Messolongi is a place that manages to combine the unique natural environment of the lagoon with the great historical tradition it carries from the period of the Greek Revolution. When you visit it you will feel enchanted by its unique sunset, but also by the pelades, the beautiful houses made of wood that stand a stone's throw from the water giving a touch of fairytale to the scenery. Let's see what you need to see and do when you travel to Messolongi.
Messolongi, with a name derived from the marriage of Italian words mezzo-Laghi - meaning "in the middle of lakes", extends in the middle between the homonymous lagoon and Klisova, forming a wonderful scenery that you should not waste a minute to start exploring.
The famous salt pans located in the city, covering up to 80% of the entire production in the country, create an absolutely immersive landscape. Huge white salt hills, reaching 15 meters, the so-called salt shakers, impress anyone who has the opportunity to admire their unique shapes.
Do not miss the opportunity to make a stop to tour the salt museum, located next to the salt pans of Tourlida. In its five classrooms, you will be able to learn everything about the history, but also the value, of what gives flavor to our lives.
Move north to the entrance of the city, next to the walls to find yourself in the garden of heroes, the place that highlights the historicity of the place and its inextricable connection with the struggle for freedom. The Garden of Heroes could not but be dedicated in honor of all those who fought in the revolution of 1821. Within its 14-acre area, you will see the tomb with the bones of the fighters of the revolution, the tomb of Markos Botsaris, as well as monuments of persons historically associated with Messolongi. A walk full of historical charges that you should definitely do.
But Messolongi also has an inextricable connection with the arts and letters, the place of origin of the great Kostis Palamas (a famous Greek poet), make sure you definitely make a stop at his family home, where he lived some years of his life, while right opposite it you will see the house of the Trikoupis family. The folklore museum and the art gallery also invite you to walk through their doors and admire masterpieces of modern art.
Messolongi: Things to do
The island of Tourlida is connected to Messolongi via a cycle path, enjoy cycling along the lagoon at sunset, with the orange shades of the setting sun painting the fishermen's houses and their boats. Its calm waters are the most ideal for living the experience of canoe-kayak. Paddle the route from Klisova to Agios Sostis and keep your eyes open lest your paths cross with the permanent residents, the flamingos, who are looking for their food.
Take an excursion to the town of Aetoliko
With a distance of only 12 kilometers, a walk to the so-called " Little Venice" of Greece is more than imperative. The route to reach it generously offers a wonderful view of the lagoon, while if you find yourself in its place during spring you will have the opportunity to observe the 250 different species of birds it hosts. Stone-built streets and picturesque squares meet the church of the Dormition and the engraving museum worth visiting.
Messolongi: The homeland of bottarga
The lagoon of Messolongi is the homeland of the famous bottarga, the Greek caviar, which has even been registered as a Product of Designation of Origin, while in the past it was one of the favorite delicacies of the sultan. Try its taste straight from the source in local dishes or even completely plain, accompanied by a cool glass of ouzo.
How to get to Messolongi? To get to Messolongi starting from Athens, you will need to travel almost 2 and a half hours for 212 km driving on the highway toward the city of Patra. After that, you will need to pass over the bridge of Rio-Antirio Bridge and travel another 42 km for about 25 min. The total trip is about 242 km and is almost 3 hours driving.
Messolongi, the sacred city of Aitoloakarnania, awaits you to travel to its place and be enchanted with the colors, flavors, and images you will see.