General Information on Messinia
Kalamata is the capital and main port of the Messinia region of Peloponnese. Kalamata is one of the most gifted cities in Greece, thanks to its geographic position. Situated in the heart of the Messinian Bay and on the roots of the imposing Mountain Taygetos, it is ideal for exploring the area. The old town, which is built around a 13th century castle, is quite picturesque as is the waterfront along Navarinou Street. The city is famous as the town of olive trees and as the gateway to magnificent Mani. The airport, railway, port and bus station make it a transportation hub and gateway to the surrounding area and southern Peloponnese.
History of Messinia
The city name may have something to do with Kala ommata which means beautiful eyes in Greek. Kalamata, contrary to many other Greek cities, doesn’t date back to classical times. The city played an important role in igniting the War of Independence, when, on March 23th, 1821, two days before the start of the revolt, a group of impatient Kalamatans massacred local Ottomans in their sleep. The city was the first one to be liberated by the Greek rebel forces under the orders of generals Theodoros Kolokotronis, Petros Mavromichalis and Papaflessas. In 1825, the Turks invaded the city and destroyed it under the command of Ibrahim Pasha.
Kalamata was rebuilt unimaginatively by French engineers in the 1830s and became one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean Sea. After World War II, due to political issues, Kalamata, as well as most of the Peloponnese, was excluded from development plans, in favour of northern Greece. That was a major blow on local economy, resulting in the decline of the port and the city. During the 70s and the 80s, development and growth in Kalamata were unknown words, and only after severe damages from the 1986 earthquake (more than 10,000 houses destroyed), did the local authorities and individuals pool their financial resources towards changing the city. Kalamata has now fully recovered and has developed into a modern provincial capital with all necessary facilities.
How to Reach Messinia
Air: There are about three weekly flights to Athens. The airport of Kalamata is located 10.5km west of the city near Messini. The city is also connected by air to Thessaloniki and Heraklion twice a week.
Bus: Several KTEL coaches connect Kalamata to Athens (4¼ hours), and other cities in the Peloponnese, such as Tripoli (1¼ hours), Corinth (2½ hours), Kyparissia (1¼ hours), Patras (4 hours), Pyrgos (2 hours), Koroni (1½ hours), Methoni (1¾ hours), and Sparta (1½ hours).
Train: Kalamata is the end station of the Peloponnesian railway line. There are four trains daily to Athens (6½ hours) on the inland line via Tripoli (2½ hours), Argos (3½ hours) and Corinth (4½ hours). Also there are tow trains daily to Patras (6 hours) via Kyparissia (1¾ hours) and Pyrgos (3¼ hours).
Ferry: There are ferry services from Kalamata to Kastelli – Kissamos, and Crete via Kythira.
Weather in Messinia
The Peloponnese Peninsula has a typical Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Rainfalls are typical between October and March.
Top 10 Destinations in Messinia
All Destinations in Messinia
Map of Messinia