At the west side of the Peloponnese region, on the slopes of a hill is located a small village called Kyparissia. (Directions HERE) Kyparissia was one of the largest cities of the Kingdom of Nestor, King of Pylos. Kyparissia got its name from the abundant cypress trees (in Greek the Kyparissia) that would grow there, or from the name of King Kyparissios.
There is no harbor upon the Messenian coast north of Pylos, but Leake remarks that the roadstead at Kyparissia seems to be the best part of the coast. In ancient times the town probably possessed an artificial harbor, since traces of a mole may still be seen upon the sea-shore.
In the Middle Ages it was called Arkadia. A name which was transferred from the interior of the peninsula to this place upon the coast. In 1460 Kyparissia came under Ottoman control and remained until the Greek War of Independence with the exception of thirty years on Venetian Rule.
The Castle of Kyparissia
The castle of Kyparissia or the Castle of Arcadia as some people call it is one of the most well-known sights in Kyparissia. The castle was built by Frankish on the site of a previous Byzantine fortress. The Byzantines had built four bulwarks at the four corners of the castle. Of these four bulwarks only one is preserved today, the one named Loustianos after the great Byzantine emperor.
The Franks had the castle under their occupation for almost two centuries after they attacked it in the 13th century. In 1460, the Castle of Kyparissia was conquered by the Turks, until 1820 when the Greek War of Independence se the town free.
All the battles that took place have destroyed a big part of the castle with the bulwarks the walls and the cistern been destroyed. In 1970 the Greek Government tried to restore the Castle. This is the time that they built an open-air theatre that hosts evens mostly durin the summer time.
Archeological Site of Kyparissia Peristeria
Aprox. 10kms to the North-East of Kyparissia is located one of the primary centres of the First Mycenaean Civilization in Greece, the archeological site of Peristeria. The site was un-known to the modern Greeks until 1960 when the site first excavated by the famous archeologist Spiros Marinatos.
The archeological site was a city in the ancient times. Today someone can find the ruins of the palace and the residences with four vaulted graves as well. The tombs on the site were built for the local rulers as rich grave gifts were uncovered beneath the floor. They have a typical circular chamber with a corbelled roof.
At the right side of the archeological site of Peristeria, there is a path that leads to the famous Gorge Stalactites. It is a 20min walk path through the small pine-forest that ends at the spring with the fresh running crystal water.
The Arcadian River runs along certain parts of the route. In order to go to the stalactites you will have to walk to the source of the water as the springs enter the gorge through rocks. The locals call it Stexeorema Gorge, because they believe that nymphs Nereids-Fairies live there.
The Old Watermill
Next to Kyparissia, at the North-East and about 5 min drive is located a small village called Muloi. At this village is located one of the old watermills of Greece. The Old Watermill of Kyparissia was constructed and started operating before 1850. It is the 10th out of the watermills that were constructed and were operating the same way. Even all the other mills were abandoned, the Old Watermill of Kyparissia was operating since 1974, when the Mayor of Kyparissia paid the owner, in order to ensure that there would be enough water supply for the town of Kyparissia.
The Church of Holy Trinity
Right underneath the Castle of Kyparissia at the upper town – Ano Poli – is located the church of Holy Trinity – in Greek the church of Agia triada. The church is dedicated to the Holy Spirit, the saint protector of the town and celebrates every 40 days after Easter. The church was built on the ruins of an ancient temple and its location offers an amazing view of the sea.
Beaches Near Kyparissia
Lagkouvardos Beach – Directions HERE
Agia Kiriaki Beach – Directions HERE
Stomio Beach – Directions HERE
Ai Lagoudis Beach – Directions HERE
Kartela Beach – Directions HERE
Kalo Nero Beach – Directions HERE
Vounaki Beach – Directions HERE
Agiannakis Beach – Directions HERE
Elea Beach – Directions HERE
Restaurants Near Kyparissia
Palia Agora Restaurant – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE
Arcadia Gefsipoleio – Greek Cuisine – Directions HERE
To Petrino Balkoni -Seafood – Directions HERE
Stathmos Agiannaki Restaurant -Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE
Taverna Platanos – Greek Cuisine – Directions HERE
A great way to explore Peloponnese is by using one major place as your base and explore the region on daily trips. Nafplio, which by the way is one of the most beautiful Greek cities, is ideal to be your base for this amazing experience. Find all the options you will have for daily trips – to explore Peloponnese – HERE.
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