Without a doubt, Costa Navarino located in the Greek Peloponnese is becoming one of the most beautiful golf destinations in Europe and the opening this month of a new direct Paris-Kalamata line will reinforce, for us French, the appeal of this magical place which has four first-class golf courses, hotels and vacation homes, 16 restaurants and all kinds of entertainment.
All this with the Ionian Sea and the port of Pylos as a backdrop – some will remember that the Battle of the Guns of Navarone took place here.
Scandinavian, German and British golfers have already set their sights on this exceptional venue, in blue, green and gold!
This success has a name: the passionate love for his native region of Messenia that a rich shipowner, Captain Vassilis Konstantakopoulos, has developed throughout its life, deciding to turn it into a reference golf destination. A revolution when you know that Greece only has 7 golf courses and no culture in this field. After lengthy negotiations to buy back their olive grove plots from local farmers and a global investment estimated at 1.2 billion euros, the result is impressive. Costa Navarino managed by Aquiles, the eldest son of the Captain who died 11 years ago, has catapulted into the top 10 of the most beautiful resorts in Europe.
The 4 courses of Costa Navarino
Let’s start the tour of the farm with the golf courses which have the advantage of not being too far from each other (maximum 20 minutes by hotel transport):
- The oldest that we discovered when it opened about ten years ago is the dune race designed by Bernard Langer. We have a weakness for this “fair” course whose hole 2 that goes down to the sea is still the flagship hole of Costa Navarino, a par 4 of 300 meters whose second shot should not be disturbed by the beauty of the site, otherwise danger (image under). Also take into account the 6 and the 16, two other beautiful par 4s. Here we are not in the spectacular but in the truth of golf, its encounter with nature, and its game that offers to have a good time. It’s no wonder the pros continue to love this course designed by the German champion.
- Baythe second route, chronologically speaking, was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. whose Welsh moulder stayed behind after construction, feeling at home in the calm and beauty of the site. A par 71 of 5,232 meters from the yellows that highlights the natural inclination of the place towards the sea, with holes that are always remembered as 1, 3, 6 and 9. Or 17, this par 4 that runs over water where the ball He has a bad tendency to bathe. The attached images speak for themselves to describe the ” wow that usually escape from the mouth between blows.
- And now here are the last two that bear the signature of the great Spanish champion, Jose Maria Olazabal, known as Txema or Ollie. In March, two courses were opened, very different from each other, the most picturesque Olympic and the Saws more sporty and challenging. Let’s start with the latter: a route in the middle of nature where buildings do not disturb (for the moment?) the magic of this secular land populated with olive trees. A par 72 of 5,864 meters from the yellows, made difficult by roughs so thick that a local rule turns the lost ball into a ball in the hazard… We loved the 6, a long par 5, all downhill, but also the 11 another par 5 with a vertical drop of 484 meters and 15, a small par 3 masterpiece. This course, still recent, must find its definitive place and will end up becoming a great championship course with international tournaments. Small suggestion: the finish hole deserves a better… finish.
- The other course, the International Olympic Academy Golf Course, is a par 72 of 5,747 metres, balanced (2 par 5s, 2 par 3s, 4 par 4s there and back), where the views of the sea will delight all golfers. Oh, the 12, 16 and 17! Bring out your gadgets: you’ll be a hit when you get home… I also liked hole n°3, a par 4 of 369 meters where the water at play on the second shot complicates any lack of strategy. Everyone will gather in the beautiful clubhouse designed by Lubomir Zeman, renowned architect, and which overlooks the bay of Navarino. Glass in hand, in the company of friends, life never seems to have been so beautiful…
An Academy equipped with the latest technological equipment completes the golf offer.
For Jose Maria Olazabal :
“Costa Navarino is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Over the past five years, we have worked hard to shape two courses that respect their unique surroundings and fit in as naturally as possible with the surroundings. The two courses are different in character.
Golfers will find the International Olympic Academy Course, with its spectacular views of Navarino Bay, more refined, while the Hills Course, amidst the gently rolling hills, has a more bucolic charm.
With the two new courses and the two existing ones, Costa Navarino has become an incredible golf destination, and I invite everyone to come experience it. »
A 485,000 m water reservoir3 was created to meet the irrigation needs of both fields. To keep water consumption to a minimum, all fairways, greens, tees and roughs have been seeded with a mix of hardy grasses adapted to the local climate, while 52,000 species of native trees, shrubs, seasonal flowers and and local herbs.
accommodation and entertainment
Regarding accommodation, Costa Navarino first offers two 5-star hotels Westin Resort Costa Navarino, The Romanos, a luxury collection resort. Luxury apartments and villas are also available on site.
Two other luxury hotels will open next year: the W Costa Navarino, which will belong to the famous Marriott brand, and the mandarin eastern, the first of its kind in Greece.
In terms of entertainment, guests enjoy countless sports, wellness and leisure activities here: exclusive oil therapy treatments at the award-winning Anazoe Spa, the first Mouratoglou tennis center in Europe, cycling, hiking and excursions in the surrounding area loaded with 4,500 years of history, etc.
Nuno SepulvedaGeneral Director of Costa Navarino golf, summarizes the resort’s offer as follows: “We come here for three main reasons: the quality of the services, the golf offer with 4 exceptional courses and finally the diversity of the accommodation, which is always first class. We have 850 rooms today (1,100 in the future), 16 restaurants and numerous activities including magnificent beaches or historic sites like Olympia or Sparta within an hour’s drive… Our motto is: we deliver! »…
Good news for the French: Chris, the formidable head pro, originally from France, will be able to advise you both on the golf aspect and on outings around the resort. Do not hesitate to go see it!
To get there: two flights a week to Kalamata: Transavia and Aegean. Also from GB, Germany or Switzerland… Otherwise via Athens (3 hours by car).
Information about the Greek company, partner of the resort: http://www.aegeanair.com
We find packages from 2,500 euros the week in a double room. Green fees between 148 euros and 188 euros depending on the season when you stay at the Resort.
To see the accommodation offers at the Westin Resort Costa Navarinoplease click here.
To view accommodation offers at The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, please click here.
To learn more about Costa Navarinomeeting on :