Luckily enough, the choice of our trip proved to be successful, since it was one of the few in the whole Greece that had such a sunshine that specific day!
A while ago, I got my hands on a map of Messinia –and to be more specific, it was published by the municipality of Koroni- which showed some sightseeing which I didn’t knew. Most of them exist on the central – mountainous – part of the prefecture. We decided to visit some of them and specifically ancient Ithomi and Voulkanou Monastery.
Ancient Ithomi is one of the most known sightseeing of Messinia. It is considered the legacy of Ancient Messinia. Access to the place is relatively easy, since on the national road of Tripoli – Kalamata there is a sign showing that it’s only 25km from there.
We chose to follow the route Messini – Meligala – Lampaina, since it was closer from the place we stayed the previous night. Nevertheless, we suggest to you to follow the national road, in order to avoid all the villages that the secondary road is crossing. So, at Lampaina we turned left and by following the uphill, deserted and delightful –at the same time- route, we end up at Arsinoi. The village is right above the archeological place.
We bypassed it and met the newly built archeological museum and turned left, in order to head to the entrance of “Ancient Messini”. The entrance at the museum was free, which got us surprised! And the most important part is that the exhibits are in a very good shape and worthy for a visit. I can truly say that it’s one of the few archeological places in ancient Greece, where you can get a good idea on how was the market, the theater, entrance, the stadium, the hero’s tomb and many more (for more information: www.ancientmessene.gr)
We wandered on the whole area and traveled with our imagination to another time … Time was passing and the hot suns made us seek out a shady place to drink a coffee. The best place to do that was at a small traditional café right in the central square of Arsinoi, having a fantastic view of ancient Ithomi. While enjoying our coffees, we took the maps out and decided to return using the route that leads next to the Voulkanou Monastery (approximately 3km).
Having the road signs as our guides, we drove the deserted route that crosses Ithomi Mountain. At an approximate distance of 2,5km from the village there is the Laconian Gate, while on the opposite direction you’ll see the Messinian Gate. The Laconian Gate doesn’t offer any interest, in opposition to the Messinian one.