Top view of Zacharo beach in Kyparissia Greece. Bright sunny day on the beach.

Kyparissia Gulf

Greece is well known as a popular tourist destination for its crystal blue waters, white sands, and Mediterranean cuisine. One of the most beautiful places to visit in Greece is the Gulf of Kyparissia. The gulf is on the coast of the Peloponnese Peninsula and flows into the Ionian Sea. The gulf's waters are an incredible blue and full of a diversity of marine life, from fish to corals and even loggerhead turtles. The golden, sandy banks of the gulf are an important nesting ground for the loggerhead turtles. Today, tourism and agriculture dominate the area. 


The Idyllic beach of Kyparissia towards the Ionian sea. Kyparissia is a lively coastal town located in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece.
The idyllic beach of Kyparissia towards the Ionian Sea. Image credit Pit Stock via Shutterstock.

The Gulf of Kyparissia is a natural beauty along the western coast of the Peloponnese Peninsula in Greece. It is a long curving indentation between Cape Katakolo at the north and Cap Konello at the south. It is also an inlet of the Ionian Sea, which is an elongated bay of the Mediterranean Sea. The Gulf of Kyparissa is about 35 miles wide and flanks the partially enclosed coastal bay of the Alpheius. This is the main river of the Peloponnese. The Peloponnese extends southwards 15 miles from shore and is a series of large lagoons.

The Nedha River divides the northern part of the gulf. The river divides the bay into the nomos of the Ilía on the north part and the Messenia on the south part. In Messenia, the town Kiparissia lies on the shore of the harbor Paralia. In Kyparissia, there is a long line of beaches and mountain villages with beautiful views of the water. 

Marine Life

Loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, in Tenerife, Spain.
Loggerhead sea turtle.

Since the Gulf of Kyparissia flows into the Ionian Sea, the gulf gets similar marine life. The Ionian Sea is an important habitat for marine biodiversity. There are many different fish and mammals in the waters, including monk seals, whales, dolphins, and loggerhead turtles. There are also many different types of mollusks, crustaceans, and corals in the gulf. The Gulf of Kyparissia is particularly important to the loggerhead turtle species. The sandy shores are a nesting ground for the turtles. 

Climate and Weather

The Idyllic beach of Kyparissia
The Idyllic beach of Kyparissia.

Similar to other areas in Greece, the weather in Kyparissia is mild, with hot summers and mild winters. The average annual temperature is 62 degrees Fahrenheit and the average annual rainfall is 36 inches. The summer season in Kyparissia starts at the end of June and ends in September. The temperatures in the summer are hot and reach highs of 107.6 degrees Fahrenheit. July is the sunniest month in Kyparissia, with an average of 12.33 hours of sunshine.

The autumn season starts in late October in Kyparissia and there is usually rain during this time. Since the gulf is part of the sea, its temperatures in the winter do not get too cold. Winter is short, lasting from the end of December to the beginning of March. Temperatures never dip down below 41 Fahrenheit. 

History of Kyparissa

Paralio Astros cityscape, view from drone, Arcadia, Greece
Paralio Astros cityscape, view from drone, Arcadia, Greece.

Both the Gulf and the nearby town of Kyparissia have a history dating back to the Middle Ages. People inhabited the area dating back to the second millennium B.C. At the time, Kyparissia and the Gulf of Kyparissia were called Arcadia. Kyparissia had significance because of its location near Olympia and Pylos. In the 4th century BCE, the Theban leader Epaminodas revived the economic importance of the gulf. He used the Gulf of Kyparissia as a port for his capital, Messene. Today the Gulf of Kiparissia is a popular tourist spot and agriculture dominates the town. Olive groves surround the town, along with some mixed farms.


Paralio Astros cityscape, view from drone, Arcadia, Greece
Breathtaking castle view over the picturesque coastal town of Kyparissia at sunset.

The beautiful weather in the Gulf of Kyparissia makes the a great tourist destination. It also has some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. Some of the most popular beaches to visit include Ai-Lagoudis Beach and Kalo Nero Beach. Ai-Lagoudis Beach has waters that are perfect for water recreation and sports such as sea-kayaking and paddle boarding. Since water currents are weaker at this beach, swimming is a popular activity. Many restaurants along the beachfront serve traditional Greek seafood, and coffees, offering an impeccable ocean view. Kalo Nero Beach is quieter than Ai-Lagoudis Beach. However, it is still worth a visit. The area has fewer tourists but still offers serene ocean views. 

Near the Gulf of Kyparissia, there is a nearby town, the town of Kyparissia. The town is on the edge of the Ionia Sea, offering beautiful views of golden sandy beaches and crystal clear waters.  The Gulf of Kyparissia is also home to GVI's marine conservation base in Giannitsochori. This is an important spot for the near-threatened loggerhead turtle. The conservation base is a beach with shores left untouched and protected by law.

Conservation Efforts

Sea Turtle eggs
Sea Turtle eggs.

If you visit the Gulf of Kyparissia you might see a loggerhead turtle nesting site. There are laws protecting the gulf's sandy shores to save the loggerhead turtles. Loggerhead turtles live in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. The turtles are near-threatened species because of danger to their habitat. Pollution in the oceans and nest destruction are contributing factors to their endangerment.

If you see a loggerhead turtle nest it's important not to disturb the nest by touching or moving the eggs. The baby loggerhead turtles have to make their way to the ocean from the nest. The GVI turtle conservation project in Giannitsochori monitors the turtle activity.  If you want to get involved in turtle conservation you can help with the organization's conservation efforts.

Overall, if you are taking a trip to Greece be sure to check out the Gulf of Kyparissia. Whether you want to enjoy the beaches, volunteer to help turtles, or check out the nearby town of Kyparissia, the gulf's natural beauty won't disappoint.



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