Honestly speaking, the only reason I chose to “visit” Kalamata it was because of the flight ticket price. Basically, it was the cheapest destination towards Greece from Paris so I said ok, I’ll start from there. And if you’re curious what cheap means, for one way ticket in August – high season – I paid 65€.
The good part is, after being there, I was happy with the choise I made. Of course, if you decide to visit Kalamata don’t expect something spectacular like Santorini or Meteora. On the other side, if you’d like to see an authentic Greece and meet real Greek people, that’s for you!
You will be even more surprised to see how many cultural places this city has and how many day trips you can chose from. Thanks to its great position and its airport, Kalamata is the start point to many touristic points in Peloponeasse pensinsula. And of course, it can be a nice destination by itself.
So, let me first show you the best places to be discovered in Kalamata and then conclude with two amazing day trips you can enjoy from here!
The archaeological museum of Messenia is situated in the heart of the old city. Its exhibition is showcasing archeological excavations from prehistoric till byzantine period, highlighting the occupation of the area since then. The entrance fee is 5€ and you need about two hours to deep dive into the exposition.
Historical & Folklore Museum of Kalamata
First of all, I really want to mention that this museum is really nice. It is showcasting the history and the traditions of the place. So, if you visit Kalamata and you want to understand its origins and the evolution, go. You can see different items grouped in thematic areas like agricultural life, pottery, weaving art, farming and so on.
Now, I need to confes the unpleaseant part of my experience. I didn’t trully enjoyed my visit here because of the host. It was a lady that was permanently following me in every room I was going. I felt like in prison. Apart from this, there was no text in English – you were receiving only a brochure with a general presentation. On top of this, no photos were allowed to be taken and they pushed me to finish my visit quick because of the covid-19 – given that they never mentioned that I would have limited time to visit. The entrance fee was 5€ and it was uncomparable to the experience I had in the Victoria Collection Museum.
I had such a nice experience here. The museum has free entrence and a free guided tour! Therefor, a military showed me the entire exposition, while giving me tons of detailed explanations. At the end, you can make a donation if you’d like too. You should allocate about one hour for the visit.
Victoria Collection Greek Costume Museum
Well, I need to confese that this museum is one of the best I have ever seen. It is a private museum and you can easily see why. Everything is so clean, so modern, people are extremely nice and willing to give you as much information as you need. On top of this, you have a tablet to carry on with you during the visit to read a full description about each item. Not to mention, this is in addition to the brochure you receive and the other digital screens you have around.
Regarding the museum itself, it is hosting a collection of Greek costumes from the last two centuries. The quality of the exponents is very high. You can see they are showcasting the best of the best. You will have a recommended path to follow in order to see chronologically the exposition, with an exposure by regions.
It took me about 1 hour and a half to see the museum, but if you’re not interested to read the details you can do it even in 15 minutes. The entrance fee was 5€ and it was totally worth in the money. Congratulations to the owner, well done and thank you for the visit!
You can check the museum website here for more information. And check all the pictures I uploaded above, aren’t all amazing?
Honestly, I was a bit disspointed about the castle. In fact, there is no castle, only ruins around and a nice view all around. However, it was nice to see some artists working on their creations. The entrance fee is 3€ and you can do the visit in less than one hour for sure.
Straight in the heart of the old city you will find the oldest church in town. It is not always open, but I was lucky enough to be there during the mass. It is a very small and intimate place, without many things to see, but to feel.
If you like shopping, then you’re in the right place. As Kalamata is the second largest city in Peloponesse area, it is well prepared for tourists. The old city is mainly filled with traditional things, local souvenirs as leather sandals or bags, traditional food. The new city has a more fashionable ambiance, with many local Greek producers but also foreign ones.
If you are looking for a green area around, then you should go to the Railway Park. You can walk around taking a look at the trains and the wagons of the old station or you can enjoy a coffee or a meal. Of course, today there is no station anymore, but the place has been converted into a restaurant.
During the summer everybody is looking for the beach and Kalamata does have a long one! There are many nice places around to chose from, private beaches providing all the facilities or free public areas.
Food & Drink
There is no secret Greece has an amazing cusine. But Kalamata is very well known for the olive oil which is worldwide exported. Worth in to metion that even if they are one of the biggest produceres of olive oil in the world, the Greeks are one of the biggest consumers too!
Ask for traditioals dishes, but don’t miss the Greek salad, the souvlaki, the filled vegetables and of course, gyros! All delicious and unforgetable, are going straight to your heart as on your belly too.
Even if I didn’t chose to go on a boat trip, I did seen there are several options. You can have a drink on the boat while seeing the sunset or you ca do day trips around till Pylos or the surroundings. More details in the port.
There are many day trips you can do while in Kalamata. For example, I did chose to go the beautiful port of Pylos and to the amazing Voidokilia beach. You can easily combine both in one single day.
To reach Pylos, I used the public bus. There are several buses per day, but I took the firt one in the morning around 7am to ensure I have a full day to spend there. One way ticket will cost you only 5€.
Niokastro Fortress of Pylos
Close to Navarino Bay stands the fortress of Niokastro. It was built by the Ottomans to control the commercial Sea between East and West. After several occupations, in 1830 the city of Pylos has been created around, leaving the fortress gradually abandoned. Walk around to see the remaining signs of the past. At the entrance a museum of archeology has on display many excavations pieces. Also, other exhibitions of underwater antiquities can be seen in the buildings around. The entrance fee is 4€ and you need about two hours to enjoy the place.
One of the things you’ll regularly do in Greece is to admire the sunset. The best part is that even if I seen maybe ten, I never get bored of seeing another one and another one. I am always grateful for each day I am here and I take the chance to express my gratitude. Every day is a blessing, there is nothing guaranteed but only a new chance for life.
Especially if you want to see the sunset, but not only, you need to enjoy a fresh fish meal at the seaside. Admiring the landscape, hearing the waves crushing, watching the seagulls flying around, so close to the nature. These are all moments to be kept deep inside our hearts as are priceless. If you can see, hear, walk by yourself and have the chance to be close to the nature and understand it, you are a winer. Money can never buy happiness.
This beach is one of the most famous one in Peloponeasse area. With its omega shape, crystal blue waters and golden sand, is not even hard to understand why is so hunted.
In order to reach this beautiful beach from Pylos, there is no public transportation during the weekend. So, you’ll need to take a taxi which costs you 20€. In my case, I did shared the taxi with some other girls going there, so it was more convenient.
If you want to spend your holiday in Kalamata or the surroundings, there are plenty of places for accommodation. However, if you travel by yourself and you want to be more frugal with the money, there are not many choises.
I personally spent 3 nights in Kalamata in the only hostel of the town, Stavros Hostel. The place is nice and clean and I was alone in a room of 4, which was even above my expectations. Stavros is a great host, giving you many advices for places to see and eat, ensuring you feel like home. The price per night was 16€ , which is the best value for money you can get in the town. It is great for solo travelers.
Well, there are many more places to see in Peloponesse peninsula and as I did explored some more, stay tunned for more articles to come. Meanwhile, read more about Greece here.