Nearby towns to explore

The nearby town of Koroni has lots to recommend it. Take the main road from Vasilitsi towards Kalamata where two turnings into the town both eventually wind down to the waterfront. The town has all of the necessary shops, banks etc. for your needs including a supermarket, fresh fish shop and 2 butchers. There is a fantastic wine shop Kiari where you can also buy delicious olive oil and other local specialities. Giannis the owner is tremendously knowledgeable and friendly. Also on the seafront are numerous and varied places to eat and drink. On Sundays there is a bustling market and the town has a great atmosphere. We love to sit at Takis’ taverna with an ouzo or a cold beer and a small plate of mixed meze and watch the world go by and we have even seen a turtle swimming by as well as a seal and countless fish.

Heading uphill away from the sea, you can take any of the stepped lanes to explore the town and its numerous backstreets and small churches, as well as great views over the Messinian Gulf towards the Mani. Bear to the left as you go up and you will reach the Venetian citadel – a great place to visit with churches of various ages and a nunnery which gives exceptional views in all directions. The town has a wonderful programme of live music presented by Koroni Festival from June to October, with recitals taking place regularly in the grounds of Panagia Elestria and attracting national and international talent. The setting is quite magical, with the sound of the wind in the pines and waves on the beach below at Zaga.

On the road out towards Kalamata there is a large, recently renovated supermarket with a wider selection than in town. We also love to buy fresh local fruit and vegetables from Joanna’s roadside stall, much of which is grown by her family. There is another good supermarket in Harakopio where you will find great bakeries and an art gallery / shop run by talented resident Gill Tomlinson.

Taking the main road north west from Vasilisti, there is a lovely drive towards Finikounda, a lively small resort with a traditional harbour and plenty of good places to eat and drink, the best known of which is Taverna Elena with it’s terraces giving wonderful views across the harbour. There is a new supermarket in Fini (as it is more fondly known) as well as a great butcher. And if you are looking for things to do then bike hire is available at Fini Bikes or rent a boat at the super friendly Fini Divers and discover some of the hard to reach beaches along the coast, or over on the island of Sapeintza.

Further along the main road is Methoni, about 30 minutes drive from Vasilitsi, where there is another huge Venetian citadel with some beautifully preserved architecture and the stunning Bourtzi tower stretching out into the sea. Do check opening times if you want to go inside as we have been caught out. There are great places to eat including the fantastic family run Klēmatariá which is well known, a little pricier than others but certainly worth a treat.

Pylos is the next town up the coast northwards and a really attractive place with a larger harbour and magnificent square surrounded by lots of cafes and well shaded by ancient plane trees. There is also a castle here, very large and well preserved with a fascinating museum. It is just out of town on the Methoni side. You can hire boats in Pylos too and we have used Pylos Marine – there’s plenty to explore in the bay of Navarino including the pretty town of Gialova and the golden sands at Divari beach. You can also drive round to Divari and explore Nestor’s Cave and the stunning Voidokilia beach.

This should give you a small taste of what the area around Pilinos has to offer and our guests often leave their tips in our visitor book too, so you won’t ever be stuck for things to do. There’s a good selection of guidebooks and road maps at the house which are accurate in a general way but some specific turns and junctions are less so…. be prepared to get a bit lost on some of the small roads, it’s all part of the fun!