Ancient Messene – Apollo Epicurious – Palace of Nestor – Castles of Methoni, Koroni and Pylos – Mycenae – Ancient Olympia – Mystras: Vasilikon’s van can take you to the most important historical monuments of Messinia and the Peloponnese, so you can enjoy a complete travel experience tailored to your needs!
In the wider area there are, of course, many more exciting destinations that you may want to discover: Verga, Mani, Polylimnio, the waterfalls of Neda, the beach of Voidokilia and the wetland of Divari, the cosmopolitan Gialova, the amphitheatrical Pylos, the mountain range, the villages, and the paths of Taygetos, etc.
An important democratic city of Greek antiquity is revealed today to be increasingly charming, as the extensive restoration work on the archaeological site continues. The city was founded in 370 BC by General Epaminondas. Enjoy a tour of the Theatre, the Ecclesiastirion, the Stadium, the Palaestra, the Asklepieion, the Kreopoleion (Butcher’s Shop), and of course the small but interesting Archaeological Museum.
(35 km – 40′ from Vasilikon)
Temple of Epicurious Apollo
One of the most important and imposing temples of Greek antiquity, it is also called the “Parthenon of the Peloponnese” since it was built in the 5th century BC and is probably a work of Iktinos. Located in Bassae of Figalia, on the border of the prefectures of Ilia, Arcadia and Messinia, it was dedicated by the Figalians to Apollo because he helped them overcome an epidemic of plague.
(80 km – 90′ from Vasilikon)
The Palace of Nestor
The Mycenaean Palace of the famous King Nestor and his father Nileas is located on the Hill of Eglianos which has been inhabited for about 6 millennia. It was a two-storey building with private apartments, formal reception areas, large courtyards, workshops, wine storages, stairwells, skylights, baths and central drainage system; The clay bath, the jars, the bases of the walls and the columns, help the visitor, along with the informative images and texts, to get a sense of the ancient palace… Nearby, there is also a vaulted Mycenaean tomb from 1500 BC.
(60 km – 65′ from Vasilikon)
The Castle of Methoni
The Castle of Methoni offers a magnificent view from many aspects, as it penetrates the sea to protect its small town, which was once a precious “eye” of the Republic of Venice (“La Serenissima”) in the East Mediterranean. It was an entire castle town, built by the Venetians in the 13th century AD – and is one of the most important medieval fortresses in Greece.
(65 km – 75′ from Vasilikon)
The Castle of Koroni
Koroni was the second precious “eye” of the Venetians, who in the 13th century AD renovated and expanded the Byzantine castle that existed there and they themselves took it from the Franks. This is where the city of ancient Assini dominated – while history continued later with the Ottoman occupation and other dramatic episodes… Today, the “island” atmosphere of Koroni and its fortress are a pole of attraction!
(55 km – 65′ from Vasilikon)
Niokastro (Castle of Pylos/Navarino)
Niokastro of Navarino or Niokastro of Pylos is an Ottoman fortress of the 16th century, located next to the picturesque, amphitheatrically built, modern town of Pylos. You can admire up close the aqueduct, the imposing gate of the castle (“Zematistra”), the exhibits of the Archaeological Museum, the Pasha building, but also the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior (“Metamorphosis tou Sotiros”), which was originally built as a mosque, it became a Catholic church during the Venetian occupation, then was again a mosque, and then became an Orthodox church.
(55 km – 60’ from Vasilikon)
The “Golden Mycenae” of the Homeric epics, the most important Greek palatial center between 1350 and 1200 BC, gave their name to a famous civilization: the Mycenaean. In this World Heritage Site, visitors look in awe at the Cyclopean Walls and the Lion Gate, while they explore the complex myths and the glorious history with undiminished interest throughout the archaeological ruins and the museum.
(138 km – 90′ from Vasilikon)
The archaeological site of Olympia needs no introduction: it was here that the Olympic Games were born, held every 4 years in honor of Zeus. This sacred place still vibrates with noble rivalry and cult myths, while offering wonderful samples of the natural and man-made beauty that characterize the Greek civilization. The museum hosts many important exhibits, among which Hermes of Praxiteles dominates…
(113 km – 95′ from Vasilikon)
Mystras is a Byzantineor castle town designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It began with the Castle of Myzithra built by Frank William Villehardouin II in 1249, and passed a few years later to the Byzantines, until its fall into the hands of the Ottomans in 1460. The last stronghold of the Eastern Roman Empire, perched at the foot of Mount Taygetos, is a monument of immense historical, cultural, artistic, and aesthetic value.
(53/107 km – 105′ from Vasilikon)