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Kalamata

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Greece : Peloponnese : Kalamata
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Kalamata is one of the most fortunate cities in Greece, mostly thanks to its geographical position. Situated at the apex of the crystal-blue Messinian Bay and at the foot of the imposing Mount Taygetos, it is idyllic for its inhabitants. Also, Kalamata is the ideal base for those who want to discover the secrets of Messinia, since it is centrally situated and many of the tourist and cultural destinations are easily reached by car.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

From Athens the trip takes a little less than 2 hours using the Moreas highway [1],from Patras it takes about 3 hours to reach Kalamata.

By bus[edit]

From Athens, Kifissou terminal. See KTEL Messinias [2] for bus timetables and online ticketing. It costs about 22 Euro one way. Since the completion of the Athens-Kalamata highway in December 2012, the trip takes about 2.5 hours using the express bus (no stops) and 3.5 hours using the normal bus, which makes stops at Isthmos terminal and Tripoli.

By plane[edit]

From Athens Int'l Eleftherios Venizelos with Aegean Airlines [3] and from Thessaloniki with Astra Airlines [4]. There are also seasonal flights from Irakleio, Crete (Sky Express), London-Gatwick [easyjet], Nuremberg (Air Berlin [5], Oslo (Scandinavian Airlines [6], LON-Gatwick and Manchester (Fly Hellas, Thomas Cook), Amsterdam (Transavia), Prague (SmartWings), Moscow-Domodedovo (Aegean Airlines).

By boat[edit]

From May to September, you can visit Kalamata by ship from the Cretan city of Chania.The ship "Vincenzos Kornaros" leaves from the port of Kissamos for Kalamata once a week, making a stop in the island of Kithyra.

Get around[edit]

On foot[edit]

Kalamata is very pedestrian-friendly. Since 2006, many pedestrian-only streets have been constructed around "Vasileos Georgiou" square (mainly known as "Aristomenous" square). Moreover, the vast majority of the historical centre's streets are pedestrian only. It takes approximately 20 minutes to reach Navarinou street (Kalamata's coastal street) on foot, starting from the historical centre.

By bus[edit]

Kalamata provides a cheap bus network. Line 1 starts from Kalamata's bus terminal, passes through most of Kalamata's main streets, such as Aristomenous, Faron and Navarinou, and reaches the Filoxenia hotel [7].

By bicycle[edit]

Kalamata has recently constructed a bicycle path starting from the town's market and passing through the historical centre, Nedontos street (outside the town hall), "Vasileos Georgiou" square, the train Park, Limeniko (port) Park of Limeniko and Navarinou street.The bicycle path ends at Anastasi church. A 3 km extension is planned to connect the existing bicycle path with the town's marina and the Kordias sports complex. Furthermore an automated rent-a-bike system is going to be installed, with a 1 Euro per hour rental fee.

See[edit][add listing]

Historical Centre[edit]

The best starting point for sight-seeing around Kalamata is the city’s historical centre. Wandering in the alleys of the historical centre will revive images from the past and reveal buildings that have resisted time.

  • Holy Apostles is a historic little church that was built in 1317 by Emperor Andronicus and its presence affects magically those who are familiar with its history.


  • Benakei Archeological Museum (Papazoglou 6), is a beautiful building of the Venetian type built in 1742, where many interesting archeological findings are exhibited, including a mosaic from Koroni that represents scenes from the worship of Bacchus.
  • The Municipal Library (Papazoglou 5) houses works of art that were donated after the destructive earthquake of Kalamata in 1986. These pieces manifest the sensibility of people who can see rebirth from disaster.
  • The Historical and Folkloric Museum of Kalamata (Kyriakou and Ag.Ioannou 20) is housed in a small restored building. Visitors can see objects that date back to the Revolution of 1821, as well as read detailed information about the agricultural and productive life of Messinian inhabitants during the last century.
  • The Temple of the Visitation of the Saviour, built in the 19th century in a Byzantine style, is a grandiose temple dedicated to the city’s protector.
  • Municipal Conservatoire. Located on the steps above the temple and venue for music events organized almost every weekend.
  • Castle of Kalamata. The castle is even higher up, on a pine-covered hill overlooking the sea. Built in 1208 by Gulielme Villearduin, it has inspired Angelos Terzakis’s novel about Princess Izampo who had lived in the area. At the foot of the castle there is the semi-cavernous temple of Saint John that has probably existed since the post-Byzantine years. It is said that the citadel of ancient Pharai was situated below the castle.
  • In the nunnery of Saints Constantine and Helen', built beside the castle in the 18th century, you will also learn about the ongoing Byzantine tradition of weaving pure silk on “lakkoi” (looms).

The Centre[edit]

Just below the historical centre is the commercial centre.

