is a beautiful view of the coastline and the Taygetos Mountains. Old mansions and palm trees surround the square.
To the right of the fortress is the long Zaga (or Zanga) beach, favored by windsurfers due to the favorable south wind. The Zaga beach is a long and wide sandy beach with shady trees.
There is a large supermarket (Sipsas), just before Koroni. Just look up opening times
Eat or drink something on a terrace by the water, on the pleasant boulevard
You can take beautiful photos from the castle
Gialova is just beyond Pylos on the Navarino bay. Gialova is a pleasant village in a beautiful area. It is a popular holiday destination especially for golfers.
Between Pylos and Gialova is 1 of the 2 golf courses of the Costa Navarino Golf & Navarino Bay Golf Course. There is a beach promenade with taverns, restaurants, bars and shops. From the terraces you have a beautiful view of the bay and Pylos.
About 6 km further you will find the beautiful Voidokilia beach. This beach can be characterized as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Peloponnese. The sandy beach is located in a horseshoe-shaped bay along the southwest coast of Voidokilia and is a bit hidden and protected from strong winds from the south and north. Seawater in the bay is shallow for a long time and, in addition, crystal clear. A child-friendly sandy beach, however, there are no facilities on the beach. So bring plenty of food and drink and chairs and a parasol. There are no natural shady spots along and on the beach, so it can get quite hot. For the beautiful view of the bay of Voidokilia you can go to the Paleokastro fort on the south side of the beach.
Pylos (Pilos) is a cozy idyllic harbor town in the north of the bay of Navarino. Pylos is located on the slopes of two hills, at the bottom of the hill are the harbor and the marina. The view is breathtaking when you enter the city!
The elongated island of Sfaktiría is imposing and protective of the bay, making it one of the largest natural harbors in the Mediterranean. Many villagers from the surrounding villages come to the center. There is in the center and the streets around it have many nice shops.
The square in the center is called Platia ton Trion Navarchon and is surrounded by neoclassical houses. There are many cafés with terraces under the huge plane trees under which you can relax and enjoy the Greek life on and around the square.
Near Pylos, in the direction of Methoni, lies the impressive Castle of Pylos, the Neokastro. There is a small archaeological museum with beautifully polished fist axes from prehistoric times and a beautiful glass bowl from Roman times.
It is very nice to take Pylos as a stopover on your way to Gialova. You can then enjoy a Frappe among the Greeks at a terrace on the Plein. View the shops and continue on the road.
Methoni is a historic town in the southwest of the province of Messinía. It is approximately a 20-minute drive from Zizani. The bay and sandy beach of Methoni is a popular holiday destination in the summer. Methoni has a pleasant village center and lies between Finikounda and Pylos.
Here is one of the most impressive Venetian castles from the medieval period. The castle was built on a peninsula in the 13th century. If you come from Finikounda, you will see the peninsula with the imposing castle from very far away.
The Bourtzi tower at the end of the peninsula can be reached via the stone bridge. They built a minaret and a hammam in the fort. The fort forms a romantic beach decor. The inner garden, of the somewhat decayed fortress, is worth a visit (admission free, open daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.).
Opposite the fortress lies a cozy square on the beach with many terraces of the various cafes and taverns. There is also a children’s playground and an information kiosk. The natural harbor of Methoni attracts more and more sailors, the bay provides good shelter and the view is beautiful. From the harbor it is a short walk to the old town, so the many small shops there is still a cozy Greek authentic atmosphere.