Kalamata, the capital and central port of Messinia. The history of Kalamata begins with Homer (Greek: Ομηρος) who mentions Farai, an ancient city built more or less where the Kalamata Castle stands today. Following independence from the Turks and thanks to the exploitation of the fertile Messinian lands (producing olive oil, raisins, figs etc), it developed into a wealthy urban centre and a significant port. It is located 238 km SW of Athens.
AROUND THE TOWN
The point of reference par excellence in the city of Kalamata is the legendary “castle of Isabeau” where the renowned International Dance Festival takes place annually. It is amphitheatrically constructed on the site of the Farai acropolis offering a bird’s eye view of the city. Constructed in the 13th century by William Villehardouin, it underwent subsequent additions and conversions by the Venetians and the Turks.
No less beautiful is the exquisite Palia Poli (Old City) at the foot of the Castle. The area is the hotspot for the city’s youth, for it is the beating heart of the nightlife in Kalamata and by no means will it be still!
The seaside road in front of the city’s extensive beach (4 km length with marvellous waters). On the seaside of Kalamata, people can swim in crystal clear waters and enjoy lace-like beaches, which have been granted the Blue Flag award of quality. Along the seaside, there are several tavernas, ouzo restaurants, cafeterias, bars, clubs, whereas beach aficionados can enjoy all kinds of water sports.
Ancient Messene has the double attraction of being amongst the most exciting and complete archaeological settlements ever discovered and one of the most beautifully situated.
Little more than a lush green valley in the southwestern Peloponnese just 40 years ago, it now ranks as one of the most significant remains of Greek antiquity. The city flourished in the 4th century BC after the defeat of the Spartans by the Theban General Epaminondas, ending centuries of Spartan rule.