  • Aristomenous is the city’s main street with a large square ("Vasileos Georgiou"). Home to numerous shops and cafes, it's worth a stroll just to enjoy the ambiance.
  • Pantazopouleio Cultural Centre, in the middle of Aristomenous, always has exhibitions, speeches or shows taking place.
  • The railway park, at the end of Aristomenous street, is a pleasant surprise. It is the only open museum of this kind, where train engines and train cars of different time periods are placed in harmony in a green landscape. This place is a recreation ground for children and adults.
  • Iatropoulou pedestrian street: Since Iatropoulou street was converted into a pedestrian-only street many cafés have opened there gathering many of the locals every day.
  • Taxiarches is the area around the church of Taxiarches (archangels Gabriel and Michael). There are many shops and cafés there, offering their products at low prices.
  • The Megaro Chorou,which is currently under construction ,is the town's Music Hall,it's a beautiful and modern building and it is going to host Kalamata's international dance festival [8].

The Coast[edit]

Below the city centre is the coastal area. In the summer, the coast of Kalamata bustles with life, both during the day when the long coastline fills with bathers and in the night, when young people fill the clubs*. The port of Kalamata was once the centre of of the town's commercial and industrial development, when it used to connect all the Mediterranean centres.

  • The marina to the west of the port has numerous sailing ships anchored.
  • Navarinou street, to the east of the port, is the “coast” for the locals and the citizens’ resort; at any time of the day and night you will see groups of people strolling and talking by the sea.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Visit the castle of Kalamata, paying a 2 euro entrance fee; you can have nice view of the town and the sunset from the top of the castle.
  • Visit the Ano Verga area, at an altitude of 800 m., there is the beautiful village of Ano Verga with traditional architecture,and a breathtaking view of the Messinian gulf.
  • Just have a walk in Navarinou street start from the town's port and reach the Filoxenia hotel. You will be amazed by the beautiful landscape. And don't forget to visit the "Molos" (pier) and have a look at Mount Taygetos and the town's coastal frontline.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Learn more about the local products of Messinia while wandering through the historical centre, visiting the small shops that buy their merchandise exclusively from local producers.
  • In the city centre, Aristomenous (the main street with the large square) and the streets crossing it are home to numerous shops offering everything you might need.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • The cafeterias along Aristomenous and Navarinou are countless and full of life, with many people enjoying their warm ambiance in the winter or sitting on the chairs at the square during the sunny summer days.
  • O Tzimis, At St. Apostles Church square, 2721023999. Best souvlaki a and gyros in Kalamata at this stand, across from the church of the Revolution in the square. 2 euro.  edit
  • The Marina area is home to loads of traditional (and not so traditional) restaurants and taverns. Limeni, Mangiona, Pyrofani, Argo are just a few of the names you'll encounter while strolling along Salaminos (the main marina road).

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Rex Hotel, Aristomenous 26, 24100 Kalamata, +30 27210 22334, [9]. The Rex Hotel is located in the center of Kalamata, next to the city hall. It is one of the oldest neoclassical buildings in the city.  edit
  • Hotel Elite, End of Navarinoy St., 241 00 Kalamata, +30 27210 22434, [10]. Elite Hotel is situated in the heart of Messinian Bay, at the foot of Taygetos mountain, but very close to the beautiful city of Kalamata.  edit
  • Pharae Palace Hotel, Messinia Kalamata Peloponnese 24100.  edit
  • akti taygetos conference resort, Mikra Mantinia, Kalamata, +302721042000, [11]. Akti Taygetos is located on a beautiful spot next to the sea overlooking the Messinian Gulf, with the Taygetos Mountain as a backdrop, 5km from Kalamata.  edit
  • Melitsina Village Hotel, Kardamili 24022 Messinia, 2721073334, [12]. Melitsina Village Hotel near Ritsa beach is a 3 star hotel in Kardamili, Messinia. This hotel is ideal for family holidays.  edit

Get out[edit]

You'll find attractive scenery no matter which way you head from Kalamata.

  • To the southeast is Mani (second leg of the Peloponnese), where the woody coastal places of Messinian Mani pass the baton to the steep, rocky and fascinating coastal landscape of Lakonian Mani.
  • To the southwest (first leg of the Peloponnese), you'll reach Koroni, Methoni and Pylos with their famous attractions.
  • Crossing Kalamata towards the North and heading to Sparti, you will enter the magnificent world of Taygetos, the roof of Kalamata. Taygetos is the biggest challenge for lovers of mountain, trekking and climbing. Imposing and full of contradictions, with slopes, canyons, caves, sources, rivers and rich vegetation alternating with steep rocks, it draws on the intrepid who dare to explore it.
  • The Ancient Messini is a few kilometres outside Kalamata, in the Municipality of Ithomi. It's a recently-discovered archeological site that astonishes visitors with its size and good condition; in fact, it is considered the best preserved archeological site.
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