ExcursionsMount TaygetosAncient MessiniThe Palace of NestorPylosTemple of Apollo EpicuriusMystrasAncient OlympiaDiros CavesMani

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Mount Taygetos

Also known as the “male mountain”, Taygetos risesAlso known as the “male mountain”, Taygetos risesimposingly a few kilometers east of Kalamata. Itrises to 2,407 m and is about 115 km long. It is thenatural border between Messinia and Laconia andextends all the way to cape Taenaro (Matapan).Its rich vegetation mainly includes black pine treesand firs. Additionally, it has rich flora (over 700 plantspecies, 28 local endemic) and bird fauna (85 birdspecies, the most important being the golden eagle,the short-toed snake eagle, the Bonelli’s eagle, theperegrine falcon and many migratory birds).It is also known for its impressive canyons withdeep slopes, such as Vyros (which can be approachedthrough Kardamili) and Rintomo (thatends on the coast of Santova). The purely naturalbeauty of the mountain, and its unique ridge – oneof the longest alpine routes in Greece – have madeTaygetos a top destination for all year round mountainsports (hiking, climbing, mountaineering). Anotherpoint of reference is the Tourist Kiosk, situatedin the magnificent landscape of Alagonia, on theKalamata-Sparta route.Many picturesque villages lie on the Messinianslopes of Mount Taygetos; they have rich history,traditional buildings, important religious pilgrimagesand excellent natural surroundings.

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Ancient Messini - 45΄

One of the most important cities of the ancient world. It was founded in 370 BC and it came to light, mainly thanks to professor P. Themelis, after 1986. Excavations in the site have revealed a theater (3rd-2nd century BC), the Asclepieion, the Arsinoe fountain, sanctuaries, Roman mansions, the Stadium and the Gymnasium. The theater, which has undergone an exceptional restoration, reopened in 2013 after 1,300 years of “silence”, hence becoming a cultural oasis.
Tel.: 27240 51201 (archaeological site & museum)

Mystras - 60΄

A famous castle city (6 km from Sparta); one of its despots was Constantine Palaiologos, who later became the last Byzantine emperor. Against the ravages of time, the abandoned yet breathtaking city retains wonderful churches (Pantanassa, Agios Demetrios, Perivleptos etc.) with excellent murals, restored palaces, fortifications and mansions. The castle was built in 1249, following the invasion of the Franks in the Peloponnese. In 1262, it was handed over to the Byzantines, and in 1460 it fell to the Turks.
Tel.: 27310 83377, 27310 25363

The Palace of Nestor - 60΄

It is situated on the hill of Ano Eglianos (14 km north of Pylos) and is the best preserved Mycenaean palace discovered. The palace, the ruler of which is considered to be the wise king Nestor, flourished during 1300-1200 BC. The complex that had a total of 105 rooms was decorated with colorful murals, had a central sewage system and was surrounded by a fortified wall. It was destroyed by a fire around 1200 BC. During its excavation, 1,250 Linear B tablets came to light, as well as more findings that are kept at the Archaeological Museum of neighboring Chora.
Τel.: 27630 31437 (archaeological site), 27630 31358 (museum)

Pylos - 60΄

Pylos is situated on the southwestern tip of the Peloponnese, its harbor being a very safe anchorage, since the oblong Sfaktiria Island provides protection to Navarino Bay from the storms caused in the Ionian Sea. It was at this bay that the decisive battle that marked the liberation of Greece from the Ottomans took place in 1827 – between the fleet of the allied powers of Great Britain, France and Russia and the Ottoman-Egyptian fleet. Pylos has been developed into a tourist destination thanks to its quaint feel, the charming Niokastro (that dominates from above) and Palaiokastro (which rises on the opposite side), the beautiful coastline with Gialova and Voidokilia, as well as the presence of Costa Navarino, a unique tourist resort that includes luxurious accommodation, golf courts, sports facilities, as well as conference halls and caters for other recreational activities.

Ancient Olympia - 90΄

A world famous site and the birthplace of the Olympic Games, held since 776 BC. The site included the Temple of Zeus, which housed the chryselephantine (gold and ivory) statue of the god, sculpted by Phidias, and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Today, visitors can explore the ruins of the ancient sports facilities, the sanctuary sites, the public and accommodation spaces, as well as the museum that houses famous findings such as the Hermes of Praxiteles and the Nike of Paionios.
Tel.: 26240 22517 (archaeological site), 26240 22742 (museum)

Temple of Apollo Epicurius - 90΄

It sits at an elevation of 1,130 m at Bassae near Figaleia, in Messinia, but also quite near the border with Ilia and Arcadia. It was constructed around 420-400 BC, it is said that it was designed by Ictinus, one of the architects of the Parthenon, and it is one of the most important temples of the ancient world. The metopes coming from the wonderful frieze, today displayed at the British Museum in London, were depicting scenes from battles with the Amazons and the Centaurs.
Tel.: 26260 22254

Diros Caves - 90΄

Amongst the most beautiful accessible caves in the world, the cave of Glyfada was formed by many thousands of years of geologic activity. The labyrinth-like water corridors and the impressive stalactites and stalagmites reflected against the water, are creating a mysterious setting of unparalleled beauty. The tour inside the cave takes place in part by boat and in part on foot. The nearby Diros Neolithic Museum takes visitors through the story of the people that dwelled in the Diros caves a very long time ago.
Tel.: 27330 52222 (for the caves), 27330 52223 (museum)

Mani – up to 60΄

A place with unique traditional architecture. The arid mountain masses are the home of dozens of stone-house villages: war-towers, fortified houses, castles, churches and cobbled alleys. Untamed people have lived here with their own customs and lifestyle. They played an important role in Greek history – especially during the 1821 War of Independence. On the Messinian side the best known settlements are the charming Kardamyli (36 km from Kalamata) and the touristic Stoupa (44 km from Kalamata), while Areopoli, Vatheia and Limeni are dominating the Laconian side.

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