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Kalamata

A beautiful seaside city of about 60,000 people in the south of the Pelopennese.


Capital and chief port of the Messinia prefecture is the much-sung Kalamata, the land of the Kalamatianos dance and the silk kerchief. The land of succulent black olives, honeyed figs and the sesame-covered sweet called "pastelli". The town is dominated by the 13th century castle above it built by Geoffrey de Villehardouin. On the north side of the citadel there is a small Byzantine church, dedicated to the Virgin of Kalomata (of the good eye), from which the town may have acquired its name. From the castle you can survey the expanse of the sea below with its sandy and pebbly shores or turn your gaze upon the deep green plain, the "happy land" of the ancients.

The old city is spread out underneath the castle. Every summer cultural events like concerts and plays put on by the Kalamata theatre are held in the amphitheater of the castle. In the evening, the town comes alive, especially along the waterfront, which is lined with tavernas, seafood restaurants and rotisseries serving local dishes and drinks, fresh fish, roast suckling pig and chicken, sausages, cheese, olives, retsina and raki. Kalamata has an archaeological and folklore museum, a fine arts museum and a library.


The mother of the "Kalamatiano dance", which is passed down from generation to generation, passing on its culture through its dances and expressions. Beautiful and full of life, it greets the visitor and offers him excellence, due to its exceptional infrastructure. Kalamata owes its name to the beautiful eyes of the Virgin Mary, which was discovered in a Byzantine temple to the north of the castle. In 1715 it was occupied by the Turks, to be liberated later by Kolokotroni with his brother Mavromichali. Its splendid castle was built in 1203 by Bilardouino III in order to withstand the sea with its sandy and pebbled beaches on one side and the fertile plain on the other.

Full of splendid mansions, it calls its visitors to the cultural centre, the Art Gallery, the Conservatory, the Public Library and the Town hall. It is worth a visit to the church of St. Apostle, the Ipapantis, the Monastery of Dimiovas, the tower of Koumoundourou, as well as the Archaeological and Folklore Museum.

There are four camping sites, many hotels and rooms to rent, which are available to the visitor, whilst all the beaches, excellently organized with extremely clean water, have been awarded the European Blue Flag. Sailing lovers can go to the sailing club of Kalamata, while the national swimming pool offers swimming lessons.
Both the beach and town offer varied entertainment and provide a wide selection for dining, coffee and nightlife.

The local specialties of Kalamata, which stand out and are worth trying are eel pie, prawn salad with artichokes, special baked aubergines and fried cheese with oats. Naturally, you will buy the best olives in the world from Kalamata, the finest olive oil, dried figs and raisins. Sweet, like its "pasteli", the beautiful town of Kalamata doesnt wave to you as you leave it. It awaits your return.

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