Although often overlooked by holidaymakers in favour of Greece’s more famous tourist destinations, Messenia’s capital is a vibrant market town and a great destination for families and couples alike. From sampling Kalamata’s famous produce, to relaxing on the beach and visiting Kalamata’s museums and galleries, there is something for everyone to enjoy!
Kalamata is served by Kalamata International Airport (KLX) which serves scheduled flights to and from London during the popular holiday months (April – November). It takes approximately 3 hours and 25 minutes to fly directly from London to Kalamata International Airport. On average, a return flight from London to Kalamata will cost around £200. However, if you visit during September or October, your ticket will be considerably less!
What to Do in Kalamata
Perched on a hill overlooking the sea, the Kalamata castle is a must-visit for anyone on holiday in Kalamata. While the castle was constructed in the early Thirteenth Century, parts of the castle date back even further. During the summer months, the amphitheatre at the top of the castle becomes the stage for a number of cultural events.
There are a number of blue-flag beaches in Kalamata that perfect for basking in the sun and swimming in the clear water. Finikounda and Stoupa beaches are popular with both international and domestic holidaymakers. Stoupa is the more touristic of the two as it has a number of nearby amenities. If you are looking for a scenic beach to unwind on, you’re best bet is Kardamili which is situated in the South.
If you like museums, you are spoiled for choice in Kalamata. There are a number of archaeological museums which showcase relics from Kalamata’s history, such as Kalamata Archaeological Museum and Messenia Archaeological Museum.
While in Kalamata be sure to try out some of the city’s world-famous Kalamata olives. These are available in pretty much all restaurants and bars. The best place for dining options is the Marina as there are a number of excellent sea food restaurants and tavernas.
Hotels in Kalamata
Unfortunately, there is a real shortage of accommodation options in Kalamata as it is not one of Greece’s prime tourist destinations.
In the centre of Kalamata you will find a number of luxury hotels. Due to their location, these hotels are great for those who want to go sightseeing and shopping. The 5-star Hotel Rex is among the best of Kalamata’s hotels and is housed in a stunning neoclassical building.
There are a number of quiet C-class (2-starhotels) situated just east of Faron along the waterfront, such as the Hibiscus Hotel, which are great for those on a budget and want to be in close proximity to the beach. These hotels do tend to be quite nondescript which means that if you are looking for something special, you are better off elsewhere.
If you head out of town, even by just 5km, you will encounter a broader selection of hotels to choose from. In the countryside that encompasses the town you will find a number of luxury resorts which have multiple pools, cocktail bars and spas.