Filiatra

The Town

Could you imagine travelling in the west coast of Peloponnese and see the Eiffel Tower? Well in Filiatra, this small town of Messinia, you will! The replica of the Eiffel Tower placed at the entrance of the town is the most notable tourist attraction in the area. Due to this replica the town is often called “the little Paris”. The replica is smaller than the original and it was built by the funding and the initiative of the homogeneous doctor Haralampos Fournarakis. Mr Fournarakis was also responsible for the building of the “The Castle of Fairytales” in Agrili.
The town is built on a green plain with olive trees and vineyards. There are marvelous beaches in the wider area and also many places to visit using Filiatra as a starting point.
In the city, except the signal replica of the Eiffel Tower, you will also be astonished by the impressive main square of the town where you can see the famous clock that decorates the city and the Venetian fountain.
In the area there are many medieval and especially byzantine monuments which travelers could visit like the monastery of St. Christophorus, the historical Vlacherna monastery etc.
One of the most known traditions in the area is the festival of the watermelon. The tradition started at 2007 and continues every year from the mid May until mid June. During this period people are served with a lot of cool watermelon which is produced in this area.

History

The town of Filiatra dates back in the 16th century but it is a continuation of the ancient city Erana. There are proofs that the history of this place goes way back in time, like a stone axe from the Neolithic Period, which was found in Gournospilia. Also in Armakadia there are ruins from an ancient building and a Mycenaean tomb.
During the end of the 19th century the city was economically developed and became an agricultural and trading centre. During this period many exports of local products towards the European cities took place. The most popular products were the olive oil, the raisin and the wines. In the town the visitors of this time could see the big mansions and the luxury of the city. In 1886 a big earthquake almost demolished the city and the economy collapsed. The city was rebuilt but never returned to its previous economic prosperity.
The name of the town means “edge of the well” and according to tradition the name is related with the large number of the wells that existed in the settlement.

The Beach

Stomio beach is 4km north of Filiatra. It is a beautiful sandy beach organized with umbrellas.
Agia Kiriaki, just 4,5km south from Filiatra, is a picturesque harbor of the area where you can enjoy swimming. The sunset is also beautiful here.
About 6,7km north of Filiatra you will find Agrili. Here you could visit the wonderful “Castle of Fairytales” and also enjoy swimming in the nearby sandy coast.
Lagouvardos beach is a long sandy beach about 9km south of Filiatra. The beach is ideal for board and wind surfing, canoeing etc. It is one of the most popular in the area. If you choose to spend your time there, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful sunset.

Places to visit

Filiatra could be a great starting point to visit plenty of beautiful places, like the village Christianoupoli. It is about 12km away from Filiatra built on the west side of the mountain Aigaleo (or Psichro). In the centre of the village you will find the Holy Church of the Transfiguration of the Redeemer. This byzantine church is one of the most important byzantine monuments of Messinia. The village is built on the ancient settlement and many ruins from this settlement have been found. The most notable are the remains of the sanctuary which was dedicated to Zeus.
If you would like to enjoy the most beautiful sunset from a historical city with view at Ionian Sea, consider visiting Kyparissia, only 14,5km away from Filiatra. You can be lost in the old city while visiting the historic monuments and also visit the nearby sandy beaches.
A little further from Kyparissia you will find Kalo Nero, a popular summer destination.
If you prefer travelling towards the South, visit Marathos also known as Marathopolis. This lovely fishing village is located about 12km south of Filiatra and offers plenty of beautiful beaches in the nearby area. The most popular one is of course the beach of Lagouvardos. In the village you will find plenty of fish taverns to enjoy fresh fish.
About 37 km south of Filiatra you will find the amazing Neda River. One of the most rewarding activities the traveler might consider in the area is trekking at the Neda River and the waterfalls.

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