Kalamata holidays 2019 / 2020
A dream come true for history buffs, Kalamata sits at the heart of Ancient Messene in Greece. Its rich folklore dates back to Homer’s legendary writings, and the city houses a number of archaeological museums tucked amongst its distinctive domed roof architecture. Nestled between the green foothills and rocky peaks of Mount Taygetos and the azure seascapes of Messinian Bay, the scenery is unrivalled. Those seeking 2019 / 2020 holidays combining sunny beaches with art and culture will find Kalamata an ideal destination. There’s no shortage of outdoor activities in the region, whether you prefer scuba diving or sea swimming.
Kalamata holidays offer the opportunity to laze on a sun-drenched beach or terrace, wander through ancient streets, and sample authentic Greek cuisine. Use the city as a base for exploring the wilds of the Peloponnese peninsula, famed for its soaring peaks and charming fishing villages like Kardamyli and Stoupa. Explore the ancient ruins of Olympia, or charter a sailboat to wind your way down the Mani coastline, admiring rustic settlements lost in time.
This well-preserved ancient city offers a wealth of attractions for art and history enthusiasts. Visit the Modern Greek Art Gallery, with its elegant sculptures and carvings, or venture to the Archaeological Museum to view artefacts dating all the way back to the Bronze Age. You can spend the better part of your holidays in Kalamata simply exploring the city on foot. Stop off in the central King George Square to while away the hours in an outdoor café or coffee shop, or amble along pedestrian Aristomenous Street to peer in the local shops.
Another popular pedestrianised area of the city is located around the railway station, offering no shortage of bustling bars and friendly tavernas. Its side streets showcase hidden boutiques and cafes, while the Railways Park is a must-see attraction for fans of vintage motorcycles. Naturally, Kalamata’s seafront area is a star attraction. Spend some time soaking in the sun on the Blue Flag beach here, or wander along the waterfront promenade for a taste of ouzo and freshly grilled seafood.
Fresh, seasonal cuisine is a major part of the Kalamata lifestyle, and meals are always leisurely here. Taste the plump purple olives that the region is famous for, sold straight from a brine-filled bucket in the local markets and tavernas. The Aristomenous and Navarinou pedestrian thoroughfares offer an epicentre of Kalamata’s varied dining scene. Huddle into a cosy taverna in the winter months or soak in the summer sun on a landscaped terrace. The Marina area is the go-to destination for traditional Greek restaurants, where you can enjoy dishes prepared with freshly caught seafood grilled to order.
Typical Greek cuisine on offer includes souvlaki, gyros, and lamb. The Peloponnese region is famed for its agriculture, and you’ll have the chance to taste inventive yet classic dishes utilising farm-fresh produce. Spring artichokes, summer vine-ripened tomatoes, and wildflower honey dress up any humble meal here. If you want to immerse yourself in the local gastronomy, a wine or olive oil tasting tour is a wonderful excursion.
Kalamata holidays appeal to all ages, with a blend of cultural attractions and beachside resorts. You don’t have to travel far to find quiet beaches with shallow, clear water just perfect for paddling. Venture to nearby villages like Stoupa to find moments of tranquillity, where you can hire a pedal boat or go swimming. Kalamata’s own beaches offer clear Mediterranean waters to splash around in, along with a wealth of water sports easily accessible from the marina. Go snorkelling or scuba diving to get up close and personal with Kalamata’s colourful marine life.
There are plenty of play areas tucked along the beaches, and friendly locals extend a warm welcome to children in the city’s cafes and cultural hotspots including its central castle. A wide range of accommodation is on offer in Kalamata, whether you’re in search of a private, self-catering villa or an all-inclusive resort. Resorts have the added benefit of babysitting and holiday clubs, allowing everyone in the family to relax.
Action & Adventure
The city’s abundant historic attractions and charms are best explored on foot, including the historic Old Town and Kalamata Castle. Head to the beach for extensive water sports, including jet skiing, sailing, and boating on the turquoise Mediterranean waters. Go scuba diving to explore the watery worlds just off the coast, populated by curious and vibrantly coloured sea creatures.
