15 Best Things to Do in Kalamata (Greece)

polilimnio waterfalls

Located on the sunny southern coast of the Peloponnese Peninsula, Kalamata is a quiet and secluded place to spend a long and relaxing holiday.

It is a top spot for beach, sun and food lovers, without being too crowded.

The coastline, over 30 kilometers in length, offers a great variety of pebble, creamy-beige and golden sandy beaches.

Because of the combination of pristine waters and long summer season, the ancient city is a fantastic place to enjoy a great beach holiday even in spring or autumn.

The average daytime temperature of over 20 degrees from April till November, more than 300 sunny days per year and sea water temperature of over 16 degrees even in January, Kalamata could be described as the sunny capital of Peloponnese.

1. Visit Voidokilia Beach

voidokilia beach
Voidokilia Beach by Spiros Vathis/Flickr

Located on the west coast of the Peloponnese Peninsula, Voidokilia is one of the best and most popular beaches in Greece.

It offers a well-preserved natural environment in combination with very light fine sands and crystal clear turquoise waters.

Actually, what has preserved Voidokilia from mass tourism is exactly its isolated and remote location in a rarely populated area.

The beach is about an hour drive west of Kalamata, but the trip is definitely worth it.

2. Go to the Castle of Kalamata

castle of kalamata
Castle of Kalamata by Wikimapia

Built in the 13th century, Kalamata Castle is one of the most important local landmarks.

Situated on the northern outskirts of the coastal city, the castle is located just a few steps from the old historic center of Kalamata.

It is located on the top of a hill that reveals beautiful panoramic views of the city and the sea.

For the most part, it is covered with trees. Nestled under the loose shadow of the trees, there is a small and beautiful old stone church.

3.Try Kalamata Olives

kalamata olives
Kalamata Olives by Hanna Sörensson/Flickr

Kalamata olives are usually large dark-purple marinated olives that originate from this part of the Peloponnese Peninsula.

While you are here, you should definitely try them, and even include them in your menu on a daily basis.

A major local delicacy, Kalamata olives are extremely rich in valuable nutrients.

They have a deep and strong taste, and in addition, they are low in calories and can easily complement almost any local meal.

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4. Spend a day at Almyros Beach

almyros beach
Almyros Beach by Facebook

To the southeast of Kalamata, but still very close to the city itself, you will find excellent opportunities for swimming and sunbathing.

Almyros Beach is quite popular and is considered by many to be the most preferred beach spot in the area.

Since it is almost entirely covered with white stones, the beach is known for its exceptionally clear and limpid waters.

5. Visit the Agios Apostoli Church

apostoli church
Apostoli Church by gichristof/Flickr

Kalama is definitely a place where you will find a number of beautiful churches and monasteries.

However, one of them is particularly interesting because of its classical Byzantine architecture.

Completed in 1317, the church was partially destroyed 669 years later, during the powerful earthquake in September, 1986.

Located on a beautiful square in the historic heart of Kalamata, the building was reconstructed very soon after the disaster.

As a result, we can say it has remained practically completely unchanged over the last 7 centuries.

6. Go to Polilimnio Waterfalls

polilimnio waterfalls
Polilimnio Waterfalls by Vassilis/Flickr

Many describe the Polilimnio waterfalls as one of the most beautiful in Greece and undoubtedly the most impressive of the Peloponnese.

This wonderful place is located in a picturesque shady and forested canyon, approximately 25 kilometers west of Kalamata.

The waterfalls form several small turquoise water ponds that resemble natural swimming pools.

Their cold mountain waters bring a nice feeling of freshness and coolness in the summer heat when temperatures reach almost 40 degrees.

7. Try some of the best Greek wines

kalamata wines
Kalamata Wines by Rab Lawrence/Flickr

Peloponnese is for Greece what is Tuscany for Italy.

Here you will find fantastic wines of extremely high quality from the fertile local vineyards.

There are many good wineries in the vicinity of Kalamata, but if you want to enjoy the divine drink in the comfort of the city itself, you can visit one of the local restaurants, such as The Chagati or Doc for example.

There you will find wines from the vicinity of Kalamata, but also from other parts of the Peloponnese and Greece.

