Methoni has been identified as the city of Pedasus, which Homer mentions under the name “ampeloessa” (of vine leaves), as the last of the seven well-peopled cities that Agamemnon offers Achilles in order to subdue his rage. Pausanias knew the city as Mothone, named either after the daughter of Oeneus or after the rock Mothon, which protects the harbour, and mentioned a temple to Athena Anemotisthere. The the Messinian Oinousses complex of islands protected the port of Methoni from the turbulent sea. Along with the rest of Messenia, the town gained its independence from the Spartans in 369 BC.
Like other Mediterranean coastal settlements, Methoni was probably heavily affected by the tsunami that followed the earthquake in AD 365. Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus wrote that as a result of the earthquake some ships had been “hurled nearly two miles from the shore”, giving as an example a Laconian vessel that was stranded “near the town of Methone”.
During the Byzantine years Methoni retained its remarkable harbor and remained one of the most important cities of the Peloponnese, seat of a bishopric.
The Republic of Venice had its eye on Methoni (Modon) since the 12th century, due to its location on the route from Venice to the Eastern markets. In 1125, they launched an attack against pirates based at Methoni, who had captured some Venetian traders on their way home from the east.
In the mid-12th century, the Muslim traveller and geographer al-Idrisi mentioned Methoni as a fortified town with a citadel.
At the time of the fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade, one of the Crusaders, Geoffrey of Villehardouin, was shipwrecked near Methoni, and he spent the winter of 1204/5 there. He came into contact with a local Greek magnate—identified by some scholars with a certain John Kantakouzenos—and aided him in subduing much of the region. Villehardouin’s sojourn there was brief, however, since the Greek magnate died, and his son and successor turned against Villehardouin, who was forced to flee Messenia, and made for the Argolid, where a Crusader army under Boniface of Montferrat had arrived. From there, Villehardouin and another Crusader, William of Champlitte, led the conquest of the Peloponnese from the local Greeks and the establishment of a Crusader principality, the Principality of Achaea. In the treaty of partition of the Byzantine Empire by the Crusaders, the Partitio Romaniae, most of the peninsula had been assigned to the Republic of Venice in the treaty of partition, but the Venetians did not take action to pre-empt or hinder Champlitte and Villehardouin.
Built by the Venetians in the early 13th century on a rocky promontory, the castle is among the largest ones in the Mediterranean. You’ll be astonished at the bridge stone of 14 arches which connects the castle to the shore instead of the timber one that used to stand in its place before the Venetians ever got there. The celebrated symbol of Venice, the lion of St Marc, dominates the gate of the castle where immured reliefs, emblems, blazons, inscriptions, the huge gates –especially the main gate, above the moat – and the relics of two Ottoman bathhouses have survived.y a short wall with 5 towers.
At the south edge of the castle a fortified islet floats. Bourtzi, as it is called, a prison and place of executions during the Turkish Occupation, was built in 1500 and is connected to the Sea Gate of the castle with a paved tiny road.
After 20 years of hard work and excavations, it is considered the most well preserved ancient city all over Greece, a “must see” for every visitor appreciating history and culture.
A very special place, totally different than the rest landscape of Messinia, great for hiking. Try to swim in the cold water if you are brave enough.
Voted every year among the best beaches in the Mediterranean, this “Omega” shaped beach is a wonder of nature, protected by Unesco.
Tip: try to visit it either early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
A small island with crystal turquoise water and a small church celebrating on July 17 (don’t miss the fest , if you are there on this date).
A small island at the entrance of the bay of Pylos (Navarino). It has been the theater of 3 historical battles between 425 BC and 1827 AD.
a hidden gem of the Ionian sea, being a shelter for wild species of birds and animals and an excellent destination for hiking. Don’t miss the stone built light-house, one of the oldest and most beautiful lighthouses in Greece.