… Municipality of Messini...a natural beauty ……
MUNICIPALITY OF MESSHNI
The municipality of Messini covers an area of 563.7 square kilometers on the western and central part of the regional unit of Messinia in the Peloponnese, southern Greece. It is located at a distance of 235 km from Athens and 10 km west of the regional capital of Kalamata.
The local population is estimated at 23,482 people. The municipality is easily accessed by land through an extensive road network and by air – the Kalamata International Airport is just 1 km to the east. It is also accessed by sea with ferries by the ports of Pylos and Koroni.
The municipality is mainly a farming area producing olive oil, table olives, figs, raisins, potatoes, fruits and vegetables. The town of Messini, the seat of the municipality, has 6,000 residents and a beautiful town square doubling as a vibrant commercial center. Inland quaint villages, such as Valyra, Aristomenis, Androussa and Trikorfo, are beckoning with their unique natural environment and hospitable coffee shops.
The southern part of the municipality is framed by 27 kilometers of a mostly accessible coastline dotted with sandy beaches (Chranoi, Petalidi, Aghios Andreas, Logga, Bouka Messini Velika and Analipsi), seaside settlements, popular resorts and traditional fish taverns.
At 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) to the north, at the foot of Mount Ithome, Ancient Messini, is a unique awe-inspiring sites of Greece because of its large scale and shape. Mightily impressive at first glance while entering its famed Arcadian Gate, Ancient Messini had the rare privilege to be spared from destruction or disappearance under newer settlements.
The city’s architecture, its circuit wall, its location amid a lush landscape and its grandeur have been amazing visitors for the past 2,500 years.
Dirt-paths descending between olive trees and ancient white-marble columns lead to a beautifully restored ancient theater, one of antiquity’s largest, the Sebasteion with its colorful mosaics, a sanctuary to the god Asklepios, a temple to Artemis Orthia, the elaborate Fountain House of Arsinoe and the impressive Stadium, a breathtaking view in terms of scale and form.
TEMPLES, MONASTERIES AND CASTLES
A large number of churches and monasteries – the monasteries of Voulkanou and Metamorphosis Sotiros and the Zoodohos Pigi-Samarina Church - are important religious monuments in the area. There are also two castles, Androussa and Saflaouro, in the municipality.
On the road to Pylos, at 20 kilometers from Messini, there is a “piece of Paradise” untouched by time: the gorge of Polymnio next to many lakes and waterfalls. A small path modelled with wooden bridges offers a five-minute crossing through dense vegetation to a complex of 15 tiny lakes and their waterfalls.