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Methoni | Greece


THE DESTINATION METHONI: the untouched beauty

 

Methoni is a coastal town located in the Southwestern promontory of Peloponnese. Close to Sapienza island, it is placed on the important maritime route that ever since connected the Italian Peninsula and the Middle East. Due to its protected bay and its strategic location, Methoni became one of the most important markets in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Byzantine period (Middle Age) and under the Venetian Marine Republic rule.

Near Methoni, there is the town of Pylos, also known as Navarino, in whose amazing bay lies the modern wreck of the oil tanker “IRENES SERENADE” (1980), already declared as Underwater Archaeological Park Open to Visitors.

Additionally, in 425 BC, the naval Battle of Pylos took place in the Navarino Bay, leaving behind great historical evidences from the Classical Age.

 

DISCOVER THE ANCIENT TRAIL OF SAPIENZA:

The sarcophagi shipwreck is located at the northern end of Sapienza island, in an area of significant ecological interest and declared as a protected site within the NATURA 2000 network.

Under these waters, you can find many shipwrecks, still lying of the seabed with their loads. You will be able to explore the remains of ancient trade routes dating to the Roman, Byzantine and Medieval periods. At the end of 1970, the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Archaeology conducted a systematic archaeological research.

 

TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION:

The “Shipwreck of the sarcophagi” dates to the Roman period. The ship was carrying several sarcophagi carved in marble stone, and their covers. Its cargo lies approximately at 15 meters depth, and allows to date the ship back to the 3rd century AD. All the sarcophagi were intact, except one, which probably got broken when the ship sunk. Their measure is approximately 2.20 x 0,80 meters, and their simple decoration contains floral motifs, boukranions, etc.

The covers are carved in the usual roof-shaped style decorated with antefissae at the four corners.

The Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities protects this archaeological site and aims to make it a Underwater Archaeological Park Open to Visitors.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

The Methoni Fortress, the guardian of the Venetian seaways from marauding pirates, with many spooky chambers.

The Koroni castle, with impressive fortifications which existed since the 7th century AD. Inside there is the church of Agia Sofia.

The Saint Charalambos Church, a single-aisled building with wooden roof, originally dedicated to Saint Rocco.

Sapienza, one of Oinousses islands, the perfect destination for divers, with many shipwrecks to discover.

Sxiza, the biggest of the Oinousses islands, where there is the “black hole”, a wonderful cave with stalagmites and stalactites.

 

ACCOMMODATION

There is a wide range of accommodation in the entire area, able to satisfy all kind of needs and all tastes. There are 2*,3*,4*,5*and chain hotels, boutique hotels, guest houses, camping facilities.

 

EXPLORE UNTAPPED MEDITERRANEAN FLAVOURS  (LOCAL CUISINE)

In Methoni, as in the whole Peloponnese area, the visitor can find the most authentic Greek traditional cuisine.

In this area, the local farmers produce food excellences like olives, olive oil, grapes, currants, figs and oranges. Unmissable local dishes are the boiled goat, the roasted piglet and the fried haddock in garlic sauce. Another local delicacy is the sausage smoked in sage, a must if combined with a good wine from the local vineyards. Additionally, you can taste the typical dessert called “diples”, a deep fried pastry with honey and cinnamon.

 

NIGHTLIFE

Methoni offers a variety of bars, clubs restaurants and Greek traditional taverns. There is no specific entertainment district. All year long the visitors can attend many events with traditional music and folklore festivals. During summer time, it’s possible to attend drama plays at the Epidaurus ancient theatre.

 

THINGS TO DO

Dive at Sapienza wreck to admire the sarcophagi lying at the bottom of the sea.

Dive at Sxiza where the deepest point of the Mediterranean Sea is situated, known as the “moat”.

Enjoy swimming and water activities throughout the area of Messini.

Experience snorkeling in the Ionian Sea.

Visit the big Lighthouse at Sapienza, constructed by the Englishmen in 1885.

