Kalamata is the economic and transportation hub of the Southwest Peloponnese, you’re certain to pass through or close to it when visiting this area. It’s a modern city with a port area several kilometers south of the city centre, and the closest city to where we live.
A big earthquake devastated the town in 1986 and much rebuilding work was done. Many buildings collapsed because of poor building standards, but don’t worry, the standards and control now are very good. The Castro, a small remnant of the old town has some interesting small shops selling local produce, a small byzantine church and some very very good Souvlaki restaurants. There is also a castle to the north but there isn’t much to see there. The city centre has plenty of shopping, cafes, bars and restaurants. The port area has some good fish restaurants. East of the port is Kalamata East Beach, a narrow strip several kilometres long flanked by a busy road and an endless line of cafes, bars, tavernas and shops. It’s very popular with Kalamata residents and very busy on summer evenings and weekends.
Opposite the bus station which is on the North side of Kalamata you’ll find a very large market, all produce from local growers
.In July the Kalamata International Dance Festival has performances by modern dance companies from all over the world, and some of the performances are in the amphitheater of the castle. Tickets sell out quickly so you’ll need to book well in advance
Most tourists go there because they want to buy something or end up there on a bus or train, but in Kalamata you can see modern Greece developing without the distorting influence of tourism. You can see the old Greece of small laberynthine shops and cafes with only Greek and ‘Nescafe’ next to modern neon fashion stores and cafe bars with comfortable sofas and cappuccinos that cost €4.
The road from Kalamata to Mystra, Tripoli, and on to Monemvsia follows a beautiful gorge: