Southern Peloponnese Attractions
The Southern Peloponnese includes the southern half of Messinis and Lakonia Prefectures, from Marthopoli to Parlalia.In the summer of 2007 some areas of the Southern Peloponnese were severely affected by forests fires.
Area of island: 18 sq. km/7 sq. miElafonisos (Italian Cervi), known in antiquity as Onougnathos, lies just off the southeastern "finger" of the Peloponnese (Laconia). The chief place on the island, also called Elafonisos, lies at its northern tip, and it has two sheltered anchorages. Off its west coast are a number of little islets and isolated rocks. Elafonisos is separated from Kythira to the south by the busy Elafonisos Channel, 10km/6mi wide.Elafonisos is blessed with beautiful beaches, backed with sand dunes and pinewoods. Fresh fish abound in the is part of the Peloponnese.
The little port of Koróni, 42km/26mi southwest of Kalamáta on the west side of the Gulf of Messenia, is particularly noted for its castle. It occupies the site of ancient Asine, but in late antiquity it was re-settled by the inhabitants of Korone (25km/16mi north; now called Petalídi) and took over the name of that town.After the fourth Crusade the town was taken by Geoffroy de Villehardouin, but was made over by him in 1206, together with Methóni to the Venetians, who enlarged and strengthened the old Byzantine fortress on the peninsula. From 1560 to 1686 and again from 1715 to 1828 Koróni was held by the Turks, who built further fortifications. Outside the walls on the east side of the town is a monastery dedicated to St John the Baptist.
The Inoúsai Islands, a group notoriously subject to storms, lie off the south coast of Messenia at the southwestern tip of the Peloponnese. The group consists of the two larger islands of Sapientza (alt. 226m/742ft), off Methóni Bay (sheltered anchorage by lighthouse) and Skhiza (or Cabrera; 196m/643ft), together with a number of rocky islets and isolated rocks. There are several ancient wrecks on the sea bed around the islands, and they offer excellent opportunities for underwater diving - though here, as elsewhere in Greek waters, the use of breathing apparatus is not permitted.
Kyparisi, to the north of Monemvasía and southeast of Sparta, is a charming coastal village which has recently developed into a resort attracting those who are searching for peace and quite. It has three marvelous stretches of beach lining three successive coves.
The fishing village of Oitulo is 82km south of Sparta. It has a natural harbor and is built on the same site as the ancient city mentioned in the Iliad.Here archeologists have unearthed the remains of a temple, Mycenaean shards and traces of walls.