Travel Guide to Kalamata

Discover our complete travel guide to Kalamata including where to eat, drink, stay and swim around this beautiful city in the Peloponnese. 

Filled with a unique identity, historical depth, and urban beauty, Kalamata, built at the foot of Mount Kalathi, is a city that captivates you from the moment you wander its streets. Behind her, Taygetos rises imposingly, while in front of her, the Messinian Gulf stretches out, in stunning shades of deep blue. 

Only 2.5 hours from Athens, it’s a wonderful destination you can visit all year round – with plenty to discover! 

Must See + Do

Bike riding is a trend…

Renting a bicycle in Kalamata offers visitors the opportunity to explore the picturesque seafront promenade. Navigate through charming streets, visit historical sites like the Kalamata Castle, and immerse yourself in nature at the Municipal Railway Park, making it a must-do experience for adventurers and culture enthusiasts alike.

Go up to the castle…

Explore the historic Kalamata Castle, and admire the panoramic views of the city and surrounding area.

Relax on a beach….

Kalamata’s urban centre is close to one of the most beautiful beaches, known for its crystal-clear waters and variety of water sports- here you can try your hand at kayaking or windsurfing. 

Wander through Kalamata’s Old Town…

Discovering traditional Greek architecture, local shops with handmade creations and cozy cafes.

Hike the scenic trails of the Taygetos Mountains…

Enjoying breathtaking views along the way. 

Discover the local gastronomy….

Sample the world famous Kalamata olives and extra virgin olive oil- a local delicacy renowned for its flavour. Also make sure to experience the local wine scene with tours and tastings at nearby wineries, showcasing indigenous grape varieties.

Cultural Hotspots

Kalamata Castle- Perched on a hill overlooking the city, Kalamata Castle offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. The castle has a long history dating back to the Byzantine era and has been renovated several times over the centuries.

Benakeion Archaeological Museum- This museum houses a collection of artifacts from the region, including pottery, sculptures, and jewellery dating back to ancient times. It provides insights into the area’s history and civilization.

Church of the Holy Apostles-  This Byzantine church is one of the oldest in Kalamata, dating back to the 12th century. It features beautiful frescoes and architectural details.

Old Town- Wander through the narrow streets of Kalamata’s Old Town to discover charming cafes, traditional tavernas, and historical buildings. The area is known for its Venetian architecture and vibrant atmosphere.

Eat & Drink

Coffee + Brunch

Platea- In the heart of Kalamata’s central square is a neoclassical gem, housing a cafe that tantalizes both the senses and the palate. The menu combines traditional Greek flavours with contemporary culinary techniques. 

Flirt- Also in the city centre, Flirt stands out for its top-notch coffee, refreshing cold-pressed juices, and creamy milkshakes. Here you can enjoy brunch classics such as poached eggs, bagels, and Flirt’s daily homemade pies. 

Blossom– Escape to a cozy brunch haven, where you can savor fluffy pancakes, savory avocado toast, and steaming cups of freshly brewed coffee. 


To Limeni- Enjoy expertly prepared seafood delicacies amidst a charming seaside setting.

Mple Kanarini- Chef and owner Konstantinos Vassiliadis collaborates with local fishermen and farmers to create unique and fresh dishes depending on the season. 

Foino- For a long, lazy lunch check out this new bistro that has already received many accolades thanks to its delightful, fresh and creative dishes (made using locally sourced produce) that pair perfectly with their carefully curated wine list. 

Kentrikon– With its rustic charm and warm hospitality, this taverna offers classic Greek dishes infused with contemporary flavours.

Vagias Taverna –An old-school taverna where you can taste local, authentic Peloponessian dishes.  


Οinopantopoleion- About a decade ago Panagiotis Chrysomallis decided to turn his father’s old wine and grocery store into a modern restaurant, which has now become one of the city’s most popular food spots thanks to its traditional Greek flavours made with locally produced ingredients. 

Kardamo- Indulge in dishes like fava beans paired with onion jam and pork paste, tacos featuring kokoretsi and horiatiki, rooster served with noodles and mizithra cheese, alongside a tempting pork burger. While the menu primarily celebrates meat, vegetarians can also find satisfying options to enjoy.

Τzimis- If you are looking for the best souvlaki in town, head to this iconic spot where you’ll find soft pita filled with savory meat and accompanied by a generous portion of crispy patates tiganites. 

Κreopoleion 29- This is a paradise for meat lovers as you’ll find a variety of meat choices, alongside fine, fresh ingredients that come from the family’s farms in Taygetos or small producers in various parts of Greece. Beef is the star, but there is no shortage of other kinds of free-range meats. 

Bakeries + Patisseries

Athanassiou- If you would like to try traditional Greek sweets, including diples (layers of crisp phyllo pastry and sweet honeyed nuts) head to this family-run pastry store that also serves local figs with chocolate and walnuts!  