Visit the “black hole” cave, which is decorated with stalagmites and stalactites.

Walk around the “Eyes of the Serene Republic” the twin Fortresses of Koroni and Methoni, with the underground passages.

Enjoy walking along the cobbled streets of the villages and admire the handmade products.

 

EXTEND YOUR TRIP

Nafplio, one of the most beautiful places around Argolis, the most romantic city all over Greece.

Epidaurus, the location of the famous ancient theatre, where you can attend a drama play.

Olympia, the place where the Olympic games were born.

Galaxidi, a small port situated on a natural double harbor surrounded by mountains.

Delphi, recognized by UΝESCO, as a World Heritage Site, for its phenomenal influence in the Ancient World.

Athens, the capital of Greece, its world-famous Acropolis archaeological site and the New Acropolis Museum

 

PROGRAMME PROPOSALS

FOR SCUBA DIVING ENTHUSIASTS

Highlights:  Methoni is a small fishing and farming village, a quiet resort on a cape south of Pylos-Navarino and its renowned, enchanting bay. This peaceful place delighted its visitors ever since.  This village’s atmosphere is still inebriating, with long beaches backed by olive groves and vineyards and the famous Venetian fortress. Modern Methoni is made of two towns: a low-key settlement huddled on the beach beneath the fortress, and, just above, an animated old town on the crest of a rise - a laidback, pleasant place to rest for a day or two.

 

> DAY 1 Arrival in Methoni 

 

Briefing with our tour operator partner in the arrival hall of the airport, then transfer to the hotel in a chauffeur-driven car. The rest of the day is free.  An optional general tour of the town can be offered in the late afternoon. Dinner (optional) and overnight at the Hotel.

 

 > DAY 2 Diving in Pylos

 

After breakfast, an experienced guide will take you to the diving area, where you can admire “The sarcophagi shipwreck” using the proper equipment. In addition to underwater archaeology, divers will be able to enjoy the marine life of the Mediterranean. Underwater caves and reefs home to grouper and sea turtles can all be found within the parks, while dolphins are a common sight in Pylos Bay.

Our program contains 2 dives (morning and afternoon) at the underwater archaeological site. Lunch on board or in a traditional Greek village with local delicacies according to your preferences. We recommend optional diving at night in the clear waters of Pylos. Optional dinner package.

 

> DAY 3 Diving in Methoni

 

Early breakfast and departure from the hotel for diving around Methoni, where you can see The ‘shipwreck of columns’ lyingon the seabed, close to Cape Spitha. The columns are scattered in an area of 30 m² and are 10 m away from the edge of the Cape. Parts of the columns are aligned in the seabed, while other parts are scattered in a wider area around. Around 1920 local fishermen located archaeological finds, lying on the seabed close to the northern cape of Sapienza (Cape Karsi), opposite the village of Methoni. Optional dinner package.

 

> DAY 4 | Departure day

 

After breakfast, chauffeur-driven car transfer to the airport for the departure.

 

Your package includes:

 3 nights at a hotel of your choice on bed & breakfast formula

  Transfers upon arrival and departure with assistance   Diving guide or instructor.

 

Your package excludes:

  International flights   Personal expenses     Optional meals    Optional excursions and visits

 

FOR DIVERS TO BΕ AND FAMILIES

 

Highlights: The ‘Open Water Diver’ certificate can be achieved by over 13 years-old participants having already attended the eLearning Scuba Experience Course (available for free after the package booking) through the participation to the 4 diving lessons in the sea presented below.

 

> DAY 1 Preparation

 

Briefing with our tour operator partner in the arrival hall of the port, then transfer to the hotel in a chauffeur-driven car. The rest of the day is free. An optional general tour of the area can be offered in the late afternoon. Dinner (optional) and overnight at the Hotel. In the afternoon, an optional scuba diving lesson in the pool is available, before starting with the DAY 2 activities.

