We always park by the church [which is actually a Cathedral], when we go to Kalamata. It’s in the north of the city, near the old town. The 19th Century church is Byzantine in style and is painted a striking yellow topped with silver domes and is beautiful inside.
The Old Town
The old town has some lovely narrow streets and charming shops and is a pleasant wander. The tiny Church of The Holy Apostles has recently been restored after damage from the 1986 earthquake and is attractive although rather plain inside. The Archeological Museum of Messinia and the History and Folklore Museums are to be found here as well as the Food Market.
This modern museum in the centre of the Old Town has a fine range of exhibits from the local area and is well laid out and air conditioned!
You can get to the castle if you follow the small streets up the hill behind Apapantis Church or another way is by approaching from the other side if you follow the main road after the Food Market that sweeps to the right heading uphill.
We thought the castle would be closed but it was well and truly open and we enjoyed walking in the grounds. The Frankish Castle is 13th Century and the remains of the walls are still pretty impressive. There is a modern amphitheatre in the grounds and at the top is the site of the original Church of Kalomata.
There are amazing views over the city to the south and north of the Taygetos Mountains.
The large food market is held every Wednesday and Saturday inside and around a large unnatractive purpose built building on the northern perimeter of the city. A huge range of fruit, veg, meat, fish, herbs and of course olive and honey products and other local produce are on show. It’s no tourist trap, it’s an important focal point for the area.
The Lower Town
The modern town to the south stretches to the Messinian Gulf and while it is featureless and blocky, it does have some interesting buildings and monuments as well as plenty of bars, boutiques, cafes and restaurants. It’s still a fair walk from here to the beach and the marina.[see below]
We came across this lovely church when we were wandering around the Modern Town. I could not find much info on it but it was beautifully decorated inside and the area surrounding it had a lovely cafe culture vibe.
Seafront and Marina
The seafront at Kalamata covers most of the bay from Verga in the south to the Port in the north of the city and is a blanket of sunbeds and umbrellas. There are loads of cafe’s and restaurants to keep the hordes nourished and the most amazing inflatables in the sea for the kids or young at heart. Away from the beach crowds, the marina has more taverna’s [and boats].
This festival occurs in July and lasts around 10 days and is worth checking out if you are in the city at this time. We were lucky and managed to catch some free performances when we stayed overnight.