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Introducing Messinia

The beaches in the southwestern corner of the Peloponnese in Messinia are extremely pleasant, and while villages such as Koroni have felt the weight of package tourism, the old Venetian towns of Pylos and Methoni still remain delightful hideaways.

Messinia’s boundaries were established in 371 BC following the defeat of Sparta by the Thebans at the Battle of Leuctra. The defeat ended almost 350 years of Spartan domination of the Peloponnese – during which time Messinian exiles founded the city of Messinia in Sicily – and meant the Messinians were left free to develop their kingdom in the region stretching west from the Taÿgetos Mountains. Their capital was ancient Messini, about 25km northwest of Kalamata on the slopes of Mt Ithomi.