I always get excited when visiting Greece! I don’t know if it’s the food, the relaxed way of life or the food that I seem to inhale as soon as I arrive… whatever the reason, it’s one of my favourite countries to explore.

That being said, until recently I’d only ever visited some of the gorgeous islands. I fell in love with Santorini and it’s incredible dishes, loved Samos (right off the coast of Turkey) and really enjoyed visiting other stunning Greek islands like Skiathos, Corfu and Rhodes.

Thankfully, this year was my chance to remedy that, no more missing out on the mainland of Greece, with a stop off in the very south-west of the country within the region of Messinia which is part of the Peloponnese.

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Thankfully, this year was my chance to remedy that, no more missing out on the mainland of Greece, with a stop off in the very south-west of the country within the region of Messinia which is part of the Peloponnese.

 

After a little back and fore on which region we’d finally visit, we finally set our gaze on the area close to the island of Proti, where we stayed at Costa Navarino – which proved to be an amazing decision.

The thing was, we’d just been to the freaking gorgeous city of Verona (Italy) and after the hustle and bustle of the city life, we were well prepared for an indulgent break.

After landing in Athens from London, we swiftly dashed to our transfer that was to take us to Costa Navarino. The drive itself takes about 2-3 hours, depending on traffic. Thankfully, the drive went very fast and we reached our accommodation at dusk, when the sun was setting, right at the meeting point of the Mediterranean and the Ionian Sea. What an amazing time to arrive!

Now, I’m very well aware of my ‘hanger’ issues when I travel and although that sunset was a sight, the grumble in my tummy was quickly turning me into a green-eyed hunger monster.

We checked in, grabbed our keys and didn’t even stop to look at the room properly before looking for a feast to eat. Thankfully, the kitchen at Flame was still open.

Looking back, I must have looked like a ravenous mess arriving at the restaurant… but in the moment I couldn’t care less. I need mountains of steak! 🤣

After filling my tummy on some tasty fillet (which I always love rare as it brings out the flavour), we grabbed a tipple and a cheeky pudding before heading off to the room.

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Pulled out of my hunger-induced haze, I quickly realised how amazing our room was! We even had our own pool. I mean, we had no idea this was part of the room and you can imagine my delight at being able to bob around day or night. This was the start of a great holiday.

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That night, I fell asleep so quickly that it felt like I’d only been asleep for about an hour, except I felt totally energised and the birds were tweeting outside.

The first thing I wanted to do was to dive right into our pool, that being said, we’d already confirmed a few things we wanted to do throughout the day so I kept my pool excitement for a little afternoon dip instead – so off to breakfast we went!

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After once again filling my tummy with every type of Greek breakfast pie and pastry I could find (you’ll see a pattern of food, greediness and weight gain on this holiday), we headed out in search of some of the art.

When we checked in, the team mentioned that the whole hotel was filled with historical Greek artefacts that were scattered across the grounds, so with a full tummy and a need to work off some of those breakfast calories, we headed out on a brisk walk to find some art!

After a little wandering (and a little snooping) we came across a huge array of local artists work dating from the contemporary back to the 19th century, it was such a great way explore the art… and it even took my mind off the light exercise I was doing. Ha!

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As with all good things, our walk came to an abrupt end once I spotted the spa.

My favourite three-letter word! I swear, whenever I see a spa I’m like a bee to honey, I get drawn to its scent with little regards to time of day, other plans or anyone else for that matter. Though they were fully booked on our first day, they did have some openings for the next, which I quickly snapped up.

By this time, we’d somehow got to 2:30 pm without even batting an eyelid… I swear, I’ve no idea where the time goes when we travel.

One of the best things about ‘holidaying’ in Greece has to be the food and lunch totally had my mouth watering.

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The thing is, Costa Navarino was actually set up by a local business man that wanted to showcase how amazing his home was and to this day, the same thing applies.

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I swear, we ate mountains of food once again!

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During our Greek feast, locals from the nearby villages showcased some of the traditional songs and ways to cook.

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We even learnt how to make some traditional Greek dishes, too.

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After learning so much from the cooking, the locals wanted to show us some of their local dances, which was amazing to see (especially as I can’t swing my hips to any beat) 🤣

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Admittedly, my knowledge of Greece is pretty shameful but the songs were beautiful. It really felt so special to hear. 🎶

After a day of exploring, we headed over for a quick frappe on the beach front before heading off to our own pool! 💦

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After splashing around for a good few hours (and a little doze on the veranda) we headed over to Da Luigi for some tasty Italian dishes, whilst learning a little more about ‘good’ olive oil – and the best way to spot it.

The rookie error I’d been apparently making with olive oil is assuming that it’ll keep. Apparently, Olive oil is best consumed within 3-months of bottling, and always stored in a dark cupboard (never in the sun). We had a taste of the good, the bad and the downright yummy which felt like a proper treat.

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It was the type of ‘tasting’ that you might usually expect with wines… just with freshly produced olive oil instead.

Now, you might wonder why there’s an Italian restaurant in Greece but this region was once part of the Republic of Venice and thus some Italian influences naturally stuck.

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We tucked into our weight in pasta and some tasty wines and fresh tomato salads. It really was a yummy way to end a perfect Greek evening before our adventures the next day.

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Read our next days post on visiting Messina, right here


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