Culture & Heritage

Koroni Castle Ⓒ Shutterstock

Castle of Koroni

Inscribed in the list Filotis of “Landscapes of Special Natural Beauty” by the National Technical University of Athens, the history of Koroni goes far back in time. We find traces of ancient Koroni from the ancient geographer Pausanias who places it in an area close to its today’s actual place. During the 6th and 7th century the Byzantines built the castle of Koroni which was later fortified by the Venetians, who conquered the area in 1206. During this period Coron became one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean and was called “The Eye of Venice ”. In 1500 the fortress was taken over by the Ottomans. Apart from a short period under a return to Venetian rule (1686–1715) Koroni remained under the control of the Ottoman Empire until its liberation in 1828 by the French General Nicolas Joseph Maison. 

Being in the area, take an afternoon walk around the old fortress and discover its secrets. Don’t be surprised to discover that the castle is still inhabited. Walking around you will discover the Byzantine church of Aghia Sophia built upon the ruins of Apollo’s temple, the monastery of Aghios Ioannes Prodromos, the church of Aghios Charalambos (Saint Roch) and the town cemetery. Walking down to the other side of the castle you will find Panagia Eleistria church, which is the town’s protector. Take your time to relax and enjoy the beautiful view over Zaga-Memi beach. On your way back to the town center, wander around Koroni’s traditional streets and observe its architectural elements, a mixture of Messinian and Venetian tradition.

The fortress is open to its visitors. Free admission.

 

Castle of Methoni (26 km)

Considered as one of the most important fortifications to be found in Greece. The castle was famous during the medieval period, when Methoni, with its natural port, served as a commercial trade center and a stop for the pilgrimage route to the Holy Land. (13th-15th). 

Opening hours: 18 May-31 Oct 8:00-20:00, 1 Nov-31 March 08:30- 15:30

Tuesdays closed. Tickets: Full 2€, Reduced 1€, T. +30 27230 28758

Special ticket price: 15 Valid for 3 days for: Archaeological Museum of Chora, Archaeological Museum of Messenia, Castle of Methoni, Castle of Pylos, Kalamata Castle, Palace of Nestor


Pylos –  Niokastro & Archaeological Museum of Pylos (36 km)

Niokastro is an Ottoman fortress, located next to the town of modern Pylos, and is considered, along with Palaiokastro, the guard of the passage of the natural port of Pylos. Within the castle you will find the new Archaeological Museum of Pylos, as well as the exhibition of the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities. 

Opening hours:

18 May-31 Oct: 8:00-20:00, 1-15 Sept: 08:00-19:30, 16-30 Sept: 08:00-19:00, 1-15 Oct: 08:00-18:30, 16-31October: 08:00-18:00, 1 Νοv-31 March 8:30-15:30 

Tuesdays closed. Tickets: Full 6€, Reduced 3€. Valid for: Castle, Archaeological Museum Of Pylos, exhibition of the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities in Pashas building, exhibition of the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities in the Makrigiannis bastion, Church of Transfiguration of Christ. 

Special ticket price: 15 Valid for 3 days for: Archaeological Museum of Chora, Archaeological Museum of Messenia, Castle of Methoni, Castle of Pylos, Kalamata Castle, Palace of Nestor

T. +30 27230 22955

 

Pylos –  Palaiokastro (50 km)

Palaiokastro (old castle), or Castle of Gialova, or Palionavarino (old Navarino), rises on the top of the hill of the Korifasio peninsula overlooking and guarding the north entrance of the gulf of Navarino. It was erected during Frankish rule in Moria, on the ruins of the first acropolis of ancient Pylos. It has a unique view of Pylos but also of the entire lagoon of Gialova and the bay of Navarino.

Free admission. Partly accessible.

 

Palace of Nestor (59 km)

Home of the Homeric king Nestor, this ancient site is one of the most important Mycenaean sites in Greece, dated in the 13th century B.C. 

Opening hours: 18 May-31 Oct: 8:00-20:00, 1-15 Sept: 08:00-19:30, 16-30 Sept: 08:00-19:00, 1-15 Oct: 08:00-18:30, 16-31October: 08:00-18:00, 1 Νοv-31 March 8:30-15:30. Tuesdays closed. 

Tickets: Full 6€, Reduced 3€. Special ticket price: 15€ Valid for 3 days for: Archaeological Museum of Chora, Archaeological Museum of Messenia, Castle of Methoni, Castle of Pylos, Kalamata Castle, Palace of Nestor

T. +30 27630 31437 

 

Archaelogical Museum of Chora (59 km)

The museum hosts collections focusing on the Mycenaean civilization, particularly from the excavations at the Palace of Nestor and other regions of Messenia.

Opening hours: 18 May-31 Oct 9:00-16:00, 1 Nov-31 March 8:30 – 15:30. Tuesdays closed.

Tickets Full: €3, Reduced: €2

T. +30 27630 31358

 

The Ancient City of Messene & Museum (60 km)

Located in an unspoiled inland site it is a significant ancient city in terms of its size, form, and state of preservation that has never been destroyed or covered by later settlements. Visiting the ancient site you can discover the ancient theater, the gymnasium and stadium, the sanctuaries of Ithomi, the Asclepieion. Close to the archaeological site there is the museum of Ancient Messene which includes findings from the excavations. 

Opening hours: 18 May-31 Oct: 8:00-20:00, 1-15 Sept: 08:00-19:30, 16-30 Sept: 08:00-19:00, 1-15 Oct: 08:00-18:30, 16-31October: 08:00-18:00, 1 Νοv-31 March 8:30-15:30 

Tickets: Full 10€, Reduced 5€. 

Special ticket price: 15 Valid for 3 days for: Archaeological Museum of Chora, Archaeological Museum of Messenia, Castle of Methoni, Castle of Pylos, Kalamata Castle, Palace of Nestor

T. +30 27240 51201

 

Andromonastiro – Monastery of the Transfiguration of Christ (62 km) (near Ancient Messene)

Built in the late 12th-early 13th century, during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos, it is an inexhaustible source for the study of monastic life in the period between the 13th and the 19th century. A monastic complex with fortifications and defensive towers, that takes us to the everyday life of a 17th century Greek Orthodox Monk. Celebration day: August 6.

Opening hours: Monday-Friday : 08:30 – 14:30, Sat-Sun & Holidays 08:30 – 16:00

Tuesdays closed. Free admission

T. +30 27240 51201

 

City of Kalamata (50 km)

The Archaeological Museum of Messinia (Daily 8pm-8am, Tue 12:30-8pm, Tickets: 4€, 2€, check special tickets packages), the Castle of Kalamata (Daily 8pm-8am, Mon closed), Victoria’s G.Karelias Collection of Traditional Costumes (call for opening hours +30 2721 086923), Municipal Railway Park, Kalamata Farmer’s market, the old city and the sea-side.

 

Traditional Villages in the area

Charakopio, Mystraki, Kaplani, Vasilitsi, Finikounda, Methoni, Gialova, Pylos, Chora, Petalidi.

 

Local Fairs: 6 August, 15 August, 23 August

 

* check again opening hours before visiting