Kalamata city is the second-largest city in the Peloponnese after Patras and it can be found between the mountains and sea at the foot of the majestic Taygetos mountain range. The city is usually skipped by numerous tourists but it is a great destination to go if you want to explore the Messenia region. The city is popularly known for the Kalamata olives that originated in the area. Some of the best things to see in the region are listed below.
Top things to do in Kalamata
Wander around the Old Town in Kalamata
Kalamata city is filled with mind-blowing historic quarters just like the numerous cities in the country. The best thing to do here is to simply wander around the narrow alleys where you will find hidden corners and neoclassical mansions. You are going to find the old town in the northern part of the city and it houses numerous churches such as the Byzantine church of the Holy Apostles and the cathedral of Ypapantis. You are also going to see museums and a wide range of little shops where you can buy souvenirs.
Go sightseeing at Archeological Museum of Messenia
Kalamata is a city in the Peloponnese peninsula and just like most cities in Greece, it has a rich cultural history. One of the best things to do if you want to get an insight into the history of the city is by visiting the Archaeological Museum of Messenia. Once you stepped inside the museum, you will feel like you are transported back in time. The archaeological finds in the museum date back to the prehistoric times and the Byzantine era and you will find lots of gems that relate to Greek mythology in the museum. The highlight of the museum is the Folklore and History Museum where you can learn about the recent history and the involvement of the city in the printing industry.
Visit the Church of Ypapantis
This cathedral was constructed in 1839 and it is a mind-blowing Byzantine-style church that houses the holy icon of the Virgin Mary that dates back to 672 AD. The cathedral was discovered in the Ottoman governor’s stables when he dreamt of a woman that told him to dig a specific spot. The Ottoman later converted to Christianity after the discovery because of the varieties of miracles that it performed. Although the cathedral was severely damaged during the 1886 and 1986 earthquakes, it was restored and you will find it on a square with the same name.
Explore Kastro of Kalamata
Kastro is also known as the Castle of Kalamata and it can be found on a lush pine-covered hill that dominates the city. The castle was built in 1208 by Geoffroi de Villehardouin, a Frank knight that conquered Achaea. The castle features a stunning gate that dates back to the 13th century and it survived the 1986 earthquake that destroys most of the city. The castle is a great destination to go if you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and the highlight is that it offers mind-blowing sunset views.
Have fun at a Beach
Kalamata city is surrounded by a great stretch of sand and sunseekers can simply pull over anywhere and enjoy the beach time. One of the best beaches that you can visit is Kalamata Beach which can be found within a walking distance from the city center. You can also head to the Beach of Verga which usually attracts the younger crowds as it is filled with bars and nightclubs. There is also the Beach of Almyros which is a great destination for beach volleyball players and surfers. If you are visiting the city with family, you can head to the Beach of Mikri Mantineia.
Experience the Dance Festival
If you are a dance and art enthusiast, it is best to plan your trip around the Kalamata International Dance Festival. The festival takes place during July for 10 days and it hosts world-class artists from all over the world. The festival also hosts numerous workshops and talks that are directed at the dance students, casual-booty-shakers, and experts where you can simply dance and dance.
Wander around the Central Market in Kalamata
Kalamata produces some of the most mouth-watering produce in the world due to its perfect Mediterranean climate. One of the top things to do in the city is to visit the central market of the city where you will get to see friendly people and explore the local delicacies. Some of the foods to try out are spinach pie, spanakopita, mountain brewed tea, and varieties of products. The best thing is that the prices are very reasonable and you will also get to enjoy the authentic Greek experience.
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