In the southwest part of Peloponnese there is the small seaside village called Petalidi. In the village you will find the big beautiful square with the church of St. Nikolaos, restaurants and cafes and a little further the small harbor.
This place is ideal for families and for those who prefer relaxing beach holidays. It is a great destination, quite developed in tourism and offers great options for the accommodation of the travelers. Around the wider area of Petalidi travelers will discover a vast variety of amazing beaches to swim and sunbathe all day long.
According to Homeric Poems the Ancient Aipeia was located in this area, north of the Petalidi village. Ancient Aipeia was one of the 7 cities Agamemnon promised to Achilles as dowry provided that he would return to the battles of the Trojan War.
In the same location it is believed that emigrants from Boeotia founded the Ancient Koroni between 369-365BC. The name Koroni, according to some theories, was given by Epimilidis who was the founder of the city and came from the Koronia of Boeotia. Ancient Koroni developed rapidly and constructed a lot of monuments. In the acropolis of the city there was a great statue of Athens. In the agora of the city were constructed many sanctuaries dedicated to the Greek Gods Artemis, Asclepius, and Dionysus. The brass statue of Zeus Sotiros decorated the cenral agora. Ruins from the Ancient Aipeia and the Ancient Koroni have been found in the area and today are exhibited in the Benakeio Archaeological Museum of Kalamata.
Pausanias, the Greek geographer visited this place in 150AD and identified Petalidi with the Ancient Aipeia.
Between 7th and 8th century the residents of Ancient Koroni moved and built their new settlement to Ancient Asini which is now known as Koroni, the beautiful town with the imposing castle. In the area of Petalidi there are still remains of the Byzantine Period, like the temple of Agios Theodoros and Agia Paraskevi in Achladochori village. Most of these remaining byzantine temples are deserted.
In 1830, after the end of the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire, the first minister of the newly formed Greek state, Ioannis Kapodistrias offered the public lands of this area to the residents of Mani in order to please them for their contribution during the war. This plan was delayed because of reactions of the council of elderly of Koroni. After the interference of Othonas, who was the first king of Greece, people from the wider area of Mani finally settled in Petalidi. Until today people in the area have surnames that derive from known families of Mani.
The closest one is of course the Petalidi Beach near to the homonym harbor. It is a beach covered by thick pebbles in the outside and by sand in the inside. Here you will find traditional cafeterias to enjoy your coffee while enjoying the view.
Drive towards the South and you will find Chrani beach. Like Petalidi beach this is also covered by pebbles outside and by sand inside. In this seaside location you will find hotels, rooms to let and restaurants. If you like fish don’t leave without visiting one of the traditional taverns of the area and taste fresh fish and “ouzo”, a traditional Greek aperitif.
Keep driving, about 12,5Km away from Petalidi, until you meet the Agios Andreas Logga seaside settlement. This picturesque village has a beautiful organized beach and attracts many tourists from Greece and abroad. In case you want to spend your night here you will also find hotels and rooms to let for your accommodation.
Although it is quite further than the rest of the beaches, Peroulia beach is definitely one you should visit. It is about 30 minutes by car and 19,5Km away from Petalidi. It is a dreamy sandy beach with crystal clear water. The beautiful castle of Koroni can be seen in the background offering an astonishing view while swimming. It is a partly organized beach, with a restaurant and a cafeteria. The beach is quite long and suitable for families and for those who like peaceful holidays.
Towards the North, about 6km away from Petalidi (and about 9 minutes by car) there is the archaeological site Nichorion. It is an important historic site of the area with findings from the Early Helladic Period and buildings from the Middle Helladic and the Mycenaean years. The heyday of this settlement was during the Mycenaean Period (1600-1050 AD).
If you feel like driving a little further, 24 km from Petalidi , about 35 minutes is Koroni, one of the most popular towns in Messinia and in Peloponnese in general. Don’t miss the chance to visit this beautiful castle which is one the most important Venetian castles in Peloponnese. After passing through the imposing gate you will see the well preserved remains of this magnificent castle. You might see the locals, who still live in some parts of the castle, taking care of their houses and the olive trees. Inside the castle city there is the church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos (St. John the Baptist). On the beautiful seaside street of Koroni you will find a variety of fish taverns and cafes. In the wider area of Koroni you might want to visit sandy small bays and long beaches, like Gargaroo, Agia Triada and Agios Ioannis.
About 38Km from Petalidi towards the North there is one of the most important archaeological sites of Peloponnese, the Ancient Messini. This important excavated city has revealed a lot of sanctuaries, public buildings, tombs, houses and fortifications which shed a lot of light in the way of life during the Antiquity. If you are a history enthusiast don’t miss this opportunity!