The Peloponnese region on the Mainland of Greece, is quite possibly the country’s best kept secret, that was until the TBEX (travel blog exchange) conference hit town. Travel content creators from across the globe descended on Kalamata to learn from key note speakers in the digital arena, and explore all the region has to offer.
Hire a car from Athens, we suggest going with one of the better known brands like SIXIT, to avoid any disappointment. Take the motorway south, and in a couple of short hours, you’ll quite literally run into the quintessential beachside town of Kalamata.
We choose to stay at an affordable and authentic family run pension, Ntouna complete with a garden terrace breakfast, and its just a short stroll to the pristine beach. Visit the towns bustling marina, awakening from the throws of winter, the locals are busily preparing for the busy tourism season ahead.
Arriving in towns like Kalamata pre-season, affords us the time to get to know the locals and sample an array of food and drinks along the way. We head out on a luxurious catamaran to explore the majestic coast, the Alegria is a boutique yacht that sails the coastline.
Travel just over one hour along the coast to the stunning Costa Navarino region. Pylos, historically known as Navarino is a part of the Messenia region, with heritage listed buildings and cobbled stone streets. The old town is built into the cascading cliff face, and overlooks the majestic Mediterranean.
Costa Navarino is a destination that has been reinvigorated, with the advent of international hotels and golf courses, making it a premier place for tourists and locals alike. The age-old story behind Costa Navarino stems back to King Nestor, as Greek legend has it, the wise king was known for his hospitality, befriending strangers along the way.
The natural beauty of Costa Navarino has been enhanced by the likes of the WestInn and W hotel. The W Costa Navarino is a stunning, architectural build that opens up onto the vast ocean surrounds. Decadent in design, with signature W touches, like the Wet Bar, Wellness Spa and Pools, Artisan Boutique, Restaurants and a new plant based eatery, Green Pepper.
Green Pepper is a place to eat slowly by the sea, dishes are layered with local produce, to suit vegans and vegetarians-and tasty enough to entice all. The curated cocktail list pairs perfectly with the setting sun, there’s an array of friendly staff on hand, to ensure top notch hospitality.
Travelling a couple of hours across the Peloponnese from Costa Navarino, to the city of Sparta, and onward to our next destination Monemvasia in the South East. After meeting with the Tourism Manager in Kalamata and quickly becoming mesmerised by a video of Malvasia Castle, we knew Monemvasia was special, a must see destination.
One of the challenges a Travel Writer has is writing about destinations, they’d love to keep all to themselves. Alas, here goes with Monemvasia, a story ripe to be told, and one of the most incredible places, we’ve been fortunate enough to explore. A medieval castle, that was carved into the sea rock hundreds of years ago, to keep enemies at bay.
Monemvasia or Malvasia in Italian, is an old town built into a castle on an island surrounded by the Mediterranean, accessible from a small bridge off the mainland. There are an array of traditional Tavernas, cafes, galleries and hotels. Tastefully restored with a sense of community and pride, the castle walls are steeped in history.
Climb to the top of the town and you’ll find a well preserved and commanding cathedral, perched high above on the cliffs edge-with arguably the best views around. Monemvasia is the jewel in the picturesque Peloponnese crown, a must see and stay destination.
Put the Peloponnese on your travel radar, it delivers on all fronts, affordable, authentic and available-for now anyway.
For more travel inspiration and information, don’t forget to check out www.travellingsenorita.com, the best travel blog and podcast dedicated to the Peloponnese and beyond.
GREEN PEPPER, W COSTA NAVARINO
COSTA NAVARINO HILLS GOLF COURSE
W COSTA NAVARINO
MALVASIA TRADITIONAL HOTEL