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Pylos: The largest natural harbor in Peloponnese


Pylos is a small picturesque seaside town, located in the southwest of Messinia. It is 52 km from the city of Kalamata and has about 2.500 residents. Pylos is built amphitheatrically in the southern opening of the bay of Navarino, where the historic battle took place, and is defined by the Isle Sfaktiria.

Pylos is the largest natural harbor in Peloponnese and simultaneously one of the most interesting tourist destinations of Messinia, thanks to the glorious history and rich natural beauty of the area.

The naval battle of Navarino between the Allied and Turkish fleet held on October 20, 1827, was a historic victory that cotributed to the liberation of Greece from the Turkish yoke.

Pylos Map

According to Homer, Pylos was the kingdom of Nestor. However, the current position is not identical to that of the Homeric times. Today the historic town of Pylos was built in 1828 by the army of  the general Maison.

The town of Pylos reminds island due to the particular architecture and color of its houses. Pylos each summer attracts many tourists who visit it to admire its historical monuments and the picturesque landscape.

From Pylos comes Kostis Tsiklitiras, the famous Olympic champion in the high jump at the Olympic Games in Stockholm in 1912. His house still exists, and recently restored by the Municipality of Pylos, to serve as a cultural center, which will house the library-gallery of the municipality.

In Pylos there are many historical and natural attractions. Among them, Paleokastro, Niokastro, the cave of Nestor, the lagoon of Gialova, the area of ​​Voidokilia etc. Furthermore, the impressive ancient trees that dominate the Square of Trion Navarchon, downtown, combined with the breathtaking views of Sfaktiria Island create a separate idyllic atmosphere.

Pylos is a beautiful city for quiet summer vacation, since apart from the interesting sights has also wonderful beaches. Enjoy the sun and sea, choosing from sandy or pebble beaches,  isolated or crowded and practice water sports in the blue Ionian Sea.

In addition to other features Pylos has a remarkable tourist infrastructure. A wide range of hotels and apartments for every taste are at your disposal, offering you a pleasant and comfortable stay. There are also many restaurants and taverns where you can enjoy among other, fresh fish and delicacies of the traditional Messinian cuisine.

Pylos with the glorious past, the genuine beauty and the warm hospitality of its inhabitants, is waiting for you, and promises to give you unforgettable experiences.

Regional Flavours & Products
In Pylos and throughout Messinia you will find a  rich traditional cuisine and lots of fresh local products. The main agricultural products produced in Messinia are olives, grapes, raisins, figs, citrus and vegetables.

Some of the local cuisine distinct flavors are salted, the goat stew, the fried cod with garlic sauce, roast pork, and unique for its taste and quality smoked sausages with sage.

Try also wonderful diples, lalagia and ladokouloura (rolls with olive oil). Do not forget to buy the famous Kalamata olives, honey, that is of excellent quality, pastels, ouzo, balsamic vinegar, trachana, noodles and herbs.

Cultural events
Many cultural events in the city of Pylos throughout the year. The first half of August are organized at Pylos the “Tsiklitiria“, lasting four days and include contests such as swimming, sailing, etc.

The feast of Our Lady of Gorgopigi Pylos, on 23 September. On October 20 celebrated the anniversary of the Battle of Navarino in Pylos.

Pylos Attractions

 The Trion Navarchon Square: It is located in the center of Pylos and it is a real attraction for the city. In the square stands the homonym monument in honor of the admirals Kodrigkton, Derigny, Heyden, who led the historic battle of Navarino. The monument is the work of the Messinian artist Thomopoulou and the unveiling took place in 1930. On both sides of the monument are two brass cannons, a Venetian and a Turkish, taht were carried from the fort Niokastro. At he Trion Navarchon Square you can enjoy your coffee in the shade and coolness of the impressive ancient plane trees, while enjoying a great view of Sfaktiria island.

Paleokastro: North of Pylos, in an exceptionally beautiful bay of Voidokilia Paleokastro dominates, offering a magnificent view of the Aegean Sea. Paleokastro or Palionavarino was built in 1287, at the fortified site of the ancient acropolis of Pylos. Paleokastro played an important role in all military events of Pylos, until the building of Niokastro, on the south side of the harbor, after the silting in the strait of “Sykies” from the Turks.

Niokastro: At the south entrance of the harbor, on the rocks, stands the imposing Niokastro. The name “Niokastro” contrasts with the earlier castle “Palaiokastro”. The construction of the fort began in 1573 by the Turks, who wanted to control the southern entrance to the bay of Navarino. After passing in the possession of various peoples, after the liberation of Greece during the Second World War, it was used for a long time as a prison before it was attributed to the Archaeological Service. Inside the castle, you can see among others the Acropolis, the Temple of the Transfiguration and admire the rich collection of the French philhellene Rene Puaux.

Kamares – Hydragogio (Arches – Aqueduct): In Kamares area, 1 km southwest of the Trion Navarchon Square, are parts of two aqueducts, which were built for the water supply of Niokastro. Visitors will be amazed by the Venetian water supply system. The area got its name from the alleged continuous arcades of the old Venetian Aqueduct.

Antonopoulos Museum: It is Hosting findings from excavations in the area of ​​Pylos, which are chronologically placed in Mycenaean, Achaean, Hellenistic and Roman times. Here you can also admire a part of a great collection of relics that it had been collected by the french Rene philhellene Puaux and offered to Pylos so as to form a first component of the Museum of Navarino. In June 1930, the municipality of Pylos declared Rene Puaux honorary citizen in order to thank him for his valuable contribution. The construction of the museum was completed in 1958 with a donation of  the dentist Christos Antonopoulos, who came from Pedasus and was an immigrant in America.

