Paleocastro or Palionavarino, as the fortress that the Franks built in the late 13th century in southwestern Messenia is called, is located on a hill at the northern end of the bay of Navarino, opposite the end of the historic island Sfaktirias and offers a wonderful view of the Voidokoilia beach and the lagoon of Divari. At the exact same location of Paleocastro, an ancient settlement and the citadel of Pilos used to exist.

Paleocastro was considered almost impregnable, since the only accessible entrance was on the south side, where the current path from the beach Gold Coast-Divari ends. This location of course had significant difficulties for every conqueror, because the defenders had the opportunity -even with small cannons placed on the walls- to repel the powerful opposing forces.

Paleocastro began to decline when the Turks decided to block the entrance of Navarino from “the Passage of the Fig Tree” for all ships.

Inside Paleocastro, visitors can see the large yard and the large tanks used for collecting rainwater, as there is no other source of water or a well.

The rock on which Paleocastro is built, you can also see mythical Cave of Nestor, son of Neleus, from the side of Voidokoilia beach.

Nowadays, it has been banned by the authorities to have access to Paleocastro from the entrance located at the end of the Gold Coast, as there is a high risk of falling parts of the fortifications of the castle. There is the possibility of alternative ascent via a path that starts next to the entrance of the Cave of Nestor and leads to a hole into the wall, from you can enter the castle.

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