The pretty seaside town of Methoni lies on the top of Peloponnese, famous you could say, because of its historical castle build in the 13th century.
The town is about 12 km from Pylos and when the weather starts warming in Spring, visitors start arriving in Methoni, and the restaurants and taverns are full.
Many of the visitors stay in homes they have built for themselves for several months, relishing the sunny days and the beautiful surroundings, They are active walkers, striding out on the many walking- and hiking trails in the area.
They love to spend time with family and friends in the many local restaurants and taverns. It’s a splendid way to make contact with the locals. Each person has their own tale, they cherish their memories from the past and you’re bound to pick up fascinating bits of information on the town’s illustrious history.
The town always celebrates the revival of Koutroulis’ wedding on the first Monday of Lent. The knight, Koutroulis was married but he fell in love with Arsana, only marrying her 17 years later when he could get a divorce from his wife.
The wedding festival lasted for days and is remembered to this day with people donning authentic Venetian costumes. Maybe you won’t find your prince over these festivities but there is the fascinating town to explore and plenty to distract you.
There are so many beautiful spots to explore, but most people simply love to stand near to the castle and witness a glorious sunset.
Top Things To Do in Methoni Greece
Visit the Methoni Castle
The castle of Methoni is a magnificent archaeological site surrounded by the sea. In fact, the natural harbor close to the castle meant that the castle actually became a source of contention among those who wanted the area for their own diplomatic interests.
The castle was built by the Venetians in 1209 A.D. and is separated from the land by an artificial moat.
The fortress has been left to decay, but even so, it’s still a mighty fortress. It is amazing to know that there are a number of buildings inside the castle – the Church of Metamorfosi of Sotiros, a gun powder room, some Ottoman baths, some homes of Venetian masters as well as a building where a General Maison lived.
The castle occupies the entire area of the cape and the south-western coast and is protected by the sea on its three sides.
There is a deep moat that separates the castle from the land. The castle’s entrance is in the middle of the north side and there is a stone bridge of 14 arches, that was built over the moat. There is also the remains of the British prisoner´s cemetery during the 2nd World War.
The spectacular sea gate on the south part of the walls opens in the center. The towers of the castle are built with large stones and had rooms. Even though this majestic castle is in ruins, visitors still throng to it just to benefit from its sheer atmospheric ambiance.
Walk Around the Small Town
The town of Methoni, with a history dating far back, is a fascinating place to explore. There are some quaint little gift shops that sport many handmade items and some fascinating pieces of jewelry, handmade pots, and lots of souvenirs and gifts to buy for friends and family back home.
Take up a new hobby
There are also the people in Methoni with smiling faces and creative talents who invite you to come and look at their classes and workshops. They talk about the beach and how awesome it is for windsurfing and other sports. They invite you to learn how to surf, paraglide and to kite-surf, saying that the beach is perfect for beginners to try out their new hobby.
There is always time to learn something new in a laid back village such as Methoni, and in between the restaurants and taverns with their locally produced beer, cheese, wine, and other wonderful food, you start to see why so many people spend plenty of time here. It energizes a person and stirs in one the desire to be creative.
Nobody says that to explore the village, you have to walk. There are bike-hire shops and you can spend a few riveting hours riding at a leisurely pace through the village and even outside the village in between the olive trees.
Dining at the few tavernas
You can’t leave Methoni without first experiencing a meal at a Greek taverna as these tavernas are an integral part of Greek culture. Some of the food is prepared in picturesque kitchens complete with old butter churns and a fireplace made for cold wintry nights.
In the village of Methoni when you start making inquiries as to where to eat, Taverna Nikos always comes up, as they serve traditional Greek food and you get a taste of Greek culture too. On a hot day you can sit outside around a wooden table laden with food and under colorful bougainvillea – perfect for long, lazy lunches.
It will be difficult choosing between the grilled meat, fresh fish, courgette balls, taramasalata and garlic bread. This cozy taverna is a hidden gem and promises an excellent selection of wines with delicious food, sprinkled with an awesome atmosphere.
When it comes to favorite dining spots, it’s all about the food and the memories attached to the dining experience. With pots filled with plants, the bright and breezy Taverna Rex, with views of the sea, is another great taverna to experience where you can enjoy wonderful food inspired by Greek heritage.
Their food here is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face.
Beach Activities and camping site
With its popular beach, next to which is the Venetian fortress, you can cast your eyes across the sea and sand towards the Island of Sapienza. The beautiful Methoni Beach is large and open, but there are also other nearby beaches – Lambe, Kokkinia and Kritika.
The beach is always a favorite hangout for windsurfers, drawing athletic tanned bods to show off their skills and muscles as they take on the wind and sea to soar over the waves.