The House of Kostis Tsiklitiras: Pylos is the birthplace of the Olympic champion Kostis Tsiklitiras. On the coastal road of the town is the house, which will soon house the Library-Municipal Gallery. Kostis Tsiklitiras won the gold medal in the long jump at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912. During the Balkan Wars requested to be at the forefront of the battle, although it could be as Olympic found in the rear. There, he was infected with meningitis and died six months after the great distinction in Stockholm.

The Palace of Nestor: Located 15 km from Pylos, on the hill of Englianos, it is the best preserved Mycenaean palace and differs from the others in that it is surrounded by cyclopean walls. In the complex buildings are officially apartments, wine stores, sideboard and workshops. They distinguish the large rectangular ‘throne room’ with the circular fireplace, the bathroom with the ceramic sink, and the warehouses with the numerous storage vessels. The palace had two floors and it was decorated with colorful murals. It was destroyed by fire in the late 13th century BC. From the palace, you can enjoy a lovely view over the bay of Navarino and the lagoon Voidokilia.

Islands Sfaktiria-Tsichli Mpampa-Helonaki: In front of the port of Pylos, there is Sfaktiria island. On the island there is a monument of Greek heroes in the battle of Sfaktiria, including among them the names of Tsamados, Sahinis and Anagnostaras. Here also there are the French officer’s Male monument, the grave of the philhellene Paul Bonaparte -the nephew of Napoleon, the monument of the  philhellene Count Santarosa, who died in the battle of Sfaktiria, the Russian war memorial in the Battle of Navarino, the chapel Ascension (Panagoula) and the Russian style church of St. Nicholas. On the south side of Sfaktiria is Tsichli Mpampa islet, where there is the  monument of French heroes in the Battle of Navarino. Helonaki island is located in the port of Pylos where there is the monument of the British fallen in the Battle of Navarino.

The Lagoon of Yalova: The location and the configuration of Pylos, make the area an important habitat. The lagoon of Gialova or Divari, is a place of unique natural beauty and importance, and it has been designated as an area Natura 2000. The area of ​​the lagoon has a great wealth of flora and fauna, and it is an immigration station for numerous birds. The lagoon of Gialova is the only part of Europe, where it finds refuge the African Chameleon, which is endangered species. The visitors can be guided to the lagoon by the volunteers of the Greek Ornithological Society, observe birds with telescopes and learn about the ecological value of the area.

Polylimnio: On the route from Pylos to Messinia, in the community Xaravgi of the municipality Voufrados, it is located Polylimnio, a beautiful cluster of many small lakes which create beautiful waterfalls because of the rough terrain. The cascade of Kadis is falling from a height of 25 meters, creating a spectacular natural setting.

Churches: In Pylos it worths to visit the majestic church of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, the chapel of St. Nicholas with its magnificent views, and the churches of St. Saviour and the Virgin Ripainas.

Pylos Surrounding Area

Methoni: On the southwestern tip of Messinia and just 61 km from the city of Kalamata you wiil find Methoni. Methoni is a beautiful seaside town with unique sights. During the summer months it attracts many visitors, and it is appropriate for quiet family holidays.

According to Pausanias, the first name of the city was Pidasos. Homer mentions it as one of the seven cities that Agamemnon had promised to Achilles during the Trojan War.

Pylos Beaches

 Gialova beach: It is an extensive sandy beach with blue waters. Beach trademark is the capsized boat. Here you can enjoy swimming, sunbathing and hire wind surf and canoe equipment in order to practice water activities. Right on the beach there are restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy food or coffee.

Voidokilia Beach: It is arguably the most popular beach of the whole Messinia. This is a beach consisting of fine sand, which forms an almost perfectly round bay enclosing inside the crystal clear turquoise waters.

Because the bay of Voidokilia is considered as an archaeological site, the area is untouched by tourism infrastructure. Although Voidokilia beach receives many visitors, there is a nice quiet, which makes it ideal.

Chrysi Ammos(Golden Sand) Beach: This is a beautiful, quiet beach covered with fine sand, with beautiful views of the bay of Navarino and Sfaktiria Island. Near the beach you will find camping.

Romanos Beach: In the village Romanos there is a beautiful long beach. It consists of fine sand and offers various shady places. Above the beach there is enough space for parking.

How to get there

 Pylos is 52 km from Kalamata.

From Athens you can reach Pylos if you follow the National Road Athens-Corinth-Tripoli and then follow the route Tripoli-Megalopoli-Kalamata. Once you reach Kalamata, follow the signs to Pylos. The distance is 305 km.

From Patras you can reach Pylos if you follow the National Road Patras-Pyrgos, and then follow the route Pyrgos-Kyparissia. After arriving in Kyparissia, follow the signs to Pylos. The distance is 216 km.

There are daily bus itineraries from Athens, Patras and Thessaloniki to Kalamata. There are also regular train connections from Athens and Patras to Kalamata. Kalamata can be reached by air from Athens El. Venizelos airport. Also, the county is connected with Kythira and Kissamos. 

Pylos Useful Telephone Numbers (Calling Code for Greece 0030)

Municipality of Pylos
27230 22221, 28038
Port Authority Pylos
27230 22225
Pylos Hospital
27230 22315
Archaelogical Myseum Pylos
27230 22448
Health Center Pylos
27230 23777-8
Railway Station (OSE) Kalamata
27210 95056
Police Station Pylos
27230 22100, 22136
Bus Station Kalamata
27210 23147
Tourist Police Pylos
27230 23733
Port Authority Kalamata
27210 22218

Pylos Video

Pylos Photos