Sphacteria is a small island in Navarino Bay. It is known for being the site of the Battle of Sphacteria during the Peloponnesian War. The Athenian general Demosthenes and politician Cleon defeated 292 Spartans, including 120 elite Spartiates, on this island.
To get to the island you can take a water taxi or walk to the end of Voidokilia beach. Then follow the path beneath Paliokastro to the passage.
1. Hotel Agora
Hotel Agora is a 4-star property that provides a private beach along with cars. It is placed around 1.7 miles from Birds Park and has rooms with an in-room kitchen and a TV together with bathrooms with showers. It is also within spitting distance of cafes and restaurants.
After the battle of Pylos and subsequent peace negotiations between Athens and Sparta, a number of Spartan soldiers were left stranded on the island of Sphacteria. This was the scene of a decisive battle during the Peloponnesian War in 425 BCE between an Athenian force led by Demosthenes and statesman Cleon and a force from the island commanded by King Agis II. A bronze shield from the battle can be seen at the Agora Museum.
2. Hotel Aetos
Situated at the beachfront of Karystos Town, Aetos Beach Bungalows offers an outdoor pool and rooms with sea and garden views. It provides 24-hour front desk assistance, a shared lounge and a ticket service. Simply furnished, each room at Aetos comes with a refrigerator and a TV.
The Battle of Sphacteria (425 BCE) was a major land battle in the Peloponnesian War, fought between Athens and Sparta. Following the unsuccessful siege of Pylos and the failed peace negotiations, an Athenian force led by Demosthenes and Cleon captured a number of Spartan hoplites on the island of Sphacteria. The Athenian victory marked a turning point in the war, and would influence the tactics of combat for many years afterwards. Despite being heavily outnumbered, the Athenian forces won thanks to a fortunate coincidence. A fire had accidentally been set by a Spartan soldier on the island, which smouldered the woodland and revealed several landing points to the Athenian forces.
3. Hotel Myrtos
Kefalonia is one of the most famous islands in Greece, located above Zakynthos on the west Peloponnese. It’s known for its exotic beaches and picturesque seaside villages. It’s also a great place for romantic holidays.
Sphacteria is a small island at the entrance of Pylos Bay. It’s famous for the Battle of Sphacteria, fought between Athenians and Spartans in 425 BC during the Peloponnesian War. After the failed peace negotiations, the Spartans were blockaded on the island, but the Athenian generals Cleon and Demosthenes staged a commando raid on the undefended island. It was a success and the Spartans were forced to surrender. Today the island is a popular destination for day trippers and picnickers. You can visit the beach, the ancient fortress and several other interesting sights.
4. Hotel Navarino
The first high-end, sustainable resort destination in the Mediterranean, Costa Navarino is a seaside oasis set in southwestern Messinia. It promotes the region’s unique landscapes, epic beaches and delicious examples of Greek cuisine with a holistic approach to sustainable tourism.
The destination’s two hotels are designed in a contemporary Greek style and positioned around a central golf course and marina. W Hotel Costa Navarino is the brand’s first venture into Greece, a chic adult-only (12+) hotel sat on the beachfront, with sophisticated Greek-inspired decor and menus influenced by local flavours. It’s also home to five dining venues including Parelia, the destination’s beach club, where you can catch local and international DJs playing casual tunes by day then dancing late into the night.
In the centre of the village is the Navarino Fortress, a 19th-century castle built to protect the bay and harbour from pirate attacks. A monochrome wash drawing shows how the fortress and its cliff-top location overlooks the uninhabited island of Sphacteria (modern Pylos) as well as the foreshore of Navarino Waterfront, which sits alongside Gialova Lagoon and is an important staging point for migratory birds in spring and autumn.
It’s not the kind of place you’ll find crowds of bucket-list tourists checking off the classic sights – Costa Navarino is on the opposite side of Greece from the main tourist trail and instead attracts couples, hip holidaying friends and families looking for somewhere with a relaxed vibe and authentic experience.
Rooms and suites are elegant and streamlined, with a neutral palette of grey, beige and terracotta tones and accents of plants. Bathrooms are similarly minimalist and contemporary, with backlit pebble-shaped mirrors and textured tiles. Upgrade to a Fabulous Bay or Spectacular Panorama room for upgraded views over the Ionian Sea and Navarino Bay.
A range of environmentally friendly initiatives are in action throughout the resort, including the Gialova Environmental Observatory, which has an on-site climate and environment research station and a monitoring programme to ensure the long-term health of the wetlands ecosystem. The beach at Navarino Dunes is also a nesting ground for Caretta caretta turtles and the resort works with Archelon to map and protect the nests.