Top Things to do in Pylos Greece
Pylos Greece is an unusually positioned town, spreading across the slopes of the hill, offering wonderful views out over the bay. As a historic coastal town in Messenia, Peloponnese, Pylos is a destination always in season and you can expect a buzz of activity in the fabulous coastal town.
Exploring the south-west coast of the Peloponnese peninsula reveals beautiful golden sandy beaches with clear blue waters, olive groves, vineyards, and castles with a rich history.
Walking about the Peloponnese, you constantly stumble across reminders of its colorful past. Sitting at a harborside cafe in Pylos Greece enjoying traditional Greek food made with fresh local ingredients, it will be difficult to conjure up images of bloody battle scenes that once played out at Pylos’s harbor.
In fact, it’s so pleasant to sit at a harborside cafe it’s hard to realize that the harbor was once a war zone. Thousands of Ottoman sailors were butchered in the Greek War of Independence.
Top Things to Do in Pylos Greece: A place of choice
These days the harbor area is a far cry from its distant past. Its cobblestone streets, sidewalk cafes, statues and greenery make it a wonderful place to while away a few peaceful hours. The town and its suburbs attract people interested in its illustrious past. It’s precisely why it isn’t hard to find exciting things to do in Pylos.
Pylos – a place with children in mind
There are things to do in Pylos Greece if you’ve got kids with you too. Active families will love all the endless outdoor activities lined up for kids so that the holiday is blissful for everyone.
You can familiarize yourself with the area’s history and there are plenty of attractions to check out that are free to visit. In fact, there are so many things to see and do in Pylos, that you will need to sort out your schedule before the days are all gobbled up and it’s time to leave.
Even though Pylos Greece has a laid-back village vibe, it is actually a hot-spot tourist destination that has attracted a bevy of celebrities to its shores.
Pylos is a favorite haunt of the rich and famous too and Peloponnese is just a wonderful place for everyone to just be themselves and to relax. Its beaches are a huge drawcard and are among the finest in the world.
Away from the beaches, the area is also known for its lush vegetation found on mountains and in deep valleys.
Enjoy coffee under the plane trees on the main square of Pylos
If you don’t want to miss out on the full spectrum of what this lovely area has to offer, join a tour. The starting point of many of these sightseeing tours is Three Admirals’ Square with its monument dedicated to 3 admirals who took part in the Battle of Navarino.
The historic square has some wonderful shops, cafes and restaurants.
A loved hang-out spot
The square always attracts shoppers and foodies and is one of the town’s most loved hang-outs. The coffee shops offer some seriously good coffee – it’s the perfect escape from the hustle and the bustle of the town.
The Three Admirals’ Square is well worth a visit. Not only is it a bit of a cultural place where one gets to see monuments as a reminder of past battles – when the English, French and Russians were killed in the battle of Navarino – it offers you the rare luxury of having a quiet time off under the plane trees.
Of course, there are plenty of other interesting little shops to visit, but it’s the coffee shops offering their refreshments that are the big drawcard.
You can also order a glass of chilled white wine and a bowl of pasta served with olive oil and parmesan cheese. The options for decadent treats are endless as the people who run the shops want to ensure that there is something for everyone on the menu.
As you sit under the beautiful trees, spare a thought for the person who took the time to plant these majestic trees. It was Petros Lykoudis, way back in 1880.
Neokastro – new fortress
With its unspoiled coastline, cast your eyes to the headland on the south-west coast of the Peloponnese, because as you look over the bay of Navarino, there are 2 castles guarding the bay of Pylos.
On the southern entrance of the bay is Neokastro, also known as New Navarino Castle. This castle was first built in 1573 by the Ottomans to guard the bay sheltering the town.
The Old Pylos Castle – Palaiokastro, is at the north end of the bay. Neokastro has had a number of different occupations, being captured by Venetians in 1686 and then later in 1715 by the Turks. These different occupations have left their mark on the castle’s architecture and even in World War II it was interestingly used as a prison.
