Nothing beats driving through Greece's southern region of the Peloponnese on a beautiful summer day. Your eyes are fixed on the endless waves of olive trees that have blessed this land for centuries.
The Peloponnese offers many wonderful areas to visit and needs to be broken down into different groups to tour through. My destination on this trip is set on the various areas of Messinia, where one can explore over 4,500 years of Greece's rich history. There are amazing sites to visit especially for the cultural tourist; Neolithic settlements, Mycenaean palaces, Classical Temples, many Byzantine Churches and medieval castles, all within driving distance in Messinia and near bye areas of the Peloponnese. Historical sites not to miss are the Messene ancient stadium, Monemvasia, the beautiful medieval city built on the slopes of a rocky mountain that stretch down to the sea, and the famous Mycenae settlement, the Homeric acclaimed ancient Greek city of the legendary King Agamemnon.
As we drove through the city of Kalamata, the well-known olive producing town, the imposing mountains behind the city offered a dramatic setting along the beach and coastal road with many seaside restaurants and hotels. We then drove off south-west of Messinia, through quaint villages and dirt roads, as the sun set on the olive trees' leaves, with their backdrop being an amazing blue sea and sky, offering a magical picture that will remain with me throughout time.
I was en route to a hidden gem of a resort, located deep in Messinia with heartfelt story. It has been said that this resort not only upgraded the area with new roads, an airport and an increase in agriculture, but it also created many new jobs for the locals, increased tourism, and most importantly, it has become an example for reviving the Greek natural way of life. This was the dream that was made a reality by a native of Messinia, Captain Vasilis Konstakopoulos.
Captain Vasilis spent many years building Costa Navarino's bioclimatic architectural paradise so that visitors, foreigners, and Greeks alike, can experience the beauty of Greece's nature with ultimate luxury and traditional Greek themes. The beauty of this resort is that you feel that you have come to a harmonious safe haven. It offers the visitor an array of choices to suit all vacationing preferences. One can swim at the white sandy beaches with crystal clear water, golf while taking in the gorgeous scenery, partake in water sports activities, hike, or just lay by the pool all day for some Zen time!
Captain Vassilis was an environmental activist who worked hard to offer organic home grown products, in order to show his visitors and their children how important it is to go back to our origins and adopt a natural lifestyle, as well as to respect nature through environmental social responsibility, sustainable farming and growing plants to assist our ecosystem. The resort produces honey, grows herbs, supports and protects turtles laying eggs on the beach.
Sadly, Captain Vassilis passed away before seeing the resort completed. His family, however, is committed to his life long dream of sustainability, sharing the Greek culture, cuisine, and healthy way of life with its visitors, hoping to inspire them all somehow.
Messinia overall is one more destination to definitely explore when visiting Greece!