Verdant rolling hills, rugged mountains and gently sloping valleys. A pristine coastline – the fourth longest in Greece – secluded bays and endless sandy beaches. Meandering rivers, crystalline lagoons, hidden waterfalls, deep gorges and unexplored islets. Sweeping vistas and stunning panoramas. Lush olive groves and vineyards. Plus a dazzling array of flora and fauna. A total of seven different areas have been designated EU Natura sites.

All photos and information in this section have been provided by the Costa Navarino Center of Development and Culture.


Messinia harbors a colorful mosaic of rich and diverse flora, including Greek Firs and Black Pine trees in the woodlands of Mount Taygetos, Aleppo Pine trees in the coastal forests around the Nedas estuary, as well as Mediterranean maquis, irises, orchids, Juniper trees and Posidonia sea grass. The highest mountain of the Peloponnese (2,407 m.), Taygetos is home to 42.6% of endemic plants in the peninsula, with 138 different species on its western slopes alone, making it a veritable paradise for botanists and eco-tourists alike.


Messinia is one of the first places in mainland Greece where migratory birds stopover in the spring. There are a number of sparsely inhabited locations which host significant populations of songbirds, raptors and sea fowl. The Mount Taygetos ridge is a haven for a wide variety of bird species. While the upland forests and alpine areas, as well as the gorges on the lower parts close to Messinian Mani, are among the richest habitats for raptors and forest species such as woodpeckers.


Gialova Lagoon

A key stopover in the flyway of migratory birds, Gialova lagoon provides shelter to 271 of the 442 recorded bird species in Greece and is the only habitat in Europe of the African chameleon. This magnificent lagoon, surrounded by the natural bay of Voidokilia and a significant sand-dune ecosystem, is an ideal ecotourism destination.

TEMES supports conservation activities and research in the area and contributes to environmental education programs and eco initiatives.

The bird calls you can hear on this website have all been recorded at Gialova!


There are a number of important habitats throughout Messinia, including the coniferous forests of Greek Fir and Black Pine on Mount Taygetos, the Mediterranean Strawberry tree forest on Sapientza island, the sand-dune ecosystem in the Gulf of Kyparissia, and Gialova lagoon. The outstanding natural heritage of Messinia also features the second most important Mediterranean habitat of the Caretta caretta sea turtle, in the Gulf of Kyparissia, as well as the Mediterranean seal and the Bottlenose dolphin habitats around the Inousses islets near Methoni.