In 1830 the town of Pylos was founded outside the fortress walls. Today this well-preserved, 6-towered fortress continues to stand guard over the port of Pylos, witness to the different historical waves over the centuries.
Boat trips around Sfaktiria and Navarino Bay
Likened to the coast of many colors, anybody who loves boat trips will find many thrilling ports of call around Messinia, Sfaktiria and Navarino Bay.
You can just soak up the wonderful atmosphere with these boat trips as this treat for visitors is perfect for those looking for quiet, out of the ways spots to soothe their city-bound souls.
You can rent a boat if you fancy yourself a bit of a sailor but most people arrange a boat cruise. These cruises, sometimes in a glass-bottom boat, can last for 3 glorious hours, starting off from The Marina – the harbor of Pylos.
As you set sail in the Ionian Sea, your first stop is likely to be Fanari or Tripito. At the very top of the island is a marble column in honor of the French allies who were killed during the Navarino battle.
Another stop will be the Russian monument and the St. Nicholas Church built fairly recently in 1997 in honor of fallen Russian allies.
There will also be a stop at the small turtle-shaped island of Helonaki, and with the chance of a swim. Visiting these memorials together with swimming in the shimmeringly clear water of the bay makes for a wonderful boat day-trip.
Energetic kayaking another boating experience
Other people want to enjoy a more energetic experience and they love the idea of sea kayaking which includes a visit to the island of Sphacteria. Certainly, a stopover at the island will include opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and soaking up the sun.
If you’re part of a kayak tour, they will prepare you for it. The trip includes kayaking past the town of Pylos with views of the castle of Niokastro.
There are plenty of opportunities for swimming and snorkeling. Nature lovers will be amazed at the sea caves and rock formations and part of the intriguing excursion will be exploring hidden coves. Book your sea kayaking experience here.
Visit Voidokilia Beach and Gialova Lagoon
Voidokilia Beach is very popular, particularly with its most amazing shape, like the Greek letter omega (Ω). It is quite likely the most famous and most beautiful beach in Messinia and is about 10 kilometers from Pylos.
Its white sand and calm turquoise waters give the entire natural bay an exotic, romantic look. You can understand why its beauty inspires so many people to spend time there even though it is undeveloped.
For people particularly drawn to its tranquility, they believe it’s a good thing the beach isn’t developed as it limits the number of people who visit, preserving its quiet beauty.
Many travelers to Pylos Greece like to watch flamingos. The wetlands of Gialova are of particular ecological interest, forming a stopover point for many migratory birds.
You’ll find many rare species of birds in these wetlands and flamingos will be part of the herons, curlew and terns that come to the wetlands. You see these flamingos in their groups feeding on blue-green algae. Then, with little provocation, they all march off through the water in one direction and then come-back.
This weird, wonderful nature is what makes Pylos, Greece so special, and of course, a very rare chameleon also lives in the lagoon area. It is all part of what makes the protected Gialova Lagoon such a wonderful place to visit.
Visit Paleokastro – old fortress
This old castle or old fortress was built at the time of 1278 by the Franks. It is situated north of Navarino Bay.
A trip to this old fortress is recommended if you want to enjoy splendid panoramic views. As you cast your eyes around, you’ll be able to see the Peloponnesian hills covered with olive trees. Included in the majestic views will be Sphacteria Island, the town of Pylos and the Ionian sea.
You can get to the old fortress by car but you can also opt to hike, starting at the footpath at the end of Voidokilia Beach and past Nestor’s Cave.
Messinia is known for its beautiful waterfalls hidden in surprising areas, and they’re all beautiful in their own way. Polilimnio and Neda are popular falls, but for many, Kalamris Falls, outside the seaside town of Giolova seaside town, takes the cake.
Beautifully picturesque, the 10 meter high Kalamaris Waterfall is a must-see when visiting Pylos.
North of Gialova, once you reach the parking area, it is a walk of about 15 minutes to reach the falls, but you don’t need any special hiking gear to reach them, just good walking shoes.
The walk itself is wonderful and you feel energized just listening to the sounds of nature. You will be well rewarded when you reach the falls as it has a lovely swimming area at the bottom of the cascading water.