Mamas Sweethouse – Perfect for an afternoon sugar hit, especially if you love waffles, pancakes and other homemade cakes. 

Fraggeas- A traditional bakery with daily handmade pies including tiropita and spanakopita. 

Αll – day bars 

Αnasha- The carefully crafted cocktail menu perfectly compliments the summery vibe of the seaside location, seamlessly blending into its natural surroundings. 

Ego Bar- This all-day bar is where you’ll find all the locals heading for a swim and afternoon aperitivo. 

Secada- Chic all day-bar that serves craft cocktails and fresh seafood dishes.


Bottiglia- If you are in the mood for some signature cocktails and laid-back tunes. 

Luna Lounge- This cool bistro-lounge serves daily special cocktails and homemade burgers. 

Le Jardin- Begin your evening with cocktails such as the fresh melon featuring gin, mint, melon, and lemon or a classic mojito. 

Bistroteca -Also in the centre of the city, this is a great place to grab a drink after a spot of shopping nearby. 

Make sure you take home

Olive oil- Kalamata is known for its high-quality olive oil. Tip: look for extra virgin olive oil produced locally for a taste of the region’s finest.

Local wines- The Peloponnese region produces some of the best wines in Greece and here you’ll find some great local drops. 

Kalamata figs- These locally produced figs are naturally dried and can be found at most food stores in town. 

Handcrafted items- Kalamata is known for its talented artisans who create beautiful pottery, ceramics, and textiles. Many stores with handmade creations are located in the historical centre. 

Best Beaches

Paralia Kalamata- Covered in fine, pebbly sand, sloping into shallow and warm waters, this beach is renowned for its breathtaking views of the mountain and the Messinian Bay. 

Santova– Only 14 kilometers from Kalamata and located in the northern part of Kitrion Bay, it features fine sand with small pebbles at the water’s edge, as well as plenty of beach bars, making it perfect for swimming or lounging.

Verga– Just a short drive from Kalamata’s main beach, it’s the ideal spot for an afternoon dip and a seaside cocktail. 

Stoupa– With fine sand, turquoise waters, and countless sun loungers, this popular spot in Western Mani is located in front of Stoupa’s main street. 

Mikri Mantinia- a pebbled beach located just 10 km from Kalamata, it’s a lovely Blue Flag awarded beach where the Taygetos mountain range meets the sea. 

Best view…

Is from Kastraki, an all-day bar-restaurant that offers the best panoramic view of the Messinian Gulf. A replica of medieval and Byzantine castles, it features stone seats and cushions, where you can sit back and enjoy the city views from every corner. Undoubtedly, the best time of the day to visit Kastraki is during sunset. 

Local gem…

The Kalamata Municipal Railway Park is a local favourite that houses a collection of historic trains, engines, and railway artifacts that provide an intriguing look into the region’s railway history. The park is both a museum and a recreational area where visitors can walk among the historic trains, see the exhibitions, and learn about the role of railways in Kalamata’s history.

Ultimate day trip

Ancient Messene– Just a short drive from Kalamata lies the ancient city of Messene, one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in Greece. Explore the ruins of this ancient city and marvel at its impressive architecture.

Koroni– Discover the ancient ruins of Koroni Castle, indulge in a seafood lunch at a local taverna, or head to a pristine beach in this charming coastal town for a refreshing swim. 

Where to sleep

Grand Hotel-  Nestled in the heart of this vibrant coastal city, the hotel exudes a timeless charm, blending modern sophistication with traditional Greek hospitality.

Messinian Icon- Perched gracefully along the sun-drenched Kalamata Beach, Messinian Icon Hotel effortlessly blends contemporary luxury with the allure of the Mediterranean. 

Grecotel Filoxenia- With its traditional Greek-inspired architecture and great service, every detail is curated to immerse guests in a world of sophistication and relaxation. 

Costa Navarino- This luxurious destination is renowned for its natural beauty and cultural heritage. With world-class resorts like The Romanos and The Westin, it offers relaxation and exploration opportunities. The resort is approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Kalamata and is close to the airport.

Getting there

By plane: Kalamata International Airport (KLX) offers domestic and international flights. You can check with airlines for direct flights or connecting flights through Athens or other major European hubs.

Βy car: If you’re already in Greece or nearby, driving to Kalamata can be a scenic option. From Athens, it’s about a 2.5-hour drive (approximately 240 kilometers) via the National Road Athens-Corinthos-Tripolis-Kalamata.

Βy bus: Intercity buses connect Kalamata with other major cities in Greece. KTEL is the main bus operator, offering routes to and from Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, and other cities. The bus journey from Athens to Kalamata takes around 4-5 hours.

Main Image Courtesy of Secada Bar