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Greece: Pylos, Nestor's Sandy Kingdom

A restless history, two castles, an ancient royal court, a lagoon and a beautiful sandy beach, make Pylos a valuable national treasure.

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Historically, Pylos was Nestor’s kingdom and the second largest town in the Mycenaean empire, participated in the Trojan and Peloponnesian Wars, and played a crucial role in the Battle of Navarino that determined the outcome of the Greek Revolution. Pylos was built based on plans designed by French Officers in 1829, with a spectacular amphitheatrical layout over the Navarino Bay, guarded by its two castles, Niokastro and Palaiokastro. From above, one is impressed by the beautiful, white, traditional houses built beside Agios Nikolaos Mountain, and across from the historical island of Sfakteria. 

A walk in the beautiful town with its remarkable neoclassical houses is in order, before descending to the Three Admirals Square, to admire the great monument of Codrington, Derigni and Heyden, three admirals of the Greek Revolution. A visit to the house of Olympic winner Costis Tsiklitiras is suggested, as well as to the Antonopoulio Archaeological Museum, just a few minutes away. 

South of the bay is the well preserved Niokastro, which impresses with its six ramparts, the acropolis and the unforgettable panoramic view. At the parvis stands the gothic church, Metamorphosis tou Sotira, and in the acropolis we will find The Underwater Archaeological Research Center. Of great interest is the Frankish Palaiokastro (13th century), located over the Gialova lagoon, and the Navarino bay, right where the mainland is separated from Sphakteria island. At Epano Egliano Hill, lie the remains of one of the most important Mycenaean monuments; Nestor’s Palace. Near by, in Trifillia, is the archaeological museum, where one can view excavation findings.

People from all over the world visit Pylos and the dreamy beaches around the town. The famous Voidokilia, a golden sandy ring with crystal blue waters, invites us for a refreshing swim. It is separated from Gialova lagoon by a narrow corridor, and is an important biotope with a variety of ecosystems. The sparkly, clear waters make for a healthy appetite, which can be satisfied with some rabbit “navarrene” in white sauce, “tyrochtypiti” with grilled tomatoes, or pork fillet with peppers and bacon, at the nostalgic “1930”.  For a relaxing stay with a beautiful view of the blue waters and the town, stay at the 12 Gods Resort. Its 12 rooms, named after the “dodekatheo” (12 gods) and the outstanding elegance of the 6 studio apartments, give you an extra reason to visit this Peloponnesian gem.

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