Pylos is a city in the Peloponnese. The Mycenaean site is mentioned in the Iliad as home of the Achaean leader Nestor. Victory in the Battle of Navarino Bay (1827) concluded the Greek War of Independence against the Ottomans.
The area of Pylos has a variety of landscapes to visit, with their own marvelous geomorphological history.
The western limestone-ridge
The city of Pylos is built on a limestone-ridge which goes north-south. It starts in the south at the town of Methoni, runs to the west of the road Methoni-Pylos where it creates one of the highest hills in the region, Ayos Nikolaos, before it dips to the city of Pylos.
To the N of Pylos, the limestone-ridge get's interrupted creating a set of connections between the bay of Navarino and the Ionian sea. Also the amazing bay of Voidokilia is such an interruption in the limestone ridge. It is here that the wves of the Ionias sea created one of the most spectacual beaches of Greece. The breaking up of the limestone ridge caused the creation of the uninhabited island of Sphacteria.
The island of Sphacteria has a very steep eastern cliff. This is because a faultline is running here N-S and you are looking at a fault-mirror. This means that the island was lifted and the area, currently the bay of Navarino dropped. This happened during the Alpine mountain creation (Tertiary).
The limestone ridge is not very fertile, and is covered by bushes, low grasses and herb vegetation (maquis). A great place to see snakes. It is mainly used to let sheep and goats graze.
Although limestone is known for karst phenomena such as caves and dolines, the number of this kind of phenomena is very limited. Nevertheless, there is a nice cave to visit, just south of Voidokilia. It is now called the Cave of Nestor.
The eastern limestone-horst
To the east of Pylos, a massive limestone bock, is sticking out above the landscape, and forms a plateau.
When you take the road from Kalamata to Pylos, you will notice you come down a few hundred meters before you reach the bay of Navarino
When you take the road from Methoni to Pylos, you will see on the left (west) the western limestone ridge and to the right (east) the limestone horst.
It is in this limestone horst you find the quarry of Paleochori, where you can find some great calcite-minerals.
In the tertiary, a sea was covering the whole area around Pylos, with a few exceptions of the highest hill-tops (actually, the land was much lower, and got uplifted later on, rather than the sea being much higher)
If you take the road from Pylos to Kalithea, you will see to the south a flat area, mainly covered with olive-groves. This is a marl-plateau, and it was one the bottom of a tertiairy see where fine sand and clays were deposited. You can still find a large collection of seashells in the deposits: mainly old forms of oysters.
Grapes The area is also known for its grapes, used for raisins and wines. You can get local wines in most of the bars, but check out especially the wine-bar ""Number 9" (see Drink)
Honey Bee-keepers put their beehives on the limestone ridges around Pylos, covered with an abundance of mediterranean flowers. You will find plenty of signs for honey, put there by the local bee-keepers in the villages around Pylos.
Wine-bar Nr.9 (not the real name, if you know it, please correct). There (was?) is this wine-bar just off the main square (Platia), max 100m, along the road which takes you out of the city, direction Gialova-Kalamata-Kiparrisia. It faces the bay/harbour. It is sometimes called number nine because the owner could explain the world, based on the number 9. He also plays the guitar and the bouzouki.