Spectacularly sited on a headland above Divari Beach, Divari Lagoon and Voidokilia Bay, this castle can only be accessed on foot. Park at the end of the track along from Divari Beach (Golden Beach) and follow the path to the left,that winds it's way up to he ruins. It's about a twenty minute walk and it's adviseable to wear decent footwear, which I didn't have. The path is rocky and literally covered with marching ants, not to mention the ciccadas, grasshoppers, lizards etc. etc jumping across your path continually.
The castle is in a precarious state, there is a fallen down notice warning that you enter the castle at your own risk so watch your step!! It is a huge place, much of it too overgrown to access easily. As I've said, I didn't have adequate footwear so didn't make it all the way round, so missed out on the views down to Voidokilia.
From Voidokilia beach, you can also reach the castle but it's far more of a scramble.
Methoni is located 9km south of Pylos. It was already famous and fortified in the antiquity. However in the 12th, the Venetians fortified Methoni. The castle was accessed by a wood bridge. Later, after 1500, the Turks strengthened the castle that can now be seen. Its ruins are still impressive. The Venetian wooden bridge was replaced by a 14 arches stone bridge built over a moat by the technicians of “Expedition Scientifique de Morée”, that accompanied French general Maison between 1828 and 1833.
Road side chapels along the road are a common sight in Greece. They can be of very different styles. The first photo shows a brass lamp with oil burning. On the right, two bottles.to refill the lamp. Behind two plates with the figures of saints.
The second photo gives a close up on one of the plates. It is a bit dark but nevertheless shows clearly a bearded saint with a cap on his head.
The third photo is a general view of the chapel, topped by a crown of artificial flowers..
Pilos is now a nice little nested at the bottom of the bay of Navarin. It is a nice landscape with white houses nested along the hill, making a kind of amphitheater. It is pleasant to walk along the quays and in the small streets of the city.
The first photo shows the bay of Navarin with the city of Pilos on the left. In the far background, on the right, the island of Sphacteria locks the bay.
The second photo is a close up on the island of Sphacteria. It shows well that it is made of tall cliffs that fall directly into the sea.
This castle is not so obvious from the land, but definitely so from the sea where it crowns an dominates Pilos.
Building began on it by the Turks in 1572, then the Venetians took hold from 1686 - 1718. This was followed by brief Russian occupation in 1770, then the massacre of the Turks in 1821 before it became the headquarters of Ibrahim Pasha. In later years the castle dungeons were used as a prison.
We found some steps leading up from the waterfront and followed them ever upwards, a bit of a hike on a hot day but worth it.
There is vehicle access from the Methoni road with parking.
Huge site, complete with churches and a museum. It is very strung out and takes some walking round so take plenty of water with you and wear decent footwear as the stone paths can be slippy.
More info in my Castle travelogue.