Voidokilia is considered one of the most gorgeous beaches in the Mediterranean, not just in Greece. And that’s saying a lot since Greece and the Mediterranean are full of breathtakingly beautiful beaches!
But there’s something so uniquely stunning about Voidokilia’s beauty that sets it apart from all the others. A mix of the exotic and typically Greek in terms of landscape, Voidokilia Beach has everything you could ever want in the perfect, paradise-worthy seaside for relaxation and sunbathing.
Here is everything you need to know about Voidokilia Beach in order to make the most out of your visit there:
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Visiting Voidokilia Beach
Where is Voidokilia Beach and how to get there
Voidokilia is found at the coast of Messinia, in the Peloponnese. It is north of Pylos, in the north of Navarino Bay, and the waters of the Ionian Sea lap against its sandy shore.
To get to Voidokilia, you must set out from Messinia and drive along the road to Petrochori. The road is very scenic and you’ll be treated to the view of several olive groves and gentle slopes. Once you reach the junction to Petrochori and Voidokilia (there will be a sign, you won’t miss it!), carefully take the turn left and look out for a second, much smaller junction.
Once you reach the smaller junction, turn left into the dirt road which leads directly to the beach. Be careful and drive slowly, as the dirt road is quite winding and narrows down at places. It’s not rough, however, thanks to all the visitors Voidokilia gets!
You’ll find easy parking as there is a pretty big expanse where the road ends, and you’re there! You’ve arrived at one of the most beautiful places in the Mediterranean.
It’s best to rent a car and get to Voidokilia, as going by bus will be tricky, and a taxi service might set you back more than necessary. By renting a car you have extra freedom to explore all of Messinia and go to Voidokilia as many times as you want!
The best way to explore the area around Voidokilia Beach is by having your own car. I recommend booking a car through Discover Cars where you can compare all rental car agencies’ prices, and you can cancel or modify your booking for free. They also guarantee the best price. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.
Voidokilia’s name and history
Voidokilia literally means “belly of the ox”. It owes its name to the very characteristic shape that it has, like the Greek capital letter Omega. This shape also happens to be similar to the shape of an ox’s stomach. The corners of this “omega” jut outwards and the deep curve of the beach make it naturally protected from the elements.
Voidokilia is also swathed in legend. In ancient times, it was called Voufras, which means “the place of oxen” and it is mentioned in the Odyssey. According to the story, this is the exact beach where the ship of Telemachus, Odysseus’ son, landed when he traveled to the Peloponnese to visit the kingdoms of Menelaus and Nestor.
Telemachus’ journey was to find out more about what happened to his father, Odysseus, in an effort to confirm whether he was alive, and thus Ithaca had no need for a new king.
But the story about Telemachus isn’t the only one that Voidokilia is linked to. A little bit further to the south side of the beach, there is a large cave, underneath the remnants of a medieval Frankish castle called Palaiokastro. This cave is called Nestor’s Cave.
According to Pausanias, the cave was the location where Nestor’s father, Nileas, was keeping his cattle. And according to the myth, it is the exact same cave where Hermes, the god of thieves and commerce, hid Apollo’s cattle in one of his first acts of mischief as a young god!
Archaeologists have made excavations and explorations in this cave. They have found evidence of humans inhabiting it since the Neolithic age. Around the area of the beach, there are archaeological sites of tombs, a medieval castle, and other structures that prove you will be lounging where the ancients did, and see what they saw, swim where they swam, and enjoy it all as you immerse yourself in history as well as the natural beauty around you.
The beauty of Voidokilia Beach
When you arrive at Voidokilia Beach, you will be stunned by the sheer beauty of the landscape: sand dunes of fine golden sand gently slope towards the water to form the beach. Crystal clear, calm, glistening waters of azure, turquoise, and emerald hues invite you for a swim.
The perfect curve of the beach makes it look like the mythical location of the legends associated with it. And on either side of it, dramatic rock formations and archaeological sites complete the natural masterpiece, promising an unforgettable experience where you will make amazing memories and take fantastic photos!
Because the bay is protected, winds are nearly never an issue at Voidokilia Beach. And because the waters start off relatively shallow, during the summer months the water is inviting and pleasantly cool. Make sure to swim to the middle of the bay, where there is a heave in the sea bottom, allowing you to touch the sand and rest before you swim back. The view from the sea will be extremely rewarding.
Voidokilia Beach is not organized. In fact, it has been kept pristine and unaltered by tourism as it is under the protection of Natura 2000 European Ecological Site. That’s why camping is also forbidden there. Keep it in mind and bring with you everything you will need to enjoy the beach and your swim as there will be no sunbeds or umbrellas. And when you go, make sure you leave only your footprints behind!
Other things to do at Voidokilia Beach
If you are feeling adventurous and aren’t simply looking to lounge at the gorgeous beach all day, there are a few unique things to explore. Here is what to keep in mind and where to go:
Hike to Palaiokastro
Palaiokastro (also called Palaiokastro Pylou) is a medieval castle situated at the south edge of the Voidokilia Bay. Walk along the dirt path leading to the castle and treat yourself to a sweeping, panoramic, beautiful view of the entire Voidokilia Bay.
The castle itself has thousands of years of history. While its ruins are mostly from the era of the Frankish occupation of Greece, it has existed there and its foundations are of a much more ancient Greek castle. It has seen several battles, from the Peloponnesian War to the Greek War of Independence of 1821.
Make sure that you take water with you for the hike, simply because it’s going to be a bit of a climb and there is no shade. Sunhat and comfortable walking shoes are a must.
Visit Nestor’s cave
As you go down from Palaiokastro, you will find the famous Cave of Nestor. The cave opening is narrow and a surprising 30 meters tall! Its solid protection from the sun and the coolness will be a welcome reward from your hike from the castle. Inside the cave, there is only a single, huge chamber with some stalactites. Take a break inside it, but near the mouth so that you can enjoy the gorgeous view of the entire Voidokilia beach!
Visit the Gialova Lagoon
From the beach, take the second dirt road which you’ll find through the sand dunes. Follow along it, past Voidokilia beach to find right next to it the gorgeous Gialova lagoon. It is home to a whole range of species, and a main stop for migratory birds that make their way to Africa.
You have a great chance to see some of the 270 species of birds passing through, many rare reptiles and lizards, and unique plants. If you are lucky, you might even get to see the rare indigenous, and unfortunately endangered, African chameleon!
Make sure that on your hike to Gialova Lagoon, you look out for snakes. They are shy creatures who will do their best to avoid you, but you should also make sure not to accidentally step on one or scare it. Most of the snakes in Greece are non-venomous, except for vipers, so don’t stress it out! Just keep a reasonable distance and look out for them as you enjoy the gorgeous scenery!
Visit Divari Beach and enjoy the beach bar
Beyond the parking spot for Voidokilia Beach, you will find the beautiful Divari beach which is organized and features a beach bar. The beach has fine sand and azure waters. There’s also a little islet called Sphacteria further in the waters and a pier from where many enjoy diving.
Divari Beach’s waters are generally shallow and warm, and the beach bar has loud music so if that’s not your thing, perhaps staying in the pristine pureness of Voidokilia is going to be the best for you!