From the delicious black olives that the name “Kalamata” conjures up to its pristine beaches, rugged mountains and stunning archaeological sites, a trip to this Peloponnesian city is a perfect Greek adventure away from the crowds. Fly with SWISS or one of our partner airlines from Zurich to Kalamata to see for yourself.
Thanks to the olives that bear its name, Kalamata has become a byword for Greek cuisine. And it’s no accident, either: in addition to its famous olives, the “breadbasket of the Peloponnese” boasts gastronomical delights that include locally-grown figs and Sultana raisins. Some of the local restaurants, called tavernas, also feature freshly-caught Mediterranean fish.
Once you arrive, you’ll want to explore the old town, where most of the city’s historical attractions are located. Visit the Archaeological Museum of Messenia to get an idea of the wonders that await you just outside the city, or stroll up to Kalamata Castle, which offers the best views of the city. The Church of Agioi Apostoloi, parts of which date back to the 12th century, provides a tranquil respite in the middle of the old city.
Messenia, the region of which Kalamata is the capital, was an ancient kingdom that was dominated by Sparta in the era of the Peloponnesian Wars. The ruins of Ancient Messene, some 25 kilometres from Kalamata, are one of the most extensive archaeological sites in all of Greece, yet it remains off the beaten track due to its distance from major tourist centres. What is more, the ancient city is situated on the slopes of the imposing Mount Ithome, which affords stunning views of the countryside and coast.
No trip to the Greek coast would be complete without white sand and turquoise-blue water, and Messenia does not disappoint: the iconic half-moon Voidokilia Beach is only the most striking option, but dozens of gorgeous sandy beaches are just a short drive away. For adventure seekers, the gorges and mountains of the rugged countryside offer countless hiking possibilities, while the region’s rivers and rocky bays are favourites for rafting and sea kayaking.