Messinia is located on the Peloponnese mainland in the southwest of Greece. This lesser know region is full of cultural history, important archaeological sites and is rich in colourful, traditional towns and villages. It has an abundance of outstanding natural beauty and some of the best beaches in the whole of Greece. Recently Messinia has become an important area for new golf developments. In fact it will have the largest golf resorts in the whole of the Balkans and Mediterranean. Particular attention is being focused in the areas of Finikounda, Methoni and Pylos.
Petros Doukas, Deputy Minister of National Economy and Finance and Dimitris Avramopoulos, Minister of Tourism are keen to see more golf opportunities in Greece. Messinia is one of the largest regions to benefit from these plans. Interest in Messinia has increased largely because the Government is actively encouraging investment here with new laws aiming to stimulate local revenue. Government studies have shown that more than 200,000 visitors to Greece annually are potential golf tourists.
Private sector investors have also been buying large parcel of land in Messinia and have been building holiday rental units. It is estimated that over the next 3 year Finikounda alone will have accommodation for over 2000 tourists. Tourists will also benefit from a new Thalasso therapy centre (seawater treatments) that will soon be completed. So it’s easy to understand the current interest in developing this high-end attraction in one of the world’s most attractive climates.
The Tourism Enterprise of Messinia (TEMES) will be constructing a state of the art luxury resort at Navarino Bay. Troon Golf, the world’s leading high-end golf development, marketing and management company will be managing both the championship and standard courses. The golf courses themselves will be designed by Robert Trent-Jones II Inc the Californian based Golf Course Architects.
Currently it takes approximately 3.5 hours to drive to the new golf resorts from Athens, but this time will be reduce to under 3 hour when new road are in place. In accordance with the government’s guidelines for the ‘Good Road Plan’ a new motorway is under construction from Tropoli to Kalamata and is nearly completed. Another new major road is planned between Kalamata and Methoni further opening up the area.
Country Club Resort – Pylos
The resort is location at Gialova to the north of Pylos and 40km from Kalamata airport. The resort is set in 148 hectares of land with rolling hills, spectacular views of the historical Navarino bay and is adjacent to the new marina.
The architects have designed the resort ensuring that it is not obtrusive to the landscape and in keeping with the traditional styles of the area. The development will include 2 luxury hotels and individual holiday homes. There will be a championship golf course, several swimming pools and terraces, surrounded by landscaped gardens with numerous pathways leading to the sandy beach.
The total capacity of this resort will be 2,400 beds for tourist. The complex will have a conference centre which will accommodate 1,200 delegates. There will also be and environmental protection and development centre.
The Family Beach Resort – Romanos
The resort will be located 50km from Kalamata airport on the beautiful beach of Romanos and will have fabulous views of the Ionian sea. The plot covers 141 hectares of land on a gently sloping plateau. The resort will have a variety of family accommodation surrounding a village street with restaurants, tavernas and shops. This complex will offer an 18 hole championship golf course, numerous swimming pools, a tennis club and an exclusive thalasso therapy centre over looking the sea. For the children there will be a children’s club, a mini golf course and a gymnasium.
This project had been on going for the last twenty years. A total of approximately 1.2 million m2 of land has been acquired from 1,300 individual holders of deeds. Already two of the largest private reservoirs have been built in order two water the golf courses. Building permits and documents have been filed with the Town Planning Department. The approximate area of the buildings amounts to some 100,000 m2. Understandably the paperwork for this project has been a mammoth task in itself. Achilles Constantakopoulos, the Managing Director of TEMES has stated that by 2015, Navarino will be Greece’s premier golf destination. There will be seven courses within half-an-hours drive of each other.
The Pylos (Gialova) and Romanos resort will be completed in accordance with the plans by spring 2008. It will have the largest hotel complex in the Balkans and Mediterranean. The investment for phase one totals EUR180,000,000 and at least 3 separate hotel units, 1 in Pylos and 2 in Romanos. The chain will be manage by a well know international chain.