There are winds that create conditions great for kite-surfing, but all kinds of water-sports are available on the beaches. You’ll love your time out in the sunshine enjoying all the many awesome things to look at.
The clear, shallow waters of Methoni Beach are perfect for parents with small children. Because it is also a favorite jaunt for windsurfers with their jaunty colorful sails, the beach is the perfect spot to put on your dark sunglasses and hat and spend a couple of hours just gazing at all the goings-on.
The appeal of camping
The appeal of camping and caravanning is huge in Methoni because you’re in the most incredible region. You’re right on the beach of Methoni while enjoying a place where you can relax under the stars in the splendor of nature.
Camping spots are equipped with electricity and there is both artificial and natural shade for you. Good climate and being surrounded by nature is what these camping areas are all about.
Because they are popular with locals and visitors, you should book well in advance. At Methoni Camping they have taken all the precautions to ensure their camping area meets all specifications for a safe, hygienic getaway.
Swimming at the famous Foinikounta beach
Life in Foinikounta is punctuated by life around the beautiful beach. Finikounda is a coastal village of Messinia, and it’s a most beautiful summer resort.
The village itself is built in a cove bay. It makes sense that so much beauty and activity will ensure lots of excellent accommodation opportunities. It is considered a major tourist resort and the village can brag about having both mountains and sea. Visitors are however lured like a magnet to the stunningly beautiful sandy beaches with their crystal clear waters.
For refreshments close at hand, there are lots of cafes and restaurants above the beach. People love that Finikounda Beach is so well-organized. For the comfort of beachgoers there are umbrellas and loungers.
Finikounda is a major tourist resort and a holidaymaker’s paradise with much to offer visitors. All the activities are geared towards the pleasure of visitors, and to this end it has an excellent tourist infrastructure.
Visitors to the town will most definitely find some activity to suit their tastes and their pockets. You can enjoy the sun, sea and watersports on beaches that have been awarded Blue Flag status for their environmentally friendly policies.
Popular with swimmers and sun worshippers, the beach offers wonderful views, and in season the entire area becomes a buzz of activity. When you’re not swimming, there are a number of restaurants and taverns where you can enjoy the likes of fresh fish and chips and other delicious foods.
There is no doubt that Finikounda with its amazing beaches with crystal clear water and beauty promises a magical experience.
Drive to Koroni
The two Venetian castle towns, Koroni and Methoni are all but intertwined and they are both places of incredible natural phenomena with plenty of pristine sandy beaches.
A drive to Koroni from Methoni will take you about 30 minutes by car. What a beautiful drive it is and you might even wish it were longer.
True, while it is the Venetian castles that are always a big drawcard with the two villages, the amazing beaches with turquoise waters are a firm second favorite attraction. The large Venetian castle stands on top of the hill, and of course its very setting offers the most beautiful views.
The town has a medieval atmosphere and a postcard look with whitewashed walls, red roofs and green palm trees swaying in the sea breezes. It is amphitheatrically built on a hill and it’s lovely just to roam through the streets and see gardens filled with all kinds of shrubs and flowers.
Along the waterfront of Koroni, you’ll find lots of stylish restaurants, tavernas, and patisseries. As in Methoni, you can also hire bikes in Koroni and have a whale of a time peddling around the narrow scenic alleyways.
Just as it is in Methoni, it’s always the beaches that prove to be such a delight and there are a number of magnificent beaches in Koroni. The beaches promise snorkeling and other water sports and endless hours of beach entertainment. Kefalonia Koroni beach is a wonderful sandy cove that is found around the natural bay of Mounda. The beach has sunbeds and umbrellas.
Tourists to Koroni love the fact that the atmosphere and quaintness of the seaside village is kept intact. Apart from the beaches and castle, the village has their summer time cultural events too when theatrical performances, traditional dances, music nights and sports events ensure that visitors have limitless choices for entertainment.
Visit the Koroni Castle
The castle of Koroni, found at the southeastern part of the Messenian Bay, was built by the Venetians toward the end of the 13th century. It is fairly triangular in shape with square towers.
There are quite a few stone-carved tombs preserved in its interiors as well as a Turkish bath. The view to the Messenian Bay is nothing short of spectacular and today the castle is an imposing sight on top of a hill, even though it has been destroyed quite a few times.
Inside the castle is the monastery of Agios Ioannis, built next to the ruins of a Byzantine church. In the small palm-tree grove you’ll find the statue of Bishop Gregorios and the building that has an archaeological collection of Koroni.
Over time, there have been many invasions – then its the Ottoman invaders forcibly removing the Venetians and then its a Geonoese admiral reclaiming it before pirates taking it back. It is fascinating to know that part of the castle is still occupied today, but visitors can still come to the castle and explore the ruins free of charge.
