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Kalamata: A Local's View


Dear Matt,

Kalamata, GreeceI love your WebsiteÖ but I am afraid there is only one thing Iíve found that I donít agree with and that is your terrible impression of Kalamata. Did you go on a bad day? Or what part of it did you visit?  I have taken friends of mine to Kalamata and they have had a great time, in fact some people never want to leave. I do realize it is not a number 1 destination for a tourist who is trying to cram other things in but it is not so bad. In fact, did you know Kalamata has been named Europeís most livable city?


I know the area around the bus station etc. is pretty ugly, with the odd neoclassical home in amongst the concrete but this is not the area to go.


Here is a very brief tour FYI -


Obviously start at the waterfront on odos Nedontos - walk all the way to Filoxenia hotel, its lined with multitudes of cafes, taverns, restaurants. Most of them have the physical store on the opposite side of the beach with lots of tables etc. on the sea side of the road. The place is bustling any time of year but mainly in summer.  The views looking towards the mountain (Kalathi) as you face the water are wonderful, and at night they are especially beautiful as the patter of lights around the bay and on the mountain is very pretty.    Best fast food is 'Daffys" on the corner of Navarinou (beach st) and Mezonos.   Best ouzerie is the one next to Bakeas on the port waterfront go there order a drink doesnít have to be ouzo, and a "pikilia" - its sensational at this place. In August around the time of the 15th they have an interesting tradition of roasting Gallopoula (pork) and you can find butcherís shops selling great hunks of meat all over the place.


The Marina

Yes, Kalamata has a world class marina. To the right of the port as you face the water- walk past the dilapidated warehouse on the right (I wish they would detonate that) and you will be pleasantly surprised. Itís a lovely green pedestrainised area where Kalamata's yuppies hang out to eat and visiting yachties rest up.


The small village you can see on the mountain from the waterfront has wonderful views, and the Kalamatiani go there to go out. Go to "Kastraki" bar- this is a replica of a small Maniot castle with sensational views and seating on multi levels. Its worth going up in the day and at night- you must go here at least once. For a more upbeat club/bar Mira d'Or just up the road from Kastraki is great- a mansion type place with great views and music. For live Greek music Meteoron is also up there with a huge window and views. In the actual village of Selitsa a few steps up from the road is a great tavern with good food and a great view looking down the bay.  I have been told by others who have been all over Greece that this is one of the best views if not the best view they have ever seen in Greece.


A small "suburb" at the point of the peninsula- lovely to see some great houses- nice quiet taverns by the sea with your feet practically touching the water- gorgeous.


There is a nice promenade lined with palm trees all the way along. The beach is mainly a mixture of gravel/pebbles with white sand in the deep water but I have found it to be clean. The views from the beach towards the mountain are great.   And the beach we are talking about is the one on the Eastern side as the Western side is not the side generally used for swimming, I am guessing this West side one is the one you went to right. 


The left side of the bay of Kalamata has a few cafes and a good place to swim, thatís where I prefer to swim. There are nice white river pebbles on the beach but lovely white sand just as you enter in the water.   You can swim near the bars or in deserted areas all alone.  Further down there are nightclubs (in summer) all along the coast to Kitries catering to all tastes that would rival any island or even Athens.


Yep- I have bought heaps of clothes there- the best small boutiques and some chain stores are on the corner of Plateia Aristomenous in the centre of the city and the road leading to the station. Follow the road along there and there are a string of them.  There are also some more scattered on the street parallel to Aristomenous. Aristomenous has some too but they alternate between good and bad.  The small square opposite the train station is nice for a coffee, young people hang out here.  The main square has heaps of cafes too.


Itís a bit thin here but there is always the castle, the cathedral Ipapandi, the church of Agoi Apostoli (where the revolution in 1821 started). Its not really a to see city but more a chill out and enjoy city.


Hope you take another look next time you are in the area- you may be pleasantly surprised. If you want to add my comments to your site or toss them out - feel free to do as you wish.

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