This is part two of the Westin Resort Costa Navarino travel feature by Reena Patel
The resort also hosts its own ‘Agora’ – traditionally, a central meeting spot in ancient Greece, designed to create a sense of community spirit. Within this mini village there’s an amphitheatre, plenty of shops, bars and yes, more eateries, such as Da Luigi (classic Italian trattoria), Taverna (a taste of home-made Messinian dishes), Inbi (Asian cuisine), Kafenio & Deli (Greek coffee house) and a Souvlakeri (hearty Greek grilled meats wrapped in pita bread and fries). The main marvel for me has got to be the stupendous outdoor cinema screen.
There’s so much to see and do here that you could lock yourself away for weeks within the resort grounds. There’s olive oil and wine tastings, plus various sports to get involved in (the second area, Navarino Bay, is where golfers will find The Dunes Course – the first signature championship course in Greece). You can even take a ‘philosophy walk’ led by Greek scholars to discuss important modern-day issues through the prism of ancient Greek thinking and writings.
We took a scenic bike ride out to Voidokilia, a stunning secluded beach enclave. There are many pristine islets for relaxation and exploration nearby – sandy beaches, deep gorges, enchanting lakes, sparkling waterfalls, olive groves and vineyards.
My top experiential activities were the traditional Greek night; where you get to learn how to cook authentic dishes and then sit down to eat a full-blown home-cooked feast prepared by the locals and the awe-inspiring astronomy sessions; you stare up at the night sky to identify constellations, stars and planets using state of the art equipment and the naked eye.
When it comes to sightseeing, Costa Navarino is the ideal base from which to explore Messinia’s largely undiscovered and checkered past. Discover palaces and vaulted tombs from the Mycenaean era, classical temples, Byzantine churches and medieval castles. Venture out to see Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the modern Games and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We also hear Gialova lagoon is a must. As Greece’s southernmost major wetland, it’s a key stopover site in the flyway of migratory birds and is shelter to a large variety of birds and other wildlife.
It’s plain to see that there’s a huge sense of giving back at Costa Navarino – to the locals and the land. It’s admirable to see the strong commitment placed on environmental responsibility and preserving Messinia’s natural beauty.
A deluxe garden view room at The Westin Resort, Costa Navarino, starts from 160 Euros per night.
For more information please visit www.westincostanavarino.com and www.costanavarino.com
Aegean Airlines offers flights from London Heathrow to Athens, as well as flights from Athens to Kalamata. For more information please visit www.aegeanair.com