The seaside Peloponnese village Finikounda, situated between Methoni and Koroni, is a well-known attraction for locals and visitors from afar. Its small beach features a superb sandy shore with lovely waters and a small harbour that looks out to a small Greek island complex, Messenian Oinousses, southwest of the Peloponnese. Sapientza, the biggest of these islands, hosts a stone lighthouse, from 1885, while the complex is also comprised of Schiza and Agia Mariani, the smallest of the three, with a church of the same name at its centre.

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Reaching Finikounda is approximately a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Athens. The journey may be split in half with a stop for coffee in Tripoli, at the town’s Agios Vassilios square, and a quick visit to the War Museum. Finikounda is an idea spot for relaxation and nature-loving holidays. The village has five camping facilities, four of which are at the same beach. Finikounda also offers a number of bars for a relaxed drink.

he Finikounda area spread out behind the small harbour is the most picturesque part of the village. Old whitewashed two-storey houses, some of these neoclassical in style, paved alleys and an assortment of small shops, from cafes to neighbourhood stores and tavernas, are hidden in this area’s narrow streets. The beach out front is serviced. In summer, an inflatable theme park is added to the beach’s offering. Beach bars and tavernas are also on offer. If wanting to explore, by boat, the wider area and a group of islands situated opposite Finikounda, two boat rental companies operate here. The village also has a scuba diving centre, offering lessons.

Do not restrict your beach time to Finikounda’s main beach as other beaches that are even more impressive exist in the area. West of the village, Anemomylos-Mavrovouni is a much bigger beach with a superb sandy shore, incredible waters, greenery and youthful vibes. Minagiotikos river flows into the middle section of this beach, while one side is clearly a lot sandier and features small sand dunes and sea daffodils.

This beach has four camping facilities and also offers water sports such as canoeing and surfing. Slightly further west, Koubares, a superb beach, is sandy, also has lots of greenery at the back. Its waters are incredible. This spot is ideal for quieter swimming away from crowds. So, too, is a smaller beach situated between Koubares and Anemomylos-Mavrovouni. Further out west, between Koubares and Methoni, Labes, a wide, sandy beach with crystal-clear waters, is among the area’s best-known. It is also serviced and has a water sports centre.

East of Finikounda, Loutsa is also a very lovely beach. It is surrounded by abundant greenery, is endowed with exceptional waters and offers a very shady camping facility for visitors who prefer relaxed, simpler living. Beyond the camping grounds, a section of the beach is serviced. Ligonammos is serviced and ideal for families.

Kantouni beach, situated below the area’s Venetian Tower, is quiet, offers incredible transparent waters, lots of greenery and slightly more rugged natural beauty, a result of the surrounding rocks and dense vegetation. This beach is reached via a trail, approximately 800 metres long, starting from Loutsa. It cuts across plenty of greenery. If you have time, turn left at the middle of the trail and head up to the tower. You may also drive to Mikro Marathi and Megalo Marathi, two lovely, non-serviced beaches that are both ideal for swimming amid serene conditions. Slightly beyond the Marathi beaches, Tsapi beach, easily accessed and serviced, has a camping facility and tavernas.

Accommodation

Viva Mare Foinikounta: A charming complex with studios and apartments, all equipped with small kitchens. (+30 2723071315, vivamarefoinikounta.gr).

Αnemi apartment: Small single-space houses accommodating between 2 to 4 persons, they all offer fully equipped kitchens. (+30 2723071332, www.anemi-apartments-finikounda.com).

Pelagia’s Apartments Finikounda: Very well-kept apartments, fully equipped, with balconies offering views of the sea and village. (+30 6976138594, www.pelagiafinikounda.gr).

DION ZOIS: Maisonettes and apartments, fully equipped and at a lush setting. (+30 6977141909, www.finikounda-villas.gr)

Food

Tsapofagas: Old-school taverna with casserole recipes and grilled dishes, close to the beach. (+30 2723071150)

Yialo Yialo: Charming restaurant at Finikounda beach with a full sea view. (+30 2723071479)

Dionysos: Directly in front of the harbour, Dionysos offers a lovely view, its tables set just off the beach. (+30 2723071229)

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