Gialova: How a small village became one of the top European destinations

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Tired of city life?

How about taking a vacation to a countryside village?

A place with fresh air, fresh water and many beautiful landscapes. Luckily, Europe is home to some of the most picturesque villages in the world. In Greece, you will find some of the most beautiful villages in Europe, and Gialova is surely at the top of the list! Along with attractions, Gialova Peloponnese, has real character, a sense of place, and a welcoming feel that is irresistible.

The village of Gialova

Gialova, is a small picturesque settlement that will charm its visitors. The natural beauty of the Gialova lagoon in the north, the extraordinary beaches and the history of the wider area offer you more than enough reasons to visit this magical place.


This beautiful village is located in the Navarino bay, north of Pylos. Many important historical events took place in this area and until today the visitor might see the remains from the shipwrecks of the Battleship of Navarino in 1827 while snorkeling in the nearby beaches.

Today in this lovely village agriculture and tourism are the main economical activities. You will find  here some of the most beautiful hotels in Peloponnese, amazing resorts, campsites, restaurants, cafes, bars, hospitable people and the famous beach of Gialova.


The amazing Gialova lagoon

Gialova Lagoon  – also known as Divari, is a brackish body of water in the municipality of Pylos-Nestor, Greece, about 8 kilometres north of Pylos, Peloponnese. The lagoon, together with Voidokilia Bay, belongs to a unique ecosystem which constitutes a protected zone, in terms of both natural and cultural heritage. From the natural point of view, the entire area, together with Navarino Bay and the island of Sphacteria, forms part of the network Natura 2000 and has been named a Zone of Special Protection.

Gialova lagoon constitutes one of the most important wetlands, not only in Greece but all around Europe. It is located in the Peloponnese and more specifically in the region of Messenia. Within short distance from Pylos and the legendary Nestor Palace, the lagoon is also near the emblematic beach of Voidokilia. A special place due to its evergreen charms, this entire area attracts travelers from all over the world with great fondness towards nature.

The most beautiful Peloponnese Beaches

Voidokilia Beach

Voidokilia Beach is a popular beach in Messinia in the Mediterranean area. In the shape of the Greek letter omega (Ω), its sand forms a semicircular strip of dunes. The land facing side of the strip of dunes is Gialova Lagoon an important bird habitat. The beach was voted one of the top ten beaches in the world by the New York Times in 2010.

voidokilia beach

Gialova Beach

The first beach you will find in Gialova is the beach at the Zoe Seaside Resort, next to the Port. Gialova beach is great for families with young kids. The bay keeps the big Ionian waves out. And at most places, the water is quite shallow. You can find some nice and simple family hotels and resorts here. There are also beautiful Restaurants and Cafes.

zoe resort

Golden Beach or Divari Beach

North of Pylos, pass through Gialova and turn left at the sign for Golden Beach. A vast sweep of fine gold sand with tress for shade. As the beach is so extensive there there is room for all. The water is incredibly shallow and calm, safe for young children.

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Glossa Beach

Sphacteria is a small island located at the entrance to the bay of Pylos (Navarino Bay). In ancient times it was the site of the Battle of Sphacteria in the Peloponnesian war. While exploring Messinia, do not miss Glossa beach offering crystal clear turquoise waters. The most popular part of the beach is where there is a weekend and high season cantina on the beach.

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Stretching for a vast area of 6,000 acres, Gialova lagoon is home to over 270 bird species. Many of them are migratory birds, all the way from Africa, spreading to Europe and the world. As you may imagine by now, this is a place of unique ecological value and therefore it is 100% justified why it has been considered a protected area by Natura 2000. Cormorans and flamingos, seagulls and imperial eagles are just few of these spectacular birds finding shelter to the lagoon. Birdwatching is definitely on the rise in Greece and many enthusiasts choose Peloponnese and Gialova to enjoy gems of exquisite value. Apart from birds, however, you are welcome to admire rare species of flora and fauna. One of the most precious species to find here is the African chameleon.


The natural terrain of Messinia is full of impressive natural formations that enriching a landscape of incredible beauty. Within this wealth, several hiking trails offer visitors the opportunity of getting inside an impressive landscape of incomparable beauty. One of the best hiking trails starts from Gialova beach. The trail begins at the western end of the beach ascending the hill to the medieval castle of ‘’Palaiokastro’’. At the top of the hill you will be fascinated by the panoramic view of the region, offered by the highest point of the trail. You can also visit the cave of Nestor, the legendary king of Pylos. After the cave, you can go for a swim to the most beautiful beach of Greece, the famous ‘’Voidokilia Beach’’.

Sea Kayaking

Navarino bay is a natural harbor and an ideal spot for Sea Kayaking trips. Across Gialova and Pylos the island of Sphacteria stands as a wave breaker, protecting the bay from winds of Ionian Sea forming an idyllic landscape covered with a veil of tranquility. A landscape of incredible natural beauty, with impressive rock formations, sea caves, warm, crystal clear, waters and golden sandy beaches where sea turtles often return to lay their eggs.

Two medieval castles guard the bay, recalling the famous naval battle of Navarino, one of the most important events of the modern Greek history. Sea kayaking in Navarino Bay is one of the most popular activities during your holidays in the Peloponnese,  offering you the experience of remoteness with a visit to the island of Sphacteria. You will explore beautiful rock formations and sea caves, relax on a hidden cove with a deserted beach and hopefully spot some migrant birds sea turtles or seals.

The Takeaway

You’ll find charming villages all over Europe, from Iceland to Greece. But some places seem to have more than their fair share. Gialova is a historical village that offers exceptional natural beauty and adventurous ways to explore it, luxury and cozy resorts for accommodation, great restaurants and coffee places, along with some of the most beautiful beaches in the Peloponnese!

What are you waiting for? Book your trip to Gialova, Messinia now!

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