8. Enjoy the Museum of Traditional Greek Costumes “Victoria Karelia”

museum of traditional greek costumes victoria karelia
Museum of Traditional Greek Costumes – Victoria Karelia

The Museum of Traditional Greek Costumes “Victoria Karelia” is the most important place to visit if you want to get to know in detail the culture of local people.

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Often described as one of the best museums in Peloponnese, it offers a closer look of the Greek heritage and traditions.

“Victoria Karelia” Museum is proud of its huge collection of traditional folklore clothing, decorations, jewels and ornaments.

You will find this wonderful place in the old historical center, on “Stadiou” street, 64.

9. Day trip to the ancient ruins of Messene

ancient ruins of messene
Ancient Ruins of Messene by Andy Hay/Flickr

About 35 kilometers from Kalamata you will find the remains of the ancient city of Messene, which dates back to the 4 century BC.

The site is very important from an archaeological point of view and attracts visitors from all over the world.

In addition to the old fortress walls, you will find an ancient amphitheater as well as the ruins of an ancient stadium.

If you want to visit this place, be prepared in advance for the strong sun and be sure to use a strong sunscreen.

10. Visit Ypapanti Church

ypapanti church
Ypapanti Church by Public Domain

Completed in elegant Byzantine style, Ypapanti Church is a major landmark in the beautiful coastal city.

Built in 1839, the church is well known for the Holy Icon of the Virgin Mary, which dates from the 7th century.

The church was partially affected by the powerful earthquake in 1986 (magnitude 6,2 on the Richter scale).

However, today you will see the church in excellent condition, more beautiful than ever.

11. Go to Kardamili Beach

kardamili beach
Kardamili Beach by Alex Murray/Flickr

One of the best beaches in the area combines silver pebbles and azure seas.

The village of Kardamili and the beach of the same name are about 50 minutes drive southeast of Kalamata.

This is a very attractive and preferred vacation spot for local and foreign visitors, although the beaches are never crowded.

As you probably expect, the surrounding area is sparsely populated, and there are not many hotels, so there is a good chance to find only a few occasional visitors on the beach.

12. Great place to try some paragliding

paragliding over kalamata
Paragliding over Kalamata by Facebook

Kalamata attracts many fans of paragliding, especially during the summer months.

The city can easily be described as one of the paragliding capitals in Greece.

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What attracts many fans of extreme sports is undoubtedly the picturesque location of the city.

What makes Kalamata a very convenient paragliding spot is the mountain chain that rises almost 1000 meters along the east coast of the Messenian Gulf.

The mountain is a very convenient place for this purpose, and for this reason, this is where the platform for taking off is situated.

13. Visit Kalamata Municipal Railway Park

kalamata municipal railway park
Kalamata Municipal Railway Park by YouTube

If you are looking for opportunities to spend a quiet and relaxing afternoon, you should visit the Kalamata Municipal Railway Park.

Here, at only a minute walk on foot from the coast, surrounded by green grass, trees and flowers, you will be able to enjoy the fresh air, while walking around authentic trains from different periods of time.

Here you can get an idea of the evolution of railway transport in Greece and Kalamata while listening to the song of birds and crickets.

14. Explore the nightlife

village of agora in night time
Village of Agora in night time by costanavarino/Flickr

Although Kalamata is a relatively small tourist town, it offers a good and entertaining nightlife.

There are many restaurants, bars and clubs that remain open until dawn but only during the summer season.

No matter what your taste in music is, you will definitely find a place that meets your preferences.

Traditional Greek music, rock music from different periods of time, pop and other genres entertain visitors until the morning.

15. Discover the secluded Navarino Bay

chryssi akti beach and gialova lagoon
Chryssi Akti Beach and Gialova Lagoon by costanavarino/Flickr

Navarino Bay is a wonderful place, which lies on the southwest coast of Peloponnese.

It takes about an hour drive to get there but the experience is really worth it.

Navarino offers quite a wide choice of possibilities for spending a great time outdoors.

As it is a natural harbour, Navarino Bay is known for its smooth mirrored surface and is a top spot for sea kayaking.

In the northern part of the bay you will find some really fantastic beaches which are great for sunbathing and swimming.

One of the best of them is called Glossa Beach.

Nestled beneath the overhanging coastal cliffs, it offers white sands and azure waters.

Because the water in the bay is very clear, the place also attracts fans of diving and snorkeling.