Sphacteria is a small island at the entrance to the bay of Pylos.
In ancient times it was the site of the Battle of Sphacteria in the Peloponnesian war.
In 425BC, during the Peloponnesian War, the Athenians defeated the Spartans in a “commando” raid on Sphacteria Island.
In modern times the bay was the site of the Battle of Navarino in the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire (the forerunner to modern-day Turkey). In 1826 approximately 200 Greek fighters were blockaded there by Ibrahim Pasha''s fleet when captain Tsamados set out a daring plan to rescue them. In August 1826 in a stormy night he slipped unnoticed with his ship "Ares" between the Turkish fleet and the castle of Navarino (controlled by Turkish forces then) to the island of Sphacteria and boarded the 200 fighters. While leaving he was noticed by the Turkish sailors and he was trapped between the fleet of 15 frigates and the castle cannons. The battle lasted for 2 hours but they managed to escape. Captain Tsamados, General Santaroza and the Secretary of Interior Anagnostaras were killed in action.