Ancient Greece is not far away. Take a daytrip to the old town of Pylos (including another Venetian Castle), Nestors Cave and Castle, Ancient Olympia and Ancient Messenia.
Greece, with its rich, long history, is not only home to various monuments and archaeological sites but also a few hundred castles, fortresses and castle-towns. While many are well preserved, a great part of them didn’t survive and are today in ruins.
One of those fortresses you will find right in Methoni. It was built in the 13th century on a rocky peninsula by the Venetians (to protect there sea trading route). Probably one of the most unique castles in the region, it boasts an arched stone bridge connecting the castle to the shore. And though Ottomans invaded it, the castle, still in excellent condition, retains Venetian emblems and inscriptions, the Byzantine church of Agia Sofia, the Church of the Transformation – erected in 1833 – and two Turkish bathhouses. The Turks also added a fort by the castle, known as the Boutzi, which served as a prison and place of execution during the Turkish occupation.
Castle near Pylos
Close by Pylos also has its own castle, called NeoKastro (the old one -Paleo Kastro- happens to be the ruin on the other side of the bay, close to Voidikilia). This ´new´ castle of Navarino was built by the Ottomans in 1573 on a headland on the south west coast of the Peloponnese, overlooking the historic bay. This castle also is impressive and will enhance your fantasy to the ancient life.
The castle area include three museums, a beautiful church and the castle itself. The enclosed museum shows findings from the Neolithic Age to the Hellenistic period. Also, you will find information about the battle of Navarino in 1827, starting point of the Greek independence. It shows a short movie about this battle, that is remembered every year in Pylos. Favorite of many is the walk up on the fortress walls offering beautiful views of the Pylos bay and Sfacteria island.
The tickets to these castles are between 2 and 6 euros. In summer we recommend starting the tour as early in the morning as possible and a brief visit at museum at the end of the tour (enjoy air conditioning inside!)