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A natural harbour with a transcendent beauty, Pylos may not be the first port you think of when it comes to the Greek isles, but once you set eyes upon its remarkable beauty, that is bound to change. Surrounded by pine-covered hills and two castles, the backdrop to the sprawl of the town matches the mythic atmosphere of the entire region.
Kalamata, the region in which Pylos rests, is the supposed birthplace of dozens of Greek legends, and the landscape reflects this effortlessly. Enclosed by the Sfaktira islet, the bay of Pylos is an azure stretch of gleaming water surrounded by the most verdant of Mediterranean greenery.
There are castles on both sides of the Navarino bay, but this is easily the most accessible from the beaches of Pylos. The southern edge of town is home to this magnificent fortress, and not only will you be getting an adventure into Greek history, but an incomparable view of the Kalamata coastline as well. The interior of the castle remains in remarkably good condition considering it has survived attacks by Turkish and Cretan invaders in the past, making it an unmissable spot for history lovers.
Voidokilia bay manages a difficult feat – to stand out in the pantheon of beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. So how does it distinguish itself? In a strange turn, it's all a matter of geography. The perfect curve and the two rocky outcrops that bookend it create a small bay that is filled with turquoise waters and flecks of coral. Hidden behind a host of sand dunes on either side, its transcendent allure is protected by the very landscape it sits upon. It's not just a gorgeous panorama, but an intriguing place in which to while away an afternoon, with the small village that shares its name and wildlife thriving within the lagoon.
The Museum of Pylos
Located right in the centre of the city, the Museum of Pylos is home to a cornucopia of entrancing exhibits. All of the historical pieces on display in its galleries date from the Neolithic right up to the Roman period, adding a tangible variety to the relics on show. Inside are fragmented statues, tribute gifts from ancient stone tombs found within the region, weaponry such as roman arrowheads, and pottery which is hundreds of years old. The enthusiasm of the curators is unabashed, so make sure to ask them for more information if you want an enthralling delve into Greek history.
Plateia Aristomenous in Kalamata is a wonderful place to browse through luxury boutiques. Within sun-dappled plazas, you can find a brilliant selection of jewellery, fashion and cosmetic stores, all just metres away from each other.
For a unique dining experience, head to Restaurant Grigoris, where you're not offered a menu upon entry, but a display of the day's special atop a grill. Each night brings a different set of seafood delicacies, so come prepared to be surprised (not to mention delighted).
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