When you stay at Guesthouse Ilios kai Thalassa you can start hiking from our doorsteps to explore the nearby beautiful nature. The area has a very wealthy flora and fauna with many flowering plants and butterflies. We are within minutes walking from Natura 2000 protected dunes and the Romanos beach. It is here were the Caretta caretta sea turtles still comes to lay their eggs.
In about an hour walking between lush olive groves and vineyards enjoying stunning panoramas you can reach the famous Gialova Lagoon and the natural bay of Voidokilia Beach. Also known as Omega beach because of it’s shape.
Petrochori: Paleokastro the ruins of the ancient castle. Built by the Franks in the 13th century on the site of the acropolis of Ancient Pylos on a formidable natural defensive position overlooking the northern entrance to Navarino Bay. The castle (officially closed) is a ruin, but the outside walls and his round and square towers are saved in a good condition. It can be explored with care. The views from the top are magnificent. Paleokastro castle lost his importance when in 1573 the Turks built a new fortress (Neokastro) at the southern entrance of the Navarino bay.
Below the castle, in the cliff just above Voidokilia beach, you find a cave referred to as Nestor’s cave by ancient Greek traveller Pausanias. According to Greek mythology, it was there that Hermes hid the cattle he had stolen from his brother Apollo. However, the latter found out and as a penance Hermes offered him a lyre made of tortoise shell.
Voidokilia Beach has been recognised officially as a landscape of exceptional natural beauty by the Greek government, and is one of the most captivating spots in Greece. The sheltered bay is referred to in Homer’s Odyssey and archaeologists believe it was used by King Nestor as a port in ancient times.
From Voidokilia beach you can pass onto the lagoon of Gialova through a natural path to observe the lagoon’s bird life and the fascinating world of one of Europe’s most important wetlands. The Lagoon –in winter– houses flamingo’s and is a important stop over for migrating birds from and to Africa. It’s a birds and bird watchers paradise with annually over 270 species counted! The surrounding dunes are the last place in Europe where the African chameleon can be spotted.
In the villages Romanos and Petrochori close to Guesthouse Ilios kai Thalassa as well as on the beach there are various taverna’s. For lunch or diner they serve traditional Greek food most have large terraces outside and serve local produced vegetables and meats. Some serve fresh fish from the local fishermen.
Pylos and its harbour