Methoni is a small village about a half hour drive south of Pylos. Back in the day, the beach and fishing cove was protected by a castle with a an outlying tower on the rocky point. The castle probably housed most of the people; the size of the place surprised us, considering the current local population.
Whatever you do, don’t go on a Monday, the only day of the week the castle is closed. Any other day, wander in and either pay the 1 euro admission, or not if there is no-one in the booth.
There’s a big dry moat to wander around outside which is open to the sea at both ends. If you get right down in it, you’ll see tunnels and openings along the town side wall.
The entrance leads you down between the inner and outer walls into the big open field on the sea side of the castle.
From there you can stroll down to the sea to climb the wall and walk out on the causeway to the tower. If you’re lucky enough (or plan it) to be there when the tide is in, the waves come right up to the edge of the causeway.
The tower is a pretty basic affair, but the location and view are fantastic.
There’s also a church under renovation at the moment with some classic Greek orthodox artwork but no roof.
Inside the inner wall it’s mostly grass, but if you explore enough, there are some tunnels and neat little corners to monkey around in. You can also get up onto the walls to enjoy a view towards the village and beach.
There’s almost nothing in terms of historical interpretation or restoration. That’s not a big deal for us, as we prioritize open spaces to run around in, and lack of crowds.
If you’re more into the history of the region, check out Pylos castle 20 minutes north of Methoni. There’s a museum and much of the castle has been restored.
The village of Methoni is small, quiet, picturesque. There’s a beach and a fishing port and a small playground for the kids.
There’s also a few tavernas in the village if you’re not feeling picnic-y. We ended up liking Methoni so much that we went a few times, including once on a Monday!