Methoni, a small fishing and farming village on a cape south of Pylos, has long cast a spell over visitors. It was one of the seven towns Agamemnon offered Achilles to appease him after his beloved Briseis was carried off, and few would turn it down today. According to the ancient poet Homer, Pedasos, as it was called, was "rich in vines," and one legend suggests that the town got its modern name because the onoi (donkeys) carrying the wine became methoun (drunk) from the aroma. Even to this day Methoni is still fairly intoxicating, with long beaches backed by olive groves and vineyards. It is divided into two towns: a low-key settlement huddled on the beach beneath the fortress, and, just above, an animated Old Town on the crest of a rise. The latter is a laid-back, pleasant spot to rest for a day or two, with most visitors arriving for a seaside getaway and to visit the perfectly preserved Venetian castle.


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