Ithomi is best known for the magnificent ruins of Ancient Messene (sometimes called Ancient Messini) set at the foot of Mount Ithome. While it’s as striking as other Greek archaeological sites, Messene sees fewer tourists. Visitors can marvel at the marketplace (agora), stadium, and monumental gate, and visit the small museum.

Learn more
Messene, 240 02

The basics

Founded in the 4th century BC, Messene was built as a defensive outpost in the southwest of the Peloponnese, now part of modern Greece. Archaeology enthusiasts can admire the well-preserved remains of its civic and sacred buildings as part of a driving tour of the peninsula that also stops at area highlights like the seaside resort of Kalamata, the UNESCO-listed remains of Mystras, Ancient Olympia, and the Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil.

Show all

Things to know before you go

  • The ancient ruins can be a challenge to interpret, so visit with an archaeologist guide for a better understanding of their history and significance.
  • Protect yourself with a hat and sunscreen when exploring, as there is little shade at the site.
  • There is a cafè located near the entrance.
  • The ruins and grounds have limited stroller and wheelchair accessibility, but there is a restroom with wheelchair access.
Show all

How to get there

Ithomi and Ancient Messene are about 20 miles (30 kilometers) northwest of Kalamata and can only be reached by car. The easiest way to visit is by joining a guided tour that includes round-trip transportation from one of the main towns in the Peloponnese.

Show all

Trip ideas

When to get there

The ruins have almost no shade, so time your visit for the cooler morning or afternoon hours if you’re there in the summer; spring and fall are more temperate. (The site’s small archaeological museum offers a bit of respite from the sun.) The site is open daily year-round, with the exception of major holidays.

Show all

Other ancient sites in the Peloponnese

The Peloponnese peninsula is one of Greece’s richest archaeological areas, with dozens of premier ruins. The two sites closest to Ancient Ithomi and Ancient Messene are Ancient Olympia to the northwest and Mystras to the southeast. Ancient Olympia was the site of the first Olympic Games in 776 BC, while Mystras is a 13th-century fortified village on Mount Taygetos overlooking the Peloponnese countryside.

Show all
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Ithomi?
What else should I know about attractions in Greece?