Accessed by foot from the southern side of Voidhokilia beach. A tricky looking climb and I suspect more of an effort than it's worth. Supposedly full of bats with a hole in the roof. According to the Odyssey Hermes hid Apollo's cattle here.
2007 and still haven't got here!! My excuse was I didn't have suitable footwear. I would like to see the cave, if only for the views back over the beach at Voidokilia.
These ruins sit on Koryphasion Hill, 5kms. west of Gialova(8kms. north of Pylos). They guard the northen entrance to Navarino Bay.
There is a rough track up to the castle ruins from a car park at the southern end of the hill at the end of Divari Beach. Can also be reached from Nestor's Cave path from Voidhokilia Bay. It's about a 25 min. walk from the end of Divari beach but wear decent footwear. Parts of the path are a bit of a scramble where you are continually walking on marching ants, attempting to avoid any rustlings in the undergrowth and dodging the ciccadas and grasshoppers forever flying out at you!!!
As I entered the precarious looking entrance, I noticed a fallen over sign warning that to enter would be at my own risk!! Well..... Actually, disappointingly I never made it to the far side of the castle from where there are fanastic views down to Voidokilia. I didn't have very appropriate footwear on.
It's an enormous site, mostly overgrown and difficult to navigate but it' definitely worth the hike up.
The castle was built by the Franks at the end of 13thc. and was occupied in 1381 by Spanish mercenaries from Navarra, hence Navarino Bay.
North of Pylos, pass through Gialova and turn left at the sign for Golden Beach (Divari Beach.)
A vast sweep of fine golden sand with trees for shade.
Lots of little car parking areas, quite a few taken up with motorhomes. As the beach is so extensive there is room for all.
The water is incredibly shallow and calm, safe for young children. One place we stopped there were the remains of a wrecked ship, I should imagine the bay has claimed a few!!!
2007 update. This year, we went to Golden Beach few times, to the far end. Philip loved the place and spent most of his time collecting crabs, starfish and jellyfish. There were hundreds of different crabs scuttling about, hermit crabs being the most interesting. It was difficult not to tread on a crab when you went swimming!! This far along, be warned, there is no shade at all.
The most popular part of the beach is where there is a weekend and high season kantina offering a porta-cabin for those desperate enough to use it, as well as a few beach umbrellas.Certainly the locals flocked there on the Bank Holiday weekend. Needless to say, we carried on to the far end of the beach, far from the madding cowd!!!
Behind the beach is Divari Lagoon, a paradise for bird watchers and nature lovers. I did see some terrapins or turtles, not sure which they were.
No motorhomes or campers this year. Now strictly forbidden.
One of the best bird-watching sites in the Peloponnese. Declared a protected area in 1996 and is now a Natura 2000 site.
It covers an area of around 500hectares and is at the northen end of Navarino Bay, seperated from the sea by a narrow spit of land leading out to Paleokastro.
Can be reached by car from Golden Beach. It's a popular spot for walking and cycling.
Between November and M arch up to 20,000 waterbirds stop off here on their spring migration between Africa and Eastern Europe.
We heard frogs here,while we were on the beach, but couldn't see any when we went to have a look.
There is an information centre.
2007 update. Saw terrapins or turtles. There is a nature trail now, that has points of interest and the pumping house has ideas of becoming an educational centre.
This is a beautiful horseshoe shaped, golden sand beach, only reached by car from north of Gialova. Difficult to find but worthwhile. Can also be reached by foot from north of Navarino bay, heading from Golden Beach towards Paleokastro. Nestor's cave can be reached by scrambling up a path from the beach. We didn't bother as it was very steep.
When we visited the area had been invaded by campers who looked fairly permanent.
The beach was also covered at one end with mounds of dried seaweed.
2007 update. Re-visited a few times this year. Less weed,strictly no camping allowed and this is enforced, apparently.
I walked up onto the headland at the car-park end and had a look at an ancient site, a tholos tomb. Not overly exciting but the views down to the beach and out over the lagoon were worth the effort.
When you visit Nestor's Palace, don't miss the Mycenian Tomb that is at the bottom of the parking place. Impressive, huge, magnificient!
At Nestor's Palace you can see a complete tub in the toilets of the Palace.
They must have been small people!!