The Monastery of Timios Prodromos
Inside the beautiful Koroni Castle is the monastery of Timios Prodromos. The nuns in the monastery follow the Julian Old Calendar or Old Style calendar instituted in 46 BC and named after Julius Caesar. Because of its timing being out, Pope Gregory XIII issued a decree instituting a new calendar.
Access to the large well kept monastery is from the large central gate of Koroni Castle and then down a pretty cobblestone street of olive trees. Inside the monastery is the temple of Timios Prodromos and a chapel dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin Mary.
The nuns keep domestic animals and there are also workshops. It’s the view that is so breathtaking, because going up to the top of the hill where the monastery is located, the striking blueness of the sea will take your breath away.
Mediterranean Diet Festival
The Mediterranean diet has so many health benefits as the diet is all about getting back to the way nature intended food to be eaten – raw.
The Mediterranean diet has been named the best diet of the year for 2021, and to confirm the goodness of the diet, it is the 4th consecutive year that the awesome diet is ranked at the top.
The diet is plant-based so you’ll see lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish and olive oil included in the diet, making it an exceptional way of eating to ward off all kinds of illnesses.
It’s been touted as a lifestyle rather than a diet and there is plenty of research to show the diet’s positive impact with chronic diseases such as cancer, dementia and Alzheimer’s. You won’t find any toxic processed food on the Mediterranean diet menu.
It’s a way of eating for those people living in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. People in countries such as Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain regard plant-based meals enjoyed with family as highly important. There is nothing like sitting down to a healthy meal along with a good glass of red wine and also being physically active – lot of walks in nature and sunshine. These are the ingredients for healthy living.
The 3-day Mediterranean Diet Festival always attracts throngs of visitors – people who love food, chefs, dietitians, nutritionists, and journalists. It is most enlightening and the exciting programs at the festival include the like of wine tours and wine tastings, cooking classes, dinners, cooking classes, exhibitions, musical programs, day trips and much more.
Make sure your purse strings are opened wide because there are delicious goodies to be bought, from cheese to honey, dried figs, virgin olive oil and more. There is literally never a dull moment.
St Eleistria Church
The beautiful stone-built St Eleïstria church is wonderfully positioned so that you get splendid views of the Messenian bay and the islet Venetiko.
Visitors go through a beautiful garden to get to the church. The church is actually one of two churches named after the saint Eleftherie. At the southwest edge of Koroni’s castle is the church, discovered because of an old woman in Koroni who came there to be blessed by the Virgin Mary and found 3 icons – the Saint Loukas, the Crucified and the Theotokos.
The icons were found in 1897. Underneath the church, down some steps, where the icon of Panagia was found, there is a small church named Evresi.
The St Eleistria Church is an important religious meeting place and many religious ceremonies of the town are hosted at the church. The church also receives many visitors coming to look and receive a blessing from the Virgin Mary. The view from the church is captivating and simply adds to the peaceful aura of the church.
Where to Stay in Methoni
Whether you stay for 2 days, for a week, a month or longer, Methoni offers lots of different accommodation options to fit your needs.
When you start doing research on places to stay in Methoni, you will get details of how far the accommodation is from top attractions and what facilities and services they offer.
You can take your pick from comfortable, affordable rooms or luxurious 5-star hotels with every amenity you can imagine. You can also choose bed and breakfast accommodation, comfortable holiday homes, holiday apartments or amazing campsites. Some accommodation is cheap, some exorbitantly expensive and some are even pet-friendly.
This is a wonderful luxurious 5-star hotel with magnificent sea views and amazing services. A shimmering infinity pool and beautiful surroundings ensure that this magical accommodation gives you an unforgettable stay.
There is also an indoor pool with pampering spa treatments and wonderfully healthy Mediterranean cuisine from the restaurant. For availability and rates click here.
You don’t have to settle on 5-star accommodation and 5-star prices when you can be comfortable and well looked after in family-run rooms.
The rooms are well situated opposite the castle and are wonderfully air-conditioned with a balcony. There is TV, a private bathroom and other facilities to ensure a comfortable, affordable stay. For availability and rates click here.
Blue Fort Villas
You’ll discover 5 fully equipped villas with private garden as well as free wifi throughout the property. Visitors to this self-catering accommodation love the independence of cooking up their own meals and coming and going as they please. The nearest beach is just a mere 3 minute walk away. For availability and rates check here.
There are a good number of pet-friendly places that welcome your 4-legged friends in Methoni such as The House of Angelina and Charly Point Villa among others.
The busy seaside town of Methoni can trace its origins way back and if you have plans to visit Greece, why not visit Methoni with its rich cultural history?
With its old red-roofed houses, this southernmost town of the western coast of the Peloponnese is full of charm with its own distinctive personality and magnificent setting.
Many people find themselves heading to Methoni for some much-needed relaxation, and this charming, laid-back seaside village is just for you.