Since a few days ago, spring has come … at least according to the calendar! The visit of Vangelis and Lena was the reason to do a small journey on the western Messinian region. Despite the fact that the weather rather ressembled a winter weather, the green fields with the blossom daisies made us –luckily- to feel the seasonal change. We decided to do a mountainous trip, crossing Lykodimo Mountain, one of the most known mountains of the Messinian region.
Due to the fact that the route which we were planning to follow, was not that big (approximately 100 km), we started our journey around 12 in the noon. We decided to do our first stop on the seaside city of Petalidi, at its small marina. Continuing heading to Koroni, and a little bit outside of Petalidi, we turned right following the signs for “Ahladochori, Mathia, Kokkino”. The tight, helix route was going uphill to the top of Lykodimos mountain. Many sights of it were offering an impressive view of the Messinian gulf. One could easily see, from the far distance, the village of Koroni, the city of Kalamata and of course the impressive Taygetos Mountain with its snowy peaks.
After approximately 10km we found the junction for “Gamvria, Kokkino”. We followed the route heading left. Along this easy route the sprouting was low, composed –mainly- from olive trees. The traffic at the road network was virtually inexistent. What gave us positive impressions was the small village-settlement Gamvria, with its traditional houses, made of stones which were struggling to resist time’s deterioration... some successfully, while some other not… Just a short while after this village, we stopped for a few minutes on a small but well-preserved chapel, musing on the landscape.
While driving for the next 3-4 km, we saw the sign for the village “Kokkino” (Kokkino in greek means the color red. Interestingly enough, the sign’s color was red … coincidence?). Kokkino is a mountainous village with traditional houses made of stone. From there and on, the road was passing through a tableland, in order to meet at some point the provincial road to Kallithea – Militsa. Reaching that junction we turned right, in order to reach Pylos.
For the next (approximately) 20 km we travelled through an easy route, which had nothing to offer. We passed through some villages and on “Pidasos”, we turned right, heading to Kalamata. A few kilometers after, we reached the “Kinigou” village, which maintains many traditional elements of its architecture, gaining a special character.
We reached Pylos from the west side. Before reaching Pylos, we had a chance to enjoy the panoramic view of Navarino’s bay, the village of “Sfaktiria” and the “Voidokoilia” bay. Really impressive! The attractive city of Pylos was the placemark for us to stay for lunch and have the chance to relax and discuss.
We left Pylos, heading to Methoni, which was around 15 km away. Reaching the city, we headed towards the almost depopulated –due to the season- beach to enjoy, from the outside, the view of the small marina and the castle’s gate, one of the most important and best preserved castles of Messinian region. On the opposite side of the beach, we could see the island of Sapientza. The cloudy sky resembled a very idyllic scenery…
We continued, heading to Koroni, following a route that was passing through “Vasilitsi” village. But before that, we visited the small seaside tourist city of “Finikounta”. Contrary to the summer, in the winter, the city is almost deserted. Some reconstruction works on the city’s coastal road obliged us to depart almost immediately.
The route until Koroni (25 km) passes through a beautiful area, with very small sprouting and with an impressive view on the boundless blue sea.
Our last destination was Koroni. It was impossible for us to go up to that beautiful, scenic, seaside village and not to meet with our friend, Mpampis, at his beautiful and warm café. After doing a short visit at the castle’s gate, we enjoyed an evening coffee all together, discussing what topic? …Of course our future journeys!
Time was flying pleasantly without realizing it. Even though this specific trip was short, it definitely raised our mood. Albeit it didn’t have so much impressive landscapes, we had the chance to meet beautiful scenic villages and enjoy unique landscapes of the Messinian gulf and the Ioanian Sea. It was a beautiful welcoming of spring…