Spend Your Extra Day of February at The Westin Resort Costa Navarino

If you had an extra day a year to spend exactly as you wished, how would you spend it? The Westin Resort Costa Navarino, turns Leap Day into an opportunity for a much-needed break.

By Paulina Björk Kapsalis

Nestled within serene and verdant landscapes, The Westin Resort Costa Navarino, is the first of the destination’s renowned resorts to open for the season, offering exceptional accommodation and exclusive personalized experiences to all guests. On this year’s leap day, we seized the opportunity for a much-needed break, and considered all the best ways to spend it at the resort.

Below are our top choices for ways to spend an extra day.

Memorable family moments

At the tail end of winter, we always look for joyful ways to brighten our daily routines. What better time, therefore, for a breakaway adventure, to leave work and school behind just for a few days? At this time of year, many families head to Messinia, where The Westin Resort Costa Navarino offers an array of venues and activities designed especially for young guests.

The innovative kid’s clubs organize entertaining educational activities inspired by the nature, agriculture and captivating history of Messinia, engaging young children throughout the day. Meanwhile, at Division 16, a vibrant meeting place with a 60s vibe, teens meet up for bowling, VR gaming, breaking out of the escape room, karaoke, augmented reality air hockey, and much more. On sunny days, the entire family is guaranteed a fun time at the Aqua Park, which boasts three waterslides, several pools, toys, and waterfalls. If you’re lucky, even at this time of year, the weather might call for a day at the destination’s famous, pristine The Dunes Beach.

Another notable advantage appreciated by all families is the food. The kitchens of the resort’s numerous restaurants serve a multitude of cuisines, while their chefs take inspiration from the region’s traditional fare, cooking with ingredients from local Messinian producers, oftentimes using recipes passed down through generations.

An unparalleled golfing experience

Whether novice or pro, golfing on the glorious greens at Costa Navarino is an unmatched way to spend a February day. Under the warm sun and occasional scurrying white cloud, with the sparkling Ionian Sea as a backdrop, you’ll forget all about everyday life.

A rare opportunity in the Mediterranean, guests can enjoy the challenge of no less than four signature 18-hole courses here: The Dunes Course, The Bay Course, The Hills Course, and the International Olympic Academy Golf Course. These 72 holes of world-class golf are located within a maximum distance of 13km from each other, boast contrasting natural landscapes and mesmerizing views, and have all proved challenging to famous professional players, while still being playable for beginners.

Confirming that this is no ordinary golf resort, the destination recently won two accolades at the World Golf Awards: “Europe’s Best Eco-Friendly Golf Facility,” and the coveted “World’s Best Golf Venue” accolade, while also being featured in the Top 10 of the acclaimed Golf World’s “Top 100 World Resorts.”

Escapades in nature

Winter and early spring is a wonderful time to explore Messinia’s diverse and thrilling natural landscape. The coast offers long, sandy dunes where loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) find their refuge for nesting; rocky inlets where those in the know can source argil clay for natural skin treatments; a Natura 2000 protected area with one of southern Europe’s most important wetlands, rich in both flora and fauna; and the stunning Ω-shaped Voidokilia Beach, one of Greece’s most famous beaches. Inland, meanwhile, the rolling green hills effuse the aroma of fresh herbs and flowers. On a hike, juniper bushes, sage, and rosemary brush against your legs, as you admire a natural landscape dotted with vast olive groves, and unbroken views towards the sea. If you use a guide, navigating through a forest of sycamore, oak, and pine trees may lead you to a breathtaking waterfall.

This time of year is one of the best for biking and hiking. To make sure you get the most out of it, Costa Navarino organizes a number of guided tours. How about a cycling or e-biking tour to the protected Gialova Lagoon, to look for flamingos or other rare species, or a visit to the Kalamari waterfall, where the brave may enjoy their first dip of the year in the cool, fresh water? A hike along the Stenosa waterfall trail or along the river Neda, on the other hand, takes you through some of the most verdant and jungle-like parts of the Peloponnese.

Get your heart beating

Guests at The Westin Resort Costa Navarino enjoy access to all that Costa Navarino offers as a high-end sports destination. This is the home of the state-of-the-art Mouratoglou Tennis Center, backed by one of the world’s most successful tennis coaches, boasting clay, hard cushion and natural grass courts, as well as (new for this year) padel- and pickleball courts. The Watersports Center, meanwhile, offers everything an adrenaline seeker could ask for, from kayaking and waterskiing to windfoiling, diving, and kitesurfing.

And that’s far from all. Depending on the weather, guests at this time of year may enjoy sailing, rock climbing and rappelling, or indoor climbing and team sports. Families with children might want to return again in the summer, when kids who love basketball can join the NBA Basketball School, introducing them to the unique NBA-style of coaching, while young soccer players can benefit from the FC Bayern Football Camps.

Unique Messinian experiences 

There are many reasons to fall in love with Messinia. Costa Navarino’s Messinian Authenticity program has been designed to let you experience them in person, participating in traditional events and activities inspired by the region’s history and rich cultural heritage. Ensuring unique, unforgettable experiences, we can think of few better ways to spend an extra day.

The choices are many, with something to suit every taste: Nature enthusiasts can enjoy fishing, go on a botanical tour of the destination, or take part in a birdwatching experience at Gialova Lagoon; asthetes may join an art tour, or put their own hands to work during a mosaic- or embroidery workshop; those interested in ancient history will discover gems of knowledge during a special philosophy walk or astronomy night; and gastronomes can join an authentic village cooking class taking place in a traditional Messinian home, or try an olive oil- or wine tasting session, or wine master class.

Two activities have also been specially designed for children, “Young Gardeners” and “Young Archeologists.” Becoming gardeners for a day, they plant local seeds, pick fresh vegetables, and discover the connection between farm and fork, as they produce the ingredients that a chef then cooks for them using traditional local recipes. As archeologists, they unearth replicas of artifacts similar to those discovered at Nestor’s Palace, decipher examples of ancient script, and make their own clay Linear B tablets.

A day of pampering at Anazoe Spa

With signature treatments that merge modern science with the holistic philosophy that guided medicine in the ancient past, the renowned 4000 m² Anazoe Spa is a unique wellness sanctuary. A single day, or even just a couple of hours spent here is enough to reawaken your senses, revitalize your skin, prepare your body for an active day, or offer relief from aches afterwards.

Try a thalassotherapy treatment based on Hippocrates’ insights regarding seawater (he famously noted that it offers relief from pain in the ribs, the chest and the back, improves breathing, alleviates fatigue, offers relief for the joints and skin, and hydrates the nasal passage), or experience the refreshing sensation of extreme alternations between hot and cold, just like the Spartans knew to do. A multitude of other relaxing and rejuvenating treatments based on the health and beauty practices of ancient Greece make use of ingredients that the Messinian countryside yields in abundance, like olive oil, grapes and herbs.


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