The only geological formation of its kind, Voidokilia Beach in Messinia, Greece is one of the most fascinating and beautiful in the Mediterranean Sea. Its sweeping semi-circle of fine sand--seemingly traced with a compass into a giant Greek omega letter--wraps around the translucent waters in a sheltered cove archaeologists believe was used by King Nestor as a port in ancient times. Combined with its specific mention in Homer's epic The Odyssey (it is presumed to be the "sandy Pylos" where Telemachus was welcomed by King Nestor during his search for his father), Voidokilia has earned accolades as an area of historical importance and necessary preservation, and so has remained largely intact even as civilization has expanded and warred.
Voidokilia's beach lies beneath the Old Frankish castle, as well as the cave of Pylos' ancient King Nestor. In addition to sunning and swimming, a path up from Voidokilia will lead visitors to the Old Navarino castle, and panoramic views of the Divari Lagoon of Gialova, Navarino Bay, and Peloponnesian hills spackled with olive trees. With a little more grunt work, further adventures await at the top of a climb to Nestor's cave. The hiking route begins at the southwest end of the beach, and heads straight up. Beyond the cave, the trail continues towards Paliokastro. Gialova Lagoon visits are also possible, with access from Voidokilia Beach along a path dotted with wetlands and indigenous birds.
The beach is situated about 7-1/2 miles from the city of Pylos, and is accessible via the village of Petrochori. Sand tracks lead to parking for the beach--either from the Gialova Lagoon parking area, or by following the Northside route from Petrochori. Voidokilia beach fun is both gay- and nudist-friendly.
It's All Greek to Me
In Greek mythology, Nestor of Gerenia was King of Pylos, gaining the throne after Heracles killed his father, Neleus, and all of his siblings. He helped fight the centaurs, and participated in the hunt for the the Calydonian Boar. Note: I'm pretty sure none of these people or things are real.
Nestor's Cave, just above Voidokilia Beach, is said to have been the safe house for the cattle little Greek rapscallion and klepto Hermes stole from his half-brother Apollo. Legend has it that the infant Hermes discovered the herd, and decided on his plot of trickery and thievery. One by one, he pulled the cows hooves off and reattached them in the reverse order. He did the same with his own sandals. When he took the herd to Nestor's cave, the tracks it left appeared to be moving backwards, which threw Apollo both for a loop, and into a tizzy. Note: I'm pretty sure that story is fake.
Aristotle believed that the male life force stems the residue sloughed off by nourishment, which is then absorbed and converted by the blood. By interpretation, this means that the more spanikopita and baklava men eat, the more virile they will be. Note: I'm pretty sure this isn't true, but highly encourage testing it out for personal verification.
- Voidokilia Beach: http://www.voidokilia.com/voidokilia/00-Voidokilia-Story-EN.htm
- Pylos Culture & History: http://pylos.net/
- Pylos Side Trips: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/pylos/1636010011.html
- Pylos Accommodations Directory: http://www.greekhotels.gr/peloponnese_hotels/messinia_hotels/pylos_hotels.asp
- Hotel Navarone at at Petrochori, Pylos: http://www.hotelnavarone.gr/
- The Romanos Resort, Costa Navarino: http://www.romanoscostanavarino.com/
- Pylos Private Taxi Service: http://www.greecetaxi.gr/Index/pylos_methoni_castles.html
- SCUBA Diving in Pylos: http://pilosmarine.com/