Travelled: 60 from Koroni to Voidokoilia, the Peloponnese.
Visited: Pylos and Old Navarino Castle
Stayed: Just off the beach at Voidokoilia, free, no services. An lovely isolated beach within a small bay. Lots of mozzies at dusk. N36.96639, E21.66083
It’s a late departure from Koroni, we have walked the Castle via the stairway and wandered the shops. As we are winding down in Greece Pam is buying a few little gifts and after a long search across Europe, over the past 8 weeks, another bikini finally. Anyway we hit the road turning west now across the Messania peninsula.
Twenty minutes later we drive over the crest of a mountain, the Ionian Sea before us. We are heading north, the road has been a real challenge this morning. The endless bends that make up the roads of the Peloponnese are combined with some huge potholes and very narrow sections making opposing traffic a bit like russian-roulette.
As we drive along the issue of a late lunch arises and we decide that Greek Gyros would hit the spot. Another thirty minutes later we have driven down into Pylos and taken a table at a little waterside taverna. The gyros are huge and two beers and white wines are required to complete consumption. We hit the road again feeling very mellow and thinking we should find a campsite, I enter some co-ordinates and away we go. On our way to Voidokoilia Beach we meet up with our English friends Dennis and Hazel, who follow along.
After turning off the main road we drive through 2-3 kilometres of olive groves before an expansive wetland opens up. The is a large parking area and lots of cars. Walking over a small dune we can see why, a small bay, more of an inlet. A sandy beach in the shape of a crescent moon sits between two headlands, on the highest stands old Navarino Castle, known locally as Paleokasto. No taverna, no shops or houses. It’s quite an isolated spot. Sounds great we have a swim, sit around and have a drink with our neighbours, soon after we are joined by two French campers and several million mosquitos. We all scamper to our motorhomes and call it a night.
Pam has been mentioning, not complaining because Pam never complains, we haven’t had a decent walk for a few days. So in the morning we head off across the wetlands to pick up the trail to Paleokasto (Paleokasto is Greek for old castle by the way) that overlooks the beach. The first 30 minutes we are food for the mozzies that arise from every bush we walk past. Thankfully we start the climb up the mountain, which could be more accurately be described as a headland and the insect attack slows as the breeze picks up. It’s another hard 20 minutes uphill grind to the ruins.
The site is extensive with large sections of the battlements still intact and accessible. The panoramic views are spectacular and make the walk well worth the climb, not so sure about the mozzies. We head down on the opposite site of the castle, a much steeper descent but this path takes us past Doros Cave, so we have an explore by iPhone torch.
After a swim, shower and breakfast we hit the road again.
Michael and Pam