Surrounded by views of the ocean, the mountains, and the valleys of Messinia in the southwest Peloponnese, it’s no surprise that Greece’s Costa Navarino was named the World’s Best New Golf Development at the 2020 World Golf Awards.
With two new courses designed by Masters winner José María Olazábal, Costa Navarino has now arrived as one of the top golf destinations in Europe, with not only a total of four courses but also brand new state of the art hotels and facilities.
The International Olympic Academy Course (this being the nearest golf development to Ancient Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games) has stunning views over Navarino Bay and is the longer and tougher of Olazabal’s two courses. More compact is the Navarino Hills course, which has a more rural feel, leading you through the outback where you can enjoy a stroll amid nature.
“The property is spectacular,” says Olazábal.”The views are breathtaking and the characteristics of the site are wonderful for golf. It ranks among the most beautiful properties we ever got the chance to work on.
“The views are absolutely stunning, not just across the historic Bay of Navarino but also towards the mountains in the background. This sets the tone for the whole site and gives it a very strong character amidst the garrigue vegetation which is typical for the Mediterranean.
“It is more than just the golf offering there, it is the whole experience that is exceptional – from the nature, the culture and the people with their amazing hospitality to the food, the beach and so many activities to choose from. Don’t be surprised if you see me at Costa Navarino in the future.”
In addition, a new clubhouse is scheduled to be finished by the end of the year, located between the two courses. Designed by architect Lubomír Zeman and built using local stone, it will be the perfect spot to relax after a round, and will feature a driving range for those hoping to sharpen their game.
Sustainability and harmony with the natural environment are at the heart of the development, with the facilities taking inspiration from the unspoiled Mediterranean landscapes. Visitors will find the destination is split into a number of distinct areas, including Navarino Dunes, home to The Dunes Course, five-star hotels The Romanos and The Westin Resort Costa Navarino, a host of luxury private villas, the Anazoe Spa, and a conference centre.
Navarino Bay, meanwhile, is home to The Bay Course, the Bay Clubhouse and is near to the Navarino Waterfront, an upscale resort that will open this summer, complete with the new W Costa Navarino hotel.
The new courses perfectly complement the existing ones in the region, namely The Dunes Course designed by Bernhard Langer and The Bay Course created by Robert Trent Jones Jr. With everything located within a 13km radius, it’s easy to enjoy the facilities whether you visit for a short golfing break or a longer family holiday.
And don’t take our word for it: 300 golfers raved about Costa Navarino following the 2021 Messinia Pro-Am, in which amateurs and professionals – including 75 teams – gathered for an unforgettable event that went down to the wire with Portuguese Vitor Lopes winning by just one shot and one player managing to achieve a hole-in-one. The 2022 Messinia Pro-Am is scheduled to arrive in a new September slot.
With facilities for families and teens, Costa Navarino is more than just a golfing destination – it’s a complete luxury experience, and the availability of direct flights into Kalamata from Heathrow, as well as Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham and Manchester, make getting there with clubs in tow a doddle.
• For more information go to costanavarino.com
AEGEAN (https://en.aegeanair.com/) is a member of STAR ALLIANCE, the largest global airline alliance. The company has been honored, for the 10th consecutive year and 11th time in the last 12 years, with the 2021 Skytrax World Airline award, as the Best Regional Airline in Europe. AEGEAN, has recently received, a 4-star award from Skytrax (4-Star COVID 19 Arline Safety Rating), as it was certified that from the beginning of the pandemic and with the same commitment until today, is implementing the highest standards and best practices proposed by the World Health Organization, ICAO and IATA for the protection of passengers and crew.”