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Caped in verdant, fertile landscapes buzzing with wildlife and full of natural wonders

At a glance

One of mainland Greece’s lushest areas, naturally abundant Messinia has held a long-time appeal for travellers in the know. Until recently, it remained relatively undeveloped, but by today the area has become a choice destination to a whole host of visitors on all budgets-from those staying at the exclusive Costa Navarino resort, which helped put Messinia on the world map, to backpackers eager to enjoy action-packed holidays in nature or romantics seeking to connect with traditional, authentic Greece beyond its islands.

Its location in the corner of in the south-western Peloponnese means that it is caped in verdant, fertile landscapes buzzing with wildlife and full of natural wonders calling to be enjoyed: hidden deep gorges surrounded by rivers and waterfalls, all near enough to remarkable beaches like the omega-shaped Voidokilia in Navarino Bay.

Its picturesque fishing villages are a delight to kick back in or even stay at, as is the modern city of Kalamata, Messinia’s capital, which offers a vivacious dining, shopping and cultural scene, including a top-of-the-range annual International Dance Festival.

Messinia’s refined gastronomic profile is also a privileged one, owing to sprawling vineyards, ancient olive groves and farmlands abundant with fruits and vegetables, as well as centuries of traditional recipes unique to the area. History-lovers too can savour the ample choice of ancient sites such as ruins in Ancient Messene and Nestor’s Palace, some excellent archaeological museums and the spectacular Frankish and Venetian castles of Palaiokastro, Methoni and Koroni, to name but a few.

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