EUROPE, GREECE, LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL

Greece Visual Diary: Messinia, Part 2

25th October 2015

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Continuing the visual diary from my trip to Greece, part 2.  It feels like a lifetime ago (almost four months ago) when I was in Costa Navarino, having a great time enjoying the sun, sailing, massage.  I have been on many press trips after Greece, my visual memory and fondness for Costa Navarino is still fresh in my mind and I can still taste the octopus I had for lunch still lingers in my taste bud.  It was that good.

The stunning Voidokilia Beach is located not far from Costa Navarino, the beach was named among the best beaches in the world, according to The New York Times.  It reminds me of my family vacation time in Dipkarpaz (Golden Beach) in North Cyprus.  The Voidokilia Beach’s is simply breathtaking, the panorama and its natural surroundings  –  clear and vibrant blue sea, fine sand and crystalline beach – the Navarino Bay, Nestor’s Cave and above lies are the old ruins of 13th Century Frankish Castle, and nearby is an archeological finds of its earliest civilisation, tombs and battle grounds, and Peloponnesian Hills covered with olive trees, sand dunes, and of course the amazing weather. And the area is considered of archaeological interest.  Behind the sandy dunes lies the lagoon of Gialova, one of Europe’s most important wetlands and bird habitat, perfect for bird watching enthusiasts.

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How adorable is this little village of Pylos?  There’s something romantic, humble and great sense of community about this town.  Middle-aged folks gathered around with tables and chairs under the shade of an old tree, having coffees and conversing with friends assuming chatting about their daily lives, not a single mobile devices and other modern tech distractions in sight. Celebrity chef Rick Stein also visited this place on his gastronomic journey from Venice to Istanbul.  A dream of a good life and beyond.  As mentioned in previous post, my all time favourite romantic film, Before Midnight was also partly film there, as well as in Costa Navarino and around Greece.

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As part of the Messinian experiences offered by Costa Navarino, there are a range of activities that offer authentic cultural experiences, include cookery lessons in local homes, learn new culinary skills inspired by the region’s cuisine, wine-making and tasting tours, traditional olive harvesting and local dance and singing events, they also offer programmes such as philosophy walks, the art of mosaic, art tour, astronomy nights, Messinian nature tour, and many more.

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An evening was spent learning the art of Messinian cooking with these special two local ladies in their home,  a quaint little cottage beside the cliff overlooking the sparkling Navarino Bay.  The women shared their authentic family recipes passed down from mother to daughter.  They are the masters of their crafts.

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We cooked everything from scratch and learned how to prepare a typical full Messinian menu, using fresh locally sourced ingredients and regional techniques such as traditional handmade pasta without using any equipment but using hands, knife and a rolling pin.  After all the hard work, followed by dinner and the opportunity to savor the food prepared.

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At last our special treat to end the amazing evening, blown away by the firey orange sunset slowly disappearing behind the hills.  It’s another great end to the wonderful trip and the experiences that has brought to me.  Thank you Costa Navarino having me on this trip!

Still there, still there, still there, still there, gone‘ – Before Midnight.


Kit Lee was a guest of Costa Navarino.


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