Gialova

The Village

This small picturesque settlement will charm its visitors. The natural beauty of the Gialova lagoon in the north, the extraordinary beaches and the history of the wider area offer you more than enough reasons to visit this magical place.
This beautiful village is located in the Navarino bay, north of Pilos. Many important historical events took place in this area and until today the visitor might see the remains from the shipwrecks of the Battleship of Navarino in 1827 while snorkeling in the nearby beaches.
Today in this lovely village agriculture and tourism are the main economical activities. You will find here some beautiful hotels, rooms to let, campsites, restaurants, cafes, bars, hospitable people and the amazing long organized beach of Gialova.
The most famous local products of this area are of course the olive oil and the wines. The exceptional wines of Messinia were already famous since the Mycenaean Period, when Nestor was the king of this area.

Sightseeing

You can’t miss here the Gialova lagoon also known as Lake Divari, one of the most important hydro biotopes of Europe. It is a protected hydro biotope with rare species of flora and fauna. Here many migratory birds rest during their journey. Some rare mammals can also be found here like jackals and otters. It’s the only place in Europe where you can still see the endangered species of the African chameleon. The origination of this rare species in this particular area hasn’t been explained until today. It is believed that the African chameleon ended up to this place from the Romans who used to take these animals from Egypt in order to keep them as their pets. In the nearby coasts of the lagoon you might also encounter the protected species of the turtle Caretta-Caretta. This place is ideal for walking and also for bird-watching due to the innumerous species of birds in this lagoon.
Those who get excited with the traditions should visit the Folklore Museum of Gialova. Here Mr. Balafoutis collected cultural items from Gialova and the wider area. You will find here the tools of professions that don’t exist anymore.
Near to Gialova on the road towards Sxinolaka you will find signs that lead you to the Kalamari Waterfall. Here you will find a hiking path of about 15 minutes that ends up to the waterfalls.
Above Voidokoilia beach there is the archeological site of the Mycenaean vaulted grave of Thrasymedes, the son of Nestor. In this same location there were revealed some findings from settlements that date back to Early Helladic and Middle Helladic period.
You can’t miss Paliocastro also known as Old Navarino. In the cape Korifasio viewing Voidokoilia beach you will find this Frankish castle which was established during the end of the 13th century AD. The hill of the castle can be reached from the village of Gialova. You will need to cover a walking distance of 20 minutes to end up here. This castle was built in the same location where the ancient city of Pilos was during the Classical Period. Just below this castle there is also the known Nestor’s Cave which according to Greek Mythology was the place where Hermes hid the cattle he had stolen from Apollo. Also, according to Pausanias, the cave was used by Nileas, the father of Nestor, in order to keep his cattle during the night. The view from this cave is breathtaking.
About 5km from Gialova , close to Eleofito village you might want to visit the Church of Panagia Sgrapas also known as Holy Church of Zoodochou Pigis. You will find this church on a small hill northeast from Pilos. Words can’t be found to describe this astonishing view, especially during the sunset.
About 12km away from Giavola you will find the Palace of Nestor. It is the best preserved Mycenaean palace in Greece. The numerous findings of the area are today in the Archaeological Museum of Chora, close to this area. The kingdom of Nestor one of the most important palaces during the Mycenaean Period.

The Beach

While you are in this area you have the incredible opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful beaches of Peloponnese.
The closest one is the organized Gialova beach. It is a long sandy beach, partly organized and ideal for families with children. Kite boarding and wind surfing are very popular in this beach due to the favorable northwest wind and the safety of the bay. From here you will enjoy the beautiful view of the castle of Pilos. Plenty of restaurants and cafes can be found near this beach.
A little further from Gialova you will find one of the most popular around the area, the Divari beach also known as Golden beach. This long sandy beach starts from Gialova and ends up to cape Korifasio where Paleocastro was built. The Golden beach offers its visitors a magnificent view of Pilos, Navarino Bay and Sfaktiria Island. While snorkeling in this beach you will see remains of the shipwrecks of this area. Here you might also encounter the rare species of the turtle Caretta-Caretta which visits this area during the summer period in order to reproduce. This beach actually divides the Navarino Bay from the Gialova lagoon, the famous hydro biotope which you could visit while you are here. At the end of this beach there is the Perasma tis Sikias. It is in fact a narrow sea lane between the Sfaktiria Island and the mainland. From here you could try to swim across the beach and reach the beautiful Sfaktiria Island.
Perhaps the most amazing beach of Peloponnese is the Voidokoilia beach. It is an unorganized beach with exceptional natural beauty. You will not resist to this sandy beach with the turquoise water. The signal shape of this beach looks like the Greek letter “Ω”. A little further the castle on the hill of the cape will catch you attention. The castle is called Palaiocastro and is a good opportunity for some sightseeing while you are in the area. Below this castle you might also like to visit Nestor’s Cave, a cave with the most amazing view you could imagine for endless photos! At the right part of the bay there is another historical monument, the Mycenaean vaulted grave of Thrasymedes which was the son of King Nestor.
About 8km away from Gialova you could also visit Romanos beach and the nearby Petrochori beach. These beaches are partly organized beach covered in sand and ideal for those who don’t like overcrowded beaches.

Activities

The village of Gialova is a great place for a series of activities.
Hiking is one of them. Following the hiking trail towards the Kalamari Waterfalls is definitely a rewarding experience. If you prefer the sea try walking across the coastline of Gialova. Also the path towards Paliocastro is a great hiking opportunity. In addition you could enjoy walking around the Gialova lagoon, which is also ideal for those who like bird-watching.
Diving, Kite surfing, Wind surfing are also some great activities someone can enjoy in the nearby coasts.
In Gialova you could also find cruises or places to rent a boat. Renting a bike is also possible in this area.

Places to visit

While enjoying your vacation here you could seize the opportunity to visit some great locations near Gialova.
One of the closest is Pilos about 7km away. Visit the castle of Pylos, Niocastro, and enjoy your journey to the past.
Approximately 18,5km away from Gialova there is Methoni. In this amazing town take some time wandering around the Venetian Castle of Methoni and enjoy swimming afterwards in the nearby sandy beaches.

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