GREEK-TRADITIONS-REMAIN-ALIVE-AND-STRONG-IN-COSTA-NAVARINO--

Greek traditions remain alive and strong in Costa Navarino  

02.01.18

Nature, nurture and a legacy from King Nestor; that’s the collective offering at Costa Navarino – Greece’s newest and most ambitious residential tourism destination. Laura Henderson pays a visit

There’s a legendary corner of mainland Greece that harbours cultural values, traditions and a history of more than 4,500 years, all combined with a natural-asset landscape that has to be one of the most stunning of the Mediterranean.

The region is called Messinia and the place - Costa Navarino; its origins, crafted by one Vassilis Constantakopoulos, aka “the Captain” - a local family man made billionaire shipping magnate, whose life’s work - to enrich his place of birth with a legacy of sustainable tourism – has finally come to fruition.

By any stretch of the imagination, what Vassilis and his sons have achieved in terms of developmental vision is beyond extraordinary. Today, the area is home to significant Mycenaean palaces, castles and UNESCO World Heritage sites that inform the local architecture, yet it remains a largely unknown region; until now that is.

The masterplan footprint that is Costa Navarino is single-handedly revitalising the area; opening it up to a new and affluent global investor audience.

Improved connectivity with a growing network of international flights into regional airport – Kalamata – has a crucial part to play, but so too, is the sheer scale of the project. Comprising five distinct mixed-use neighbourhoods, integrating deluxe hotels and high-end private residences; at the heart of the development design and build philosophy is a strong commitment to environmental responsibility along with genuine respect for local traditions and communities.

So far, two linked, five-star resorts have been built, the Romanos and the Westin. Explains Operations and Marketing spokesperson for the resort’s developer Temes, Lambrini Litsa: “The focal point of the community and its philosophy, is a genuine desire to promote the local area, while protecting and preserving its natural beauty, local culture and heritage. Th e low-density build means guests and owners are supremely well housed in understated luxury.”

Sustainability figures highly in the build out – with an ecokind resource management in place to minimise energy use, reduce emissions and waste production. Navarino’s architects have tried to take account of the environment in other ways too - the hotels are in scale with the landscape; the golf courses will take water only from specially built reservoirs which collect winter run-off, the hot water is solar-powered and the next phase of the development will use its own solar electricity.

For those tempted at the prospect of home ownership – there’s a diverse selection of home options to choose from. Properties sold with freehold title, come with private swimming pools and are built on large plots, while lush landscaping and arresting views make each home feel like its own isolated slice of Greek bliss.

Villas range in size from 300 square metres to 1,000 square metres gross indoor areas, in plots from 1,500 square metres to 3,000 square metres. Design accents trade on the vernacular with stone enclosures, courtyards and patios, arranged in such a way as to invite the surrounding landscape to interact with the interior. Traditional textures and construction techniques blend with modern-day features.

These include solid wooden beams and antique stone paving set against hammered concrete lintels, anodized aluminium window frames and planted roofs. The alternation between indoor and outdoor space provides a spatial richness and merges the houses with their context. Adds Lambrini: “It makes moving through the property more akin to a stroll around a local village than a single property.”

In close proximity to the sea, flagship Sea Dunes residences are extra spacious, sitting on 3,000 square metre plots and boasting six-bedrooms including a sea-view master site with walk-in closets, indoor heated pool, sauna and steam room, gym, staff quarters together with extensive

outdoor living space including an infi nity pool and direct beach access. Prices start from €9,000,000 tax inclusive.

Perched on a hillside overlooking the signature Dunes golf course in the Olive Grove neighbourhood meanwhile, buyers can opt between a stylish three-bedroom, two-storey panorama villa from €2,400,000 or a larger five-bedroom option from €3,100,000 with headline views of the resort, from ground level, while their south orientation provides spectacular sunset vistas.

Surrounded by carefully manicured golf greens and fairways, these homes are still only minutes from the sea by golf cart.

Villa ownership across the board comes with access to all of Costa Navarino’s amenities as well as year-round property management and 24-hour concierge.

But perhaps what is most remarkable about the project are the hundreds of square kilometres bought up by the Captain over a 20-year period, now melded together in what is essentially, a celebration of Messinia’s topography. The beaches have been untouched, roads and rivers have been diverted, reservoirs created, and the golf courses watered lawns are fashioned among olive groves and old ruins. Some 6,000 trees have been replanted; 400,000 shrubs have been bedded in and verdant roof gardens galore created. Says local agent, Chris O’Connor: “Th e resort certainly has substance.

It boasts an illustrious past and a promising future with a property investment offering that’s ahead of the curve. I dare say the Captain would be proud.”

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