Nov 01, 2023
When everyone thinks of Kalamata they automatically think of OLIVES! But, the second largest city in the Peloponnese boast a lot more than just the humble olive.
Kalamata is a fairly modern city that is ever expanding. The opening of new cafes and cocktails bars, is seeing Kalamata becoming a destination for Greek people to visit after their summer season for a perfect getaway from cities like Athens.
Sitting on the west coast of Greece, Kalamata hass some great sandy beaches and beach bars, which get very busy during the summer months.
Steeped in history with the Castle of Kalamata close by, and of course the ancient site of Messene, Kalamata also has some of the freshest and tastiest food in Greece.
Kalamatas food scene is up there with the best in Greece. The people of Kalamata are very proud of their cooking, and use only fresh local ingredients in all their cooking. Lets not forget that they combine their dishes it with the worlds best Extra Virgin Olive Oil. You cant lose!
Oh one more thing, the prices are around 50% cheaper than Athens!
Only a 2.5 hour drive away from Athens, Kalamata is the perfect weekend getaway.
Kalamata's Modern City Centre
After the devastating earthquake in 1986, the city was destroyed. On being rebuilt the governing bodies, unlike other Greek cities, sat down and planned what the rebuild would look like.
What we got was a main city square (platia) with restaurants, shops and bars lining the edges, public parking, several parks and actual wide footpaths.
The city is clean, spacious and bustling with people. The population is a mix of young, old and families making it a city for everyone.
How To Get To Kalamata From Athens
A short 55 minute plane flight will get you in to Kalamata from Athens. There are multiple flights leaving everyday, but it is best to check the flight schedule as depending on what time of year it is, the frequency of flights may change.
As of right of this post, return flights are around €85.
The drive from Athens will take you around 2.5 hours. The drive is easy with beautiful smooth highway roads leading you to Kalamata.
Along the way you will have to pay tolls, which will add up to around €20-€25 each way.
Where To Stay In Kalamata
The Residences Kalamata
The Residences Kalamata is located in the city centre, and just a short 5 minute walk to the main square, where you will find cafes, bars and shops.
The rooms are spacious and clean and has a walk-in shower with piping hot water.
Rooms start at €60 per night
To book the Residences Hotel, use the following link: https://theresidenceskalamata.gr
Best Restauarants In Kalamata
Versallies local kitchen
Serving classic Greek food, Versallies Local Kitchen is a family run restaurant, just a short distance outside from the city centre.
While visiting the restaurant I was lucky enough to sample a few plates of their food.
First off the rank was the chicken liver with mash potato. Such a simple yet tasty dish, and matched perfectly with a creamy mash.
Next was Sheep boots. Eggplants stuffed with sheep meat and topped with cheese. So so delicious. This was followed up with the Greek sausage (Loukaniko) and hand cut potato chips. The final dish was Pastichio - not a favourite dish of mine as I was over fed it as a child (yes poor me!), but OMG this was some tasty Pastichio.
I have been converted, and I have been on the look out for it every time i head out for lunch.
To wash everything down, I sample the local Kalamata lager, Kalamtianos Lager. A nice crisp beer packing a 5% ABV
Bread Bakery & Deli
For your morning coffee fix head over to Bread Bakery & Deli, located at the western end of the main square. Serving all types of coffees along with a huge selection of breads and pastries.
They have one of, if not the best spanakopita in the city centre.
For late meze's, Thiasos is the place to go. Just a short walk through the old town, you will come across this great restaurant.
Devouring a whole heap of plates, the highlights were; fava, Zucchini fritters, pork brizola and the hand cut chips (of course!)
The Mouria Cafe
A beautiful seafood taverna serving great dishes such as shallow friend calamari, stingray, small fried fish, stifadtho (cuttle fish stew) and delicious small prawns.
The staff are friendly, and the taverna is situated under a large old tree. It is a favourite amongst the locals so try and book a table before heading there.
Visiting Ancient Messene
Located in the regional area of Messenia, ancient Messini is one of the largest archaelogical sites, boasting some of the best preserved collections of ancient buildings, theatres and statues in Greece.
For some reason this ancient site does not get the footfall that the Acropolis or Delphi get, which is astonishing as Ancient Messene is just as impressive!
From Kalamata Ancient Messene is a 40 minute drive, and is well worth the journey.
So if you are in Athens, and looking for a short break from the hustle and bustle of the capital, then Kalamata makes the perfect getaway.
As its a major city in Greece, Kalamata is perfect to visit all year round!