Category Archives: places

Olive Harvest at Gargarou 2014

olive harvest Gargarou Retreat2014 We had a great olive harvest this year, the trees were laden with ripe olives in November so we picked them early over 2 weeks with the help of  6 amazing people who came to help us through Workaway and Help- exchange organisations.  We pick our olives by hand using handsaws to cut branches from the trees and sticks and rakes to take the olives off so just the sounds of nature around us, hard work and the wonder of nature combined. We got more oil than ever before and it tastes and smells wonderful, fresh and peppery.olive harvest Gargarou Retreat2014 olive harvest Gargarou Retreat 2014 olive harvest Gargarou Retreat2014 olive harvest Gargarou Retreat2014 olive harvest Gargarou Retreat2014 olive harvest Gargarou Retreat2014 olive harvest Gargarou Retreat2014 olive harvest Gargarou Retreat2014 5 olive harvest Gargarou Retreat2014 olive harvest  Gargarou Retreat2014 olive harvest 2014 9


easyjet flights to Kalamata begin 31 March 2015

The Peloponnese in  the Spring is a beautiful time with wild flowers growing in the olive groves and Easyjet now fly from 31st of March from London Gatwick to Kalamata, flying Tuesday and Saturday in April and 3 times a week in May and 4 times a week June to October.

These are some photos taken by our friend Trond from Norway who came to visit us with 15 friends at Gargarou Retreat last April.

A meeting of beauties at Gargarou

A meeting of beauties at Gargarou

A walk to the Grivitsanis Monastery

A walk to the Grivitsanis Monastery

An ophrys orchid in the olive grove at Gargarou Retreat

An ophrys orchid in the olive grove at Gargarou Retreat


Poppies and olives by Chomatero

Poppies and olives by Chomatero

Ox-eye daisies by Gargarou Retreat

Ox-eye daisies by Gargarou Retreat

gargarou beach in May

If you’ve stayed at Gargarou Retreat in the past or know Gargarou Beach you’ll mostly likley be surprised to see this wide sandy strip which appeared over the winter. Gargarou beach meets Perulia Beach which is always sandy but the Gargarou end is changed by the winter storms each year but up to now has always been narrow with a mix of rocks, shingle and sand. it was certainly a delight for us to watch the sand widen out over the past couple of months, also hoping the waves wouldn’t take it all away again one night. It’s sure to stay for the summer now, but we’ll need to wait to see what next winter brings:gargarou beachgargarou beachgargarou beachgargarou beachgargarou beach

October sun and flowers on deserted beaches

Wonderful warm and sunny days here on the Peloponnese, we are having a glorious October with temperatures 23 and above. Plants are growing and flowering, feels like a second Spring and Autumn is also here with fig leaves falling, still fresh figs for breakfast, vines changing colour and olives ready to harvest. We had a day out yesterday to our favourite beach at Methoni  by the castle and had a picnic on the huge rocks that fill the beach, no one there except us

On the way back we walked along Lampes beach, a beautiful sandy beach with sand dunes looking across to islands, a few people enjoying the sun and swimming.

Both beaches are still natural beaches with wild flowers growing on the dunes and in between the rocks.



Gargarou, Peroulia, Akti and Agias Triada beaches

There are 4 beaches in walking distance to Gargarou Retreat. 

Gargarou beach is 15 minutes walk from Gargarou Retreat and a further 15 minutes walk along the waters edge takes you to Peroulia beach and then onto Akti.

Agias Triada beach is 25 minutes walk from Gargarou Retreat along a track towards Koroni.

All are beautiful beaches some sand, some areas of different stones and shells and a lovely natural wooded cliff alongside with shells embedded in.  Gargarou and Peroulia are shallow and sandy in the sea. At Peroulia  there is a taverna serving  traditional Messinian cuisine and freshly caught fish and a beach bar.

At Akti there is a bar on the beach and sunbeds and a lift built into the cliff to a taverna with fresh fish and delicious Greek dishes with a spectacular view along the coast to Koroni and over  the Messinian Gulf to the Mani.

Nafplio Greece

Nafplio is on the east side of the Peloponnese, about 1.5 hours drive from Athens Airport making it a very convenient place to stop if you don’t want to go into Athens. More than that, it’s a splendid Venetian town  with a large marble paved main square, many narrow streets to explore, a waterfront lined with cafes, plenty of tavernas, and all overlooked by a imposing byzantine citadel. It’s also very well placed for visits to Epidavros and Mycennae – two world class ancient sites. We  stay there usually twice each year for 1 or 2 nights on our way to or from the airport and always enjoy our time there.

The town is squeezed between the waterfront and the high craggy outcrop on which the citadel is built. The narrow lanes beneath the citadel rise up very steeply with many flights of stone steps. If you want to avoid steep climbs to your hotel make sure it is situated down in the town. Also parking is impossible in these lanes, take this into account if you have a hire car.

If you are visiting the Peloponnese out of the holiday season Nafplio is a particularly good place to stay as the town functions all year and many of the outdoor cafes and some restaurants have overhead gas heaters on in the evening. When we stayed there last week on 22 February we sat outside at the excellent Alaloum restaurant and stayed warm and comfortable all evening.

Here are some photos we took last week:

There are steps you can climb up to the citadel – a lot of them! Luckily you can also drive up, there is a road that goes up a more gentle slope behind the citadel.

The main square is lovely but also functions as the local kid’s football pitch in the evenings and can be noisy.

In summer these waterfront cafes are very busy

From the waterfront you can walk on further around the base of the cliffs to a small local beach which is very rocky, no sand at all. It’s a beautiful walk, especially at sunset.

The view from the waterfront is dominated by the Bourtzi – a small island fortress. You can visit the fortress, there are small ferry boats that depart from the port area.