Travel info for Kalamata

Welcome to Kalamata!

 - The port and the beach. Kalamata has the advantage of an amazing coastal front. It starts from the port, on the west of the city, with the picturesque old buildings of the Customs and Port authorities (1910-1930), the cylindrical mills Evaggelistria and the Independent Currant Organization. After the distinctive U shape road of the port, we pass the Yacht Club and enter the main coastal Navarinou Street. Before you go further east, it’s definitely worth making a short deviation on the west part of the city, in the amazing Palia Ntouana, the old port, the old Customs building (1860) and the warehouses. Navarinou Street is filled with cafes, restaurants, fish taverns, ouzo places and bars by the clean, pebbly and ideal for swimming beach of Kalamata. The beautiful promenade has palm trees and a nice wide pavement. This coastal road, which is 2.5 kilometers long, boasts many neoclassical and other important buildings of the last two centuries, which were saved from the strong earthquakes the city went through.  
The Castle and the old town. The castle is on the north part of Kalamata and it’s perfectly blended in the city. This typical example of Franciscan fortification (beginning of 13th century) is not well preserved, which is logical considering the catastrophes it went through before and during the Greek revolution (the most important ones were in 1685 and 1825). Walking through its piney yard, except from the remnants of the facilities and the walls, you will see spots with a beautiful city view and a modern small open theater, which during the summer hosts cultural events. The most interesting squares of the old town, as well as many historical attractions are located around the castle. On the northwest part, there is the new market and on the northeast side a small temple, which bears the unofficial reputation that “baptized” the city of Kalamata (Virgin Mary Kalomata). The Ypapanti Square, on the southern and southeastern part of the castle, which is the oldest residential area in the modern history of the city, features the magnificent metropolitan church of Metamorphosis of the Savior (1873) with its two tall steeples. On the southwest, the nuns’ monastery of Kalograion (Mystra Street) was founded on 1796. Around these streets, you will see many more points of interest, such as the Monument dedicated to the heroes of the Greek Revolution of 1821, the Military Museum, the public library, the Alexandrakeio Nursing Home, the Folk Art Museum, the Municipal Conservatory etc. You will also see many old and charming churches. One of the most important is the church of Agioi Apostoloi on the 23rd of March Square (half of which was built on the first half of the 12th century and the other half on the 17th century, after the construction of an additional hall), which constitutes the landmark of the city.
- Aristomenous Street. This is the most central street of the city. It was constructed on 1871, mainly to connect the 23rd of March Square with the beach front. Most of the city’s neoclassical buildings are here, which mainly host various public services and foundations. However, the most astonishing one is the City Hall (which was a mansion of a merchant dealer of the 1890’s). Aristomenous Street falls on the long central square of Kalamata, with busts of Greek revolutionists, many trees, cafes and a fountain.
- Railways Park. The first thematic park of Greece (since 1986) is situated at the end of Aristomenous Street. Four platforms of embarkation, the two-story building of the station’s headquarters, a 28 meters long metal footbridge, many old wagons, rails and impressive locomotives have been maintained and placed in such a way, as to create a nice and quiet area for walking, sports and leisure. 
- Museums. In Kalamata visitors will find: the Benakeio Archeological Museum (Benaki Street), the History / Folk Art Museum (12 Ag. Ioannou & Kyriakou Street), the Military Museum (10 M. Mitropoulou Street) and the Pantazopouleios Folk School, which besides from being the cultural center of the city, also hosts the Public Library and the Gallery of modern Greek Art (33 Aristomenouns Street).
Kalamata – Mani – Cape Tainaro: The route that connects Kalamata with the villages of Exo and Mesa Mani and with the southernmost place of continental Europe, the legendary Cape Tainaro, is truly exceptional. The olive groves, the stone yards, the gorges and the old stone villages with the towers are truly imposing. As we head towards the south, the landscape is even more enchantingly wild. Just few of the points of interest are the villages of Stoupa, Kardamyli, Areopoli, Dyros (with the renowned underwater cave) and Gerolimenas. Areopoli is about 78 kilometers from Kalamata and Tainaro 37 additional kilometers from Aeropoli.  
Kalamata – Sparta: This 60 kilometers route usually has heavy traffic and it’s quite tiring, as it ascends at about 1250 meters above sea level and then again descends at about 200 meters, where Sparta is situated. Despite the catastrophic fires that have destroyed the local flora, the route is interesting because it goes through the imposing Taygetos Mountain and the Lagkadas Gorge, which is also an ideal field for rock climbing. The road at times hangs over steep cliffs and goes through tunnels. Returning from Sparta, the view of the Messinian Gulf and of Kalamata is just breathtaking.
Kalamata – Megalopoli – Ancient Temple of Epikourios Apollo: From Kalamata we follow the national regional highway towards Megalopoli, a quiet route with no traffic that goes through traditional villages and agricultural cultivations. During the first half of the route, you will stumble across taverns that serve the most delicious pork. Megalopolis is about 55 kilometers from Kalamata. From there, if you follow the signs, you will ascend through mountainous villages (Thoknia, Kastanohori, Lykaio, Neda) to the famous ancient temple of Apollo in Vasses Arkadias (which has been declared as a World Heritage Monument by UNESCO), which is built in an extremely elevated and isolated area. Someone might wonder how this Temple was constructed up there and how is it still standing (even after the protective tents the archeologists placed few years ago). There is also a small piece of dirt road (about 4-5 kilometers long), but it’s quite smooth and won’t trouble the drivers. 
    If you want to see the attractions around the castle and the old town, it would be better to walk because most of the streets are quite narrow and not well structured.
    You will not have any problem with traffic or parking. Kalamata is a well spread city for its current population (about 60.000 people).
    Few central crossroads do not have traffic lights, so you need to be extra careful.
    The road that leads from Kalamata to Mani is quite narrow, with many turns and animals’ crossing. Careful slow driving is recommended, especially during the summer when traffic is heavier. 

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