It often goes unnoticed by most, but its worth remembering that the Peloponesse is Greece’s most storied region, containing the biggest portion of the nation’s UNESCO archaeological sites. Apart from that it is the only region which wasnt enslaved during Ottoman occupation, and funnily enough one of the last areas to be over commercialised. This gem can be found on the southern edge of the mainland, and is full of incredible natural beauty. Let’s embark on a journey to uncover the beauty and charm of this captivating destination.
Made famous by its sumptious olives, Kalamata is a burst of sensory awesomeness, and walking around the town you’ll soon be inundated by the sweet fragrance of freshly harvested olives. Be sure to sample these olives and learn about the traditional methods of olive cultivation and oil production that have been passed down through generations.
To truly appreciate the region’s natural beauty, a visit to the majestic Taygetos Mountain Range is a must. Buckle up, strap on and get ready for a hike along one of the many trails that criss-cross the terrain. As you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the surrounding valleys and the shimmering blue waters of the Messenian Gulf. Get your phone out and snap away. There are colors, sounds and smells to be etched in your memory banks, so take a minute and smell the flowers.
For those seeking a relaxing beach getaway, Kalamata boasts a number of pristine sandy shores. Dive into the crystal-clear waters of Almyros Beach or Santova Beach, where you can soak up the Mediterranean sun and unwind to the gentle sound of lapping waves. If your bag is water sports then have at it. There is a wide array of options, including kayak, windsurf and paddleboard amongst others.
Kalamata: Food and drink
When you get hungry, head to town and amble through the streets. Indulge in a gastronomic adventure by sampling traditional Greek dishes that showcase the region’s bountiful produce and flavors. Try the mouthwatering pasteli, a local sweet made of honey and sesame seeds, or savor a plate of souvlaki, succulent skewered meat served with tzatziki sauce. Pair your meal with a glass of the robust local red wine, made from grapes cultivated in the nearby vineyards.
Kalamata has a history worth checking out, and the city centre offers you the chance to dig deep into it. Explore the narrow cobblestone streets lined with charming shops, traditional tavernas, and picturesque neoclassical buildings. Marvel at the medieval fortress that stands proudly atop a hill, offering panoramic views of the city and the glistening sea beyond. The Archaeological Museum is the repository of knowledge concerning Kalamata, and is full of interesting artefacts and curios that paint a vivid picture .
For a taste of authentic Greek culture, plan your visit during one of Kalamata’s vibrant festivals. Get your dancing shoes and join the Kalamata Dance Festival that is held in July. If you’re into movies and the moving picture, the Kalamata International Film Festival is held in Spetmeber so make note of that, too. Whatever your interest, these events can cretae connections with locals, and you can better understand the vibe of the region.
As the sun sets over the horizon, casting a warm golden glow over Kalamata, the city comes alive with a vibrant nightlife. There are heaps of bars and traditional tavernas where you can wile away your afternoons and evenings, sipping ouzo and watching the world go by. Come night time, grab a cocktail and perch yourself by the promenade, or maybe dance the night away.
Kalamata: Discover the Jewel of the Peloponnese
Kalamata truly offers a blend of history, nature, and gastronomy that will leave you enchanted and longing to return. The city is a beauty, so whatever your interest is, you’ll be in for a treat, whether that be culinary, adventurous, historical or relaxing. Or all of them together. Kalamata will not dissapoint.