There is a large rock in the pool area which lends itself to awesome photography as the entire setting of the falls is gorgeous and picturesque.
The Stenosia Trail and surrounding area is one of Messinia’s premier nature areas and nature lovers are in for a treat. The area is covered in lush green flora with a variety of grasses, plants and trees that rival any area in Europe.
As already mentioned, Messinia is the place of many waterfalls, and not so long ago, the Stenosia Trail and waterfall were cleared to make them easier to reach. Clearing the paths was actually the initiative of a village resident who visited the gorge and wanted to share its beauty with tourists and locals.
The natural growth around the trail is almost fairy-like with fine creepers and mosses. If you want to enjoy a magical hike, the Stenosia gorge is a sure way to enjoy nature at its best.
You start in the village Stenosia and as you go along, you’ll get views of Navarino Bay as you reach the Kalamaris Waterfall. On a hot day, this can be your chance to cool off and take pictures. From there the exquisite 4 km trail goes along the river.
It’s a delightful walk over bridges to the Stenosia waterfall. They’ve really improved the place and there are picnic tables too for you to enjoy refreshments before winding your way back down again.
House Museum Kostis Tsiklitiras
This wonderful museum opened its doors in 2012. Kostis Tsiklitiras was an athlete and Olympic champion who was born in Pylos in 1888. His father was the mayor of Pylos.
With his excellent athletic performances at the Olympic Games in 1908, he was considered to be the local hero of Pylos, contributing to its rich history.
He astonished everyone by winning no less than 4 Olympic medals in the standing long- and high jump. He was also a Greek champion 19 times.
His childhood home at Pylos was renovated, and today visitors can see the bronze victor statue in the garden of his old home. His home is located in the center of the town, right next to the City Hall.
He volunteered to fight in the Balkan Wars and also fought at the Battle of Bizani. He died very early in life, having contracted meningitis at the age of 24.
His family home still stands in Pylos, and the museum gives a fascinating account of his athletic achievements.
Siklitiras’ House has been fully refurbished and today it also hosts the collection of Rene Puaux who was a French historian and journalist. The exhibition is housed in the home of Kostis Tsiklitiras. Drawings, documents, and other items from the 1821 Greek Revolution are on display.
Castle of Methoni
The beautiful small walled town of Methoni in Messenia overlooks the Ionian Sea. It lies on a rocky headland on the west coast of the Peloponnese. The town is about 11 kilometers south of Pylos so it is easy to reach by car.
The town also boasts its distinctive castle – a popular tourist highlight. The castle is large and was built by the Venetians in the early 13th century.
The symbol of Venice – the lion of St Marc – is the dominant emblem on the gate of the castle. People fascinated with castles from their childhood days will be thrilled to discover that the castle of Methoni, a medieval fortification, is protected by the sea on its three sides. There is also a deep moat that separates the castle from the land.
In fact, the bridge that connects the castle to the mainland and its decorated gate are possibly the most photographed aspects of the beautiful castle. The stone-made bridge with its 14 arches, was built over the moat in 1828.
Inside the castle, there are ruins of Venetian houses, the ruins of a Turkish bath, the Byzantine church of Agia Sophia and parts of Doric columns. You can easily say that this is one of the most important castles in Greece with its natural harbor.
King Nestor’s Palace
If the day starts off overcast, why not take a break from the beach and take in some fascinating ancient history?
King Nestor’s Palace is an archeological site that is well shaded, offering you a pleasant time spent at the palace.
The palace is about 14 km from Pylos. It is still in good condition and built in the 13th century B.C. by King Nestor.
The magnificent palace consists of 105 ground floor apartments, with the most important being the throne room. There are information boards that explain the different rooms and chambers and what they were used for.
The palace complex was destroyed by fire around 1200 BC but with some positive outcomes – baking some of the ceramic tablets and preserving important texts and information on them.
In more recent days, in 2016, the site re-opened after a modern roof structure and raised walkways were constructed, making it an even more exciting place to visit. There is an entrance fee to see the palace.
