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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.
From Athens the trip takes a little less than 2 hours using the Moreas highway,from Patras it takes about 3 hours to reach Kalamata.
From Athens, Kifissou terminal. See KTEL Messinias 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.
From Athens Int'l Eleftherios Venizelos with Aegean Airlines and from Thessaloniki with Astra Airlines. There are also seasonal flights from Irakleio, Crete (Sky Express), London-Gatwick, Nuremberg (Air Berlin, Oslo (Scandinavian Airlines, LON-Gatwick and Manchester (Fly Hellas, Thomas Cook), Amsterdam (Transavia), Prague (SmartWings), Moscow-Domodedovo (Aegean Airlines).
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.
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.
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.
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.
What to see
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 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”.
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.