Above: One of many beaches on the Peloponnese west coast
Kastro-Kyllini is a former municipality in Elis, West Greece. Its seat of administration is in the small port town of Kyllini. Other settlements are Kato Panagia, Kastro and Neochori. The Port of Kyllini is the largest and busiest harbour of Elia in Greece. It is the peninsula’s westernmost port. It carries cars, and automobiles to the harbours of Cephallonia at Poros, and Zante, at the city of Zante of the southern Ionian. It is a minor harbour, 50 km directly SW of Patras. It is not as large as other harbours in Greece and the operation is very small. The port is located not far from the centre of Kyllini.
Kastro is located fifteen km west of the GR-9 between Lechaina and Andravida. It’s in this village you’ll find the Chlemoutsi Castle which can be seen from far away. Its neighboring communes are Kyllini and Kato Panagia to the north and Neochori to the east. Its nearest beach is Melissa Beach to the west.
On the hill lies the Chlemoutsi fortress or the castle from which the town receives its name ‘Kastro’ (elevation: about 200 m). It was built by prince Geoffrey I Villehardouin of the Principality of Achaea in 1220-1223, who called it Clairmont (from which Chlemoutsi is a derivation). After the decline of the Principality the castle gradually lost its importance. Today it is sometimes used for concerts.
Cape Kyllini is a cape located north of Kyllini. Between the cape and Kyllini is a small fortress named Glarentza and slightly east is the beach. It also offers a view of the island of Kefallinia from the north. The island of Kafkalida is the only uninhabited settlement. The island is rocky and has Kyllini’s lighthouse. The lighthouse is about 20 to 30 m tall. It is accessed by a tiny port holding one or two boats and is not used for cars from the port of Kyllini. It is only accessed by a pathway. The northern half of the island are made up of rocks. The island about 100,000 years ago was connected with the mainland.
Glarentza is a medieval city located next to the location of today’s Kyllini. Glarentza, derived from Clarentia or Clarence, was an important city, mint and port during Frankish rule in the Peloponnese. It was built by the Villehardouins of the Principality of Achaea in the location of ancient Cyllene, in Elis during the 13th century. Glarentza’s port and its castle were strengthened by the Chlemoutsi fortress in the same area. Glarentza was located 5 to 6 km from Chlemoutsi and 12 to 13 km from Andravida.
Things to do
Health tourism: The Thermal Springs of Kyllini, also known as Kyllini Baths is a thermal spring area with hotels, restaurants, and a beach located on a southwestern tip of this peninsula. The setting is all forest covering the western half of the small mountain range. The length of the road is 1 km west of the junction of a road to Kastro, Neochori and Patras.
A view of Kastro and Chlemoutsi fortress can be seen mostly over the hilly forests which also cover the east. Tourism was famously very popular in the 1980s and the 1990s. North of the springs has another campsite and Melissa Beach which bears its name. The most famous baths also offers inhalation therapy, said to assist in asthma and skin problems. It is situated next to the Roman ruins.