There’s plenty to see and do further inland as well, with many action-packed day trips to get your adrenaline pumping. Trek through the cliffs and valleys of the region, dotted with Byzantine churches and cypress groves. The Caves of Diros is a bit further afield, but it’s well worth a day trip from Kalamata. You’ll be able to take a guided tour through these mysterious ancient caverns and underground lakes, studded with stalactites. Horseback riding and cycling are additional activities to take part in throughout the region. You can cycle your way around Kalamata or venture out into the mountainous pine forests of Taygetos.
Kalamata’s beaches are famous for their crystal clear waters, powdery sands, and array of water sports facilities. The beach area sprawls along the waterfront, including a bar-lined promenade and 4 km of sandy beaches. The beaches have been granted a Blue Flag status for their pristine quality, making them ideal for swimming or sunbathing alike. Relax and admire the kaleidoscopic sunset hues from a beachside terrace, or unwind with a fruity cocktail as you while away the afternoon.
Venture to Kalamata’s Marina to see boats bobbing in the harbour. The city’s western beach and marina are connected to its centre with a cycle lane, and there’s no better way to enjoy the fresh air and sea views than on the back of a bicycle. You can also get away from the city’s hustle and bustle and venture to a nearby fishing villages like Finikounda and Stoupa, both known for their mellow and family-friendly beach life.
From thumping beachfront nightclubs to relaxed, intimate cafes, there’s a wealth of nightlife options in diverse Kalamata. Cultural events, festivals, and street parties enliven the city throughout the year, while world-class restaurants are family-friendly until the late hours of the evening. You can start evenings in the Marina area, with its wealth of upscale eateries spilling out onto lively terraces. Many of the city’s hotels and resorts offer trendy beach front bars open to guests, ideal for a date night or evening with friends.
Spend an evening out dancing at chic discotheques like the Palladium, which draw a crowd of tourists and locals alike. Electronic beats, a spacious dance floor, and plenty of luxurious seating areas make this a good place to see and be seen. For something a bit different visit the San Nikolas Go Cart track, next door to a bar housed in a converted ship. In the summer months, Kalamata’s amphitheatre hosts open-air plays, concerts, and festivals, housed in the impressive shadow of Kalamata Castle.
If you’re planning a romantic getaway to the Peloponnese peninsula, Kalamata is a top choice. From glamorous nightclubs to hidden beaches and mountain scenery, you’ll find no shortage of attractions to visit as a couple. Visit Kalamata’s Inomessiniaki Winery for a wine tasting tour for two, or enjoy a candlelit dinner in an intimate taverna. Kalamata’s beachfront eateries offer the ideal location for admiring incomparable sunset views while lingering over a honey-drenched dessert.
Kalamata holidays provide the perfect home base for exploring this idyllic region. Cruise down the rustic Mani coast to admire the beautiful castle scenery of Methoni, or hire your own sailboat to find a hidden cove to stop off with a picnic. Messenia’s countryside offers a number of beautiful day treks, including trails to the Polylimnio waterfall or up verdant Mount Taygetos. Alternately, you can simply spend your time together at a luxury resort. Sip a cocktail while lounging by the pool or plan a spa day to feel your cares evaporate.
Ancient art and culture spring dramatically to life in Kalamata. The cityscape is dominated by its hillside 13th-century castle, which is used as an open air theatre today. With a thriving cultural calendar, there’s bound to be something happening during your Kalamata holidays. One particular highlight is the Kalamata International Dance Festival, which draws visitors from all over the world every year. For additional performances and special events, visit the Pantazopouleio Cultural Centre. Housed in a Byzantine-style building, it hosts regular dance recitals, theatrical events, and art exhibitions.
As well as art galleries and theatres, the city is home to a host of intriguing museums. Chief among these is the Historical and Folkloric Museum. You’ll be able to see artefacts and figurines spanning the centuries of local history. Kalamata itself can be seen as a living museum, with its well-preserved architecture around every bend. This includes structures like the Saint Apostles Church, constructed by Emperor Andronicus, as well as the Municipal Library.