Some travelling recommendations
This is a (very!) informal piece of advice to the GrStoch
participants about how to spend a few days in the region
Kalamata, should they wish to do
Kalamata is on the
top of the Messinian bay, and both sides of the bay are well worth
visiting. The city itself is nice to walk and replete with cultural
The east side of the bay is called Mani Peninsula and
is quite mountainous. It's worth spending at least a day there,
visiting the spectacular Diros Caves and stopping by the
beautiful town of Kardamili en route (or on the way back) for a coffee
or a meal.
Alternatively, one could spend 1 more day and make a
small circle, coming back through Gytheio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gytheio)
and maybe go swimming around there.
In that case you enter the
Sparta territory (Laconia).
The modern city is nothing special but
next to it is Mystras (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystras)
a unique example of Byzantine art and of special importance in the
Byzantine times. If you do that you can get back to Kalamata through
Mount Taygetus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taygetos),
an impressive trip through to Kalamata, albeit on the twisty
The region west of Kalamata is a typical example of Messinian landscape. Between Koroni (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koroni
for the location) and Finikounta (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foinikounta) there are several wonderful places to go swimming.
En route from Kalamata
it's worth stopping by Polylimnio (crudely: multilake) for a walk
among several tiny little waterfalls. Some photos of the complex may
be found here
addition, Koroni, Pylos and Methoni have nice castles to explore,
perhaps in that order. Pylos is beautiful and certainly the most
historic town of the region.
Close to Pylos is a pretty village
called Gialova (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gialova),
of great ecological importance as it's the last stop for a large number of birds
on their way to Africa.
If you opt for that, Voidokilia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voidokilia)
is a good choice for a swim
Finally, at http://www.costanavarino.com/
is an upmarket resort, ideally suited for those interested in
All the places out of Kalamata are much easier to explore
if one can rent a car, since public transport is reliable but
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