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
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
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.