As a Methonian, you become spoilt by the castle as a resident of Niagara becomes spoilt by the falls. It’s not a world wonder, but the castle is part of the landscape of Methoni; something that Methoni just wouldn’t be the same without. From the family home I grew up in, late at night is a magical time to be on the veranda and just look at the lights that keep the outside of the castle visible. Then you relax, go to bed, shut everything off, and go to sleep with the sound of the rippling waves hitting the eroding beach that the castle faces.
This is an aerial shot that comes in one size.
This is the view from my beach chair at the eroding sandy beach. Government austerity measures have made it impossible for the town to spend money on keeping the tide from rising each year. And the citizens are being incredulously depleted financially that only a quick dissolution of the EU would save the beach and other environmental problems facing the area and the nation. Ironically, as some natives tell me, Trump not supporting the EU may be an opportunity to make this happen. But this nation-building deserves a post of its own. Suffice it to say, I believe there’s plenty of hope for restoring the full beauty that once existed.
The walkway above is the entrance to the castle. It was once free but now is at 2 Euros. Still a bargain for hours of Venetian architectural and historical tourism.
It is best to start at about 10 in the morning to beat the crowds and the heat. The latter can at times be debilitating. Take plenty of water and head south till there nowhere else to go. What you are entering is a fortress build by the Venetian to stave off enemies. It was a perfect location because Methoni is situated at the southern tip of mainland Greece and ships can be seen from way off and it is a very difficult area to attack. There’s lore about how armies started avoiding the area altogether. This was true through the colonization of the Ottoman empire. This area was enslaved by many empires throughout the centuries because of its strategic location. To this day, the southern Peloponnese is new to tourists.
This is one of the main roads in the castle. It remains a historic landmark and can’t be touched except for upkeep. Most of the castle is a government -designated historic landmark.
This is the western, least popular, border of the castle where the beach turns into a turbulent water mass where you can go fishing or see some corals if you go in deeper by boat. Caution is always needed and it is prohibited to enter the water from inside the fortress. On a hot day, this is a welcome refuge to cool off. There could be at least a 5 degree Celsius difference when you’re near the turbulent waters.
This used to be a way to sneak into the castle from the beach mentioned at the beginning of this post. Again, better to go here last, especially if it’s hot. The fishing boats of the modest town harbour are usually docked here. It is the only place where you can’t swim.
You need to be careful going into one of these caverns, which must have been living quarters back in the day. There could be bats inside, although I never heard of anyone encountering any. It may be a rural myth to keep entrances to such abodes to a minimum. Entering them is yet another form of cooling off.
Great architecture here.
This is the entrance to the piece de resistance of the whole adventure. The tight road to the bourtzi is captivating. The coolness of the fresh water blowing on the castle re-energizes you and gives you a view of the northern tip of the Mediterranean. A picture which I’ve lost. Please go to Google for more fantastic pics and history.
A must see destination for the morning before you go have a fish lunch prior to spending a lazy day at the crowded or secluded beach.