You can buy a combined ticket of 15 Euro that includes entrance to the following archaeological sites: Messenia, Archaeological Museum of Messenia (Kalamata), Museum of Mourtzinoi, Kardamyli, Palace of Nestor, Archaeological Museum of Chora, Castle of Methoni, Castle of Pylos, Castle of Kalamata.
When you’re in Pylos, one of the gems you don’t skip is the Polilimnio Waterfalls. This is nature and beauty at its best.
The falls are beautifully situated in the Polylimnio Gorge, and the 30m waterfall is something to behold. Of course you’ll quite likely to be hot and sweaty when you reach it, but your reward will be gliding into the refreshingly cold water of the pool below the falls.
Most people visiting the falls, like to join a tour as these guides always know the best paths – those ones that go past the lakes. The guides are packed full of interesting information and they usually pack in deliciously cold fruit and drinks for everyone too.
The cool part about these tours is that you are fetched and dropped off at your hotel again.
The Polylimnio Waterfalls can certainly be looked upon as a highlight of your trip and they are found in Messenia, Peloponnese, outside of the city of Kalamata.
Where to stay in Pylos
Karalis Beach Hotel
Pylos offers a range of awesome beach holiday experiences and you can’t get much closer to the sea than the beautiful, romantic Karalis Beach Hotel.
Stylishly furnished with bright, modern rooms and with breathtaking views, with this air-conditioned hotel with free wifi, you’re surrounding yourself with the ultimate luxury accommodation.
With 24 hour reception, a beach bar, wine bar, and breakfast as well as lots of other lovely offerings, this family-friendly beachfront hotel with its private bathrooms offers amazing services for a splendid beach getaway in Pylos. For availability and rates click here.
Karalis City Hotel
It may be called ‘City Hotel’ but this wonderful hotel in Pylos with its 35 stylishly furnished rooms, is just 150m from the beach and close to the main square of Pylos.
The air-conditioned hotel comes with a host of luxury facilities and amenities to ensure your comfort and relaxation. There are lots of appealing little add-ons such as free bathroom toiletries, bathrobes, and slippers. They want to ensure guests are made to feel pampered and welcome.
The hotel also offers a 24-hour front desk, units with balconies, and free wifi. Guests can also get their day off to a good start with a buffet breakfast, and there are also snacks and drinks available throughout the day at the bar. For availability and rates click here.
12 Gods Resort
It could quite possibly be the big sparkling blue pool and sun terrace that is the drawcard of the 12 Gods Resort.
Also, the air-conditioned trendy studios and apartments have views over the bay of Navarino and come equipped with everything visitors love having. These include flat-screen TV, free wifi throughout the property, games room, on-site bar and the free use of bicycles.
Of course, there is much more on offer at this delightful holiday destination and they’ve done a lot to make sure their place is completely safe and sanitized to receive guests. For availability and rates click here.
Some people, when they travel, want to take their ‘castle’ with them. Their home is their castle and they look for accommodation that is homely but which also offers additional luxuries as well as exceptional hospitality.
Castle Hotel welcomes you with a basket packed with tea, coffee, honey and jam. This is what you get with the lovely Castle Hotel, known also as Kastro Hotel. Enjoy supreme comfort and relaxation with the 2-story house that has bedrooms with balconies, offering views of the forest or the sea.
Bright, sunny, and welcoming, the air-conditioned rooms come equipped with TV, private bathroom with toiletries and a kitchenette. If you want to enjoy a wonderful, welcoming experience in Pylos Greece you needn’t look further than this awesome accommodation. For availability and rates click here.
After stressful months, it’s time to get away
If ever you needed a wonderful getaway, now is the time. Pylos is an all-around destination – a fusion of sun, sea, sand, nature and relaxation.
Pylos Greece is the perfect spot for a getaway, and if you can bear to tear yourself away from its beautiful beaches, there are loads of other attractions such as hiking, taking a cruise, boating, birdwatching and much more.
After the stressful months we’ve had with the pandemic, falling asleep to the sound of the sea is just what everybody needs, and Pylos has all this, and more.