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Travel Edit: Costa Navarino

Travel Edit: Costa Navarino

Greece is the word thanks to Europe's newest golf destination

Greece is famous for many things, but you wouldn’t necessarily consider golf to be one of them. While the country is recognised globally for being the cradle of western civilisation, the founder of democracy, the birthplace of the Olympic Games and for giving the world the likes of the great philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, to name just a few, you would generally struggle to list any golf courses or resorts. That is until now.

At the forefront of the country’s burgeoning golf tourism drive has been Costa Navarino in The Peloponnese, with the venue’s combination of signature 18-hole golf courses, five-star accommodation and numerous other leisure and amenities proving increasingly irresistible for players from across Europe and beyond.

And the Mediterranean’s prime sustainable destination has elevated its status to new heights this spring with the eagerly anticipated opening of Costa Navarino’s new 36-hole Navarino Hills golf development, as well as announcing the opening of two new five-star hotels in the next 12 months.

Furthering Greece’s association with The Olympics, the world’s first International Olympic Academy Golf Course and the neighbouring Hills Course were officially unveiled to the golfing world in February alongside the new Hills Clubhouse – marking a new era for the venue and the arrival of Europe’s newest golf destination.

Designed by two-time Masters champion José María Olazábal, the two layouts provide the ideal complement to Costa Navarino’s two existing signature golf courses – The Dunes Course (designed by Bernhard Langer in association with European Golf Design) and The Bay Course (created by Robert Trent Jones Jr.) Costa Navarino’s guests can now enjoy the challenge of four signature golf courses within a 13km maximum distance.

Olazábal said: “Costa Navarino ranks among the most beautiful places I have ever been to. Over the past five years, we have worked hard to shape two courses that not only respect the stunning surroundings but that also fit as naturally as possible into the terrain."

“The two courses are distinct in character. Golfers will find the International Olympic Academy Golf Course to be more polished in style and full of spectacular views across the Bay of Navarino while the Hills Course offers more of a rural feel, where we take you out through the gently rolling hills."

“Costa Navarino has developed into a spectacular golf destination, and I invite everyone to come and experience it for themselves.”

Take a sneak peek at the video below to see more...

Blessed with an outstanding array of attractions away from the fairways and an idyllic climate, everything we love about Greece is to be found here, blending world-class golf with the finer things in life and first-rate, genuine service.

Situated in Greece’s southwest Peloponnese and a short and scenic drive from Kalamata airport, Costa Navarino opened in 2010 – fulfilling a lifelong ambition of its founder, shipping magnate and keen environmentalist Captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos, to create a sustainable tourism development in his home region of Messinia.

Launched in partnership with the International Olympic Academy and the Hellenic Olympic Committee, the new International Olympic Academy Course plays around the western part of the Navarino Hills property and benefits from having over half its holes along the ridge of the hill overlooking the Bay of Navarino.

Measuring 6,366m, the par-72 layout features two nines distinctly different in layout. While the front nine wanders through old olive groves in typical Greek landscape, the back nine plays along the edge of the cliff and provides spectacular sea views.

The Hills Course is located on the eastern side of the property and is perhaps best described as a scenic golf journey through nature. The course fits seamlessly into the land and, along the way, passes old olive trees, ancient rock walls and stunning ravines that carve deep into the Kinigou Hills.

Undulation is more of a factor and the scenery is vastly different. Only once, on the fourth tee, can you catch a glimpse of the sea, but the visual sensation is still dramatic, with mountain tops, long valleys and stunning rock formations. The 18 holes offer a good balance and variety, from doglegs to uphill and downhill holes, long par-fives, short par-fours and challenging par-threes. Additionally, myriad strategic options await you and provide a good test for creativity and course management.

Olazábal said:“Costa Navarino ranks among the most beautiful places I have ever been to. Over the past five years, we have worked hard to shape two courses that not only respect the stunning surroundings but that also fit as naturally as possible into the terrain."

“The two courses are distinct in character. Golfers will find the International Olympic Academy Golf Course to be more polished in style and full of spectacular views across the Bay of Navarino while the Hills Course offers more of a rural feel, where we take you out through the gently rolling hills."

"Costa Navarino has developed into a spectacular golf destination, and I invite everyone to come and experience it for themselves.”

In line with Costa Navarino’s commitment to sustainable development, a water reservoir with a capacity of 485,000m3 has been built to meet the irrigation needs of both courses. To keep water consumption to a minimum, all fairways, greens, tees and rough areas have been seeded with a combination of hard-wearing grasses suitable to the local climate, while 52,000 indigenous forest plants, shrubs and seasonal local flowers and herbs have also been planted.

In addition, the new Navarino Hills golf facilities also feature a 60-bay driving range and a 15,000m² short game area, with the new clubhouse at Navarino Hills also opening at the same time. Designed by acclaimed architect Lubomír Zeman and built using local stone materials, it has been created with the aim of achieving class A+ in energy efficiency and features photovoltaic panels.

As you would expect from a venue of such high standing, there’s plenty to do away from course with the quality of golf matched by the high standard of Costa Navarino’s leisure and lifestyle facilities, and further exciting developments are on the way with the opening of two more luxury resorts by spring 2023.

Opening this summer and situated at Navarino Waterfront, W Costa Navarino will be the first venue in Greece to debut Marriott’s W Hotels brand. The 13-hectare beachfront destination is set to feature 246 stylish rooms, suites, and villas, as well as five dining venues including a destination beach club overlooking the Bay of Navarino. It will be adjacent to the ‘Navarino Agora’ – a new open marketplace that will be open to the public with retail, street food, open-air cinema and exciting all-day programming.

In addition, the destination will continue its expansion next year with the scheduled unveiling of the first Mandarin Oriental property in Greece.

With an abundance of leisure, sports and wellness, as well as dining and authentic local experiences, Costa Navarino is now more than ever – a truly all-encompassing golf destination, paying homage to its natural beauty and cultural heritage. It’s also an incredible spot for a rewarding family holiday.

But don’t just take our word for it, visit www.costanavarino.com for more details.