About the area
There are many interesting places to see around Koroni and the Iconpainter's Apartments and Villas are ideally located to explore the area and relax. We have grouped these by towns / places of interest, historic sites, and beaches.
Towns / places of interest
Koroni: "One of the most picturesque villages in Greece", and this is no exaggeration. The village climbs with white houses and stepped lanes to the Venetian castle and its monastery which form a dramatic backdrop to the village. There is a wide choice of tavernas, bars and patisseries as well as banks, post office , internet facilities and supermarket.
Methoni: Around 25Km from Koroni/Peroulia on the opposite side of the peninsula from Koroni. Like Koroni, it has a Venetian castle and attractive old villas.
Finikounda: 15Km from Koroni/Peroulia, this fishing village is renowned for
watersports and is a favourite for windsurfers. Boat hire and diving is available here.
Pylos: A port town with a large central square filled with cafes and restaurants. Boat tours and private hire are available from the waterfront. The town has two castles worth a visit: Pylos Castle itself and Navarino Castle protecting the other side of the bay. Boat hire and diving is available here.
Kalamata: The main town in the area and boasts some beautifully restored Venetian style buildings from the 19th century, a mediaeval castle, stylish modern cafes and nightlife, marina, fabulous waterfront and excellent shopping. The Saturday market is especially worth a visit.
Langada Pass: The road from Kalamata to Sparta, through the Langada Pass takes in some of the most spectacular scenery in the whole of Greece. A series of hairpin bends lead over mountains passing through beautiful pine forests. The views from the higher points are breathtaking and no words can really do them justice. This is the road taken if you make the journey to Byzantine Mystras.
Neda Valley: The River Neda flows eastwards into the beautiful Neda Valley and ultimately into the Ioanian Sea. It is an area famous for its flora and fauna. It also is the site of the ancient temple of Epikourean Apollo, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is well worth a day outing.
Polylimnio waterfalls: a secret paradise made of small lakes and waterfalls, hidden in a densely forested gorge.
The Mani: The Iconpainter apartments or villas are the ideal place to explore the rugged Mani region, made famous by the writer Patrick Leigh Fermor. The most important sights can be visited on a day trip or for more detailed exploration you may wish to stay overnight somewhere. The best views of the Taygetos mountain range which dominates the Mani are to be had from the Koroni peninsula where the Iconpainter's apartments and villas are!
Koroni Castle: Once a Venetian fortress and known as one of the "eyes of Venice", Koroni castle "crowns" the village of the same name. Today the "Timios Prodromos Convent" nestles within its walls. The place has an air of complete peace and tranquility. From the castle and the network of little churches atop the hill, the views over the Gulf of Messinia are truly unparalleled. Recently, the nuns have opened a small gift shop within the grounds.
Methoni Castle: The second of the two "eyes of Venice" Methoni was the other fortress important during the time of Venetian rule in the area. Like Koroni, the castle at Methoni has a long cultural history.
Ancient Messini: The beauty of the site at Ancient Messini is the biggest kept secret in Greece! The well preserved site include a theatre, the temples of Artemis and Asclepio, a stadium and agora. The remains of the monumental walls of the city can also be explored. The views are breathtaking.
Ancient Olympia: One of the must see ancient sites in all of Greece can be explored in a day out from Koroni. The site nestles in beautiful forests and natural scenery and has an excellent museum. The town of Olympia has many souvenir shops and restaurants.
Temple of Epicourean Apollo: At the southwest of Andritsaina, on a rough and fascinating mountain landscape stands the imposing temple of Epicurean Apollo, one of the best preserved ancient temples. The temple's frieze is a real masterpiece. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Nestor's Palace: The remains of the Mycenian Palace of Nestor 20km north of Pylos give an insight into ancient domestic life in the area and the Museum at Hora has a fabulous collection of artifacts found at the site and at the ancient Tholos Tombs nearby.
Mystras: The ruined Byzantine town is perched on the side of a mountain and was the last Byzantine stronghold, abandoned only in the 1700s, when the Ottomans finally captured the stronghold of the Mani.
Pylos Castle: Originally built by the Turks in 1573 it was taken over by the Venetians 1686. Large-scale restoration work has been carried out for many years and it has a museum with artefacts about the history of Pylos and an underwater archeological research centre.
Navarino Castle: A ruined castle guarding the northern entrance to Pylos Bay. A fascinating destination for a walk from the amazing horseshoe shaped Voidokilia beach north of the town.
Zaga/Memi: A beautiful sandy beach with crystal clear water, at Koroni. Over three kilometers of unspoilt beach and a nesting ground for turtles. There are a few restaurants dotted along its length and also sailing boats and windsurfers for hire.
Peroulia/Gargarou/Kombi: Two kilometers of fine golden sand and pebbles looking out towards the Taygetos Mountains. Above the beach there are a couple of restaurants with excellent food and drink in the summer. It is just a short walk from the Iconpainter's Villas!
Agias Triada: A beautiful quiet sandy cove at the bottom of cliffs half way between koroni and the Iconpainter's villas.
Tsapi and Marathi: Two hidden gems off the Road from Koroni/ Harakopio to Finikounda. Both with beautiful fine sand and clear water. Tsapi has two tavernas with excellent food.
Kalamaki: At the end of the road south of Koroni. Fine sand and blue-green waters create a magical beach.
Finikounda: The beach is in the centre of the village, so there are plenty of coffee bars and taverns where you can sit by the sea. Beautiful fine sand and clear water. Sailing boat and windsurfers for hire.
Voidakoilia Beach: Voidakoilia beach is the quintessential horseshoe shaped bay. Situated near to Pylos in the middle of a nature reserve noted for its birdlife the fine sands enclose a beautiful sheltered sandy bay.