 

 > DAY 2 |First diving lesson

 

After breakfast, an experienced instructor will provide you with all the necessary equipment and the basic information for a couple of hours, in a pool area. The first open water lesson, in the morning, will take place in a safe and protected bay of the island, 0 - 5 meters deep, with a reef where more than 30 different marine species have been identified among the formations created by the rocks. Lunch onboard or in a traditional village with local delicacies, according to preferences.

In the afternoon, the second lesson will take place in a similar bay of the Island, with the same safety requirements. Transfer to the hotel. Optional dinner package.

 

 > DAY 3 | Explore caves or cruise at 3 islands.

 

Early breakfast and departure from the hotel. For those who enjoyed the first scuba lessons, they can continue with a trained instructor, diving in safe and calm waters to explore the rich seabed during the other two diving lessons needed for the Open Water Certificate. For the accompanying people not interested in diving, a cruise around the area of Messinian Oinousses, an enchanting swimming experience in the clear waters around the caves, in wild beauty, is available. Transfer to the hotel. Optional dinner package.

 

 

 > DAY 4 Departure day

 

After breakfast, chauffeur-driven car transfer to the airport for the departure.

 

Your package includes:

 3 nights at a hotel of your choice on bed & breakfast formula

  Transfers upon arrival and departure with assistance   Diving guide or instructor.

 

Your package excludes:

  International flights   Personal expenses     Optional meals    Optional excursions and visits

 

FOR SNORKELERS AND FREE DIVERS

> DAY 1 Arrival in Methoni 

 

The first day in Methoni is the same in all programs.

 

 > DAY 2 Diving in Sapientza

 

After breakfast, an experienced guide will take you to the diving area. A great shipwreck located in the northwest of the island, is the so-called Sarchophagi shipwreck (Roman sarcophagi made out of sculpted titanium stone).

The shipwrecks around Sapienza are so numerous and important that the creation of an underwater archaeological park is under evaluation. Here, underwater exploration is a unique experience.

However, in southern part of the island, and southeast of the islands called “The two brothers”, the so-called Oinousses Gorge, an underwater abyss, is existing and diving should be avoided in any case. Optional dinner package.

 

> DAY 3 Explore caves

 

Early breakfast and departure from the hotel to dive in a cave where you can see white sea bream, golden grouper, damselfish, dusky grouper, octopus, dolphins. Optional dinner package.

 

> DAY 4 Departure day

 

After breakfast, chauffeur-driven car  transfer to the airport for the departure.

 

Your package includes:

 3 nights at a hotel of your choice on bed & breakfast formula

  Transfers upon arrival and departure with assistance   Diving guide or instructor.

 

Your package excludes:

  International flights   Personal expenses     Optional meals    Optional excursions and visits

 

 

FOR KIDS, TEENS & SCHOOLS

Highlights: The Sea Baptism is an experience available from 10 to 99 years old participants and no pre-training is required. An experienced instructor, during the sea fare, will brief you about the diving basics, in order to provide your first underwater experience with all the needed comfort, safety and fun, and will accompany you in your first dive. The diving site will be maximum 5 meters deep.

The ‘Bubblemaker’ experience is available for children over 8 years-old, and is carried on in a pool or in a sea water environment maximum 2 meters deep. The experience lasts 1 hour and no pre-training is required.

The ‘Junior Open Water Diver’ certificate can be achieved by over 13 years-old participants having already attended the eLearning Scuba Experience Course (available for free after the package booking) through the participation to the 4 diving lessons in the sea presented below. Special rates are dedicated to school groups of minimum 15 participants.

 

FOR SEA LOVERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

Highlights: Easily combined with the ‘SNORKELERS AND FREE DIVERS’ package for the accompanying people.

An experienced instructor will be dedicated for each of our special divers, to ensure their maximum safety, comfort and fun.



Thessaloniki: 85 Tsimiski Str, 7th floor, tel +30 2310 238025

Athens: 55-59 Karaiskaki Square Str Kolonou, tel +30 210 6927000
Co - founded by the EMFF programme of the European Union
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