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Kalamata, in the Peloponnese, is an area rich in history and tradition. Famous for its succulent black olives and traditional dancers, Kalamata tempts the visitor with sandy shores, deep seas and lush scenery.
The 13th century castle, which dominates the towns' skyline, offers marvelous views of the region and is the town's most popular attraction. Equally renowned are Kalamata's traditional dancers and the famous hand woven silk.
In the heart of the old town visitors can explore many fine churches. The historic Agii Apostoli is one of Kalamata’s oldest churches and is near the Convent of Kalograies, where you can see nuns weaving their famous silk. Also worth a visit on the northern side of town is a quaint Byzantine church, dedicated to the Virgin of Kalomata (of the good eye), from which the town acquired its name.
Kalamata is famous for its many local delicacies. The old town has numerous cafes offering black olives, honeyed figs and the famous sesame-covered pastelli. At dusk the waterfront comes alive with taverns and restaurants offering everything from traditional seafood dishes to western fare. Every summer Kalamata plays host to a variety of cultural events and festivals, often held in the amphitheatre of the castle.
The surrounding peninsula holds many delights. In particular, Pilos is a quaint traditional town filled with pastry shops, arcaded streets and courtyards drenched in flowers. Following the scenic coastal road, you will arrive at Koroni, with its medieval atmosphere and old mansions. Still water and sandy beaches will greet you at the opposite island of Venetiko.
Athens’ Eleutherios Venizelos Airport is the most convenient hub, with flights four times a week to Kalamata (45 minutes). Athens’ bus terminal also has frequent daily coaches to Kalamata (4 ½ hours). By car from Peloponessos’ northern gateway, Highway 9 on the west coast will lead you to the main town of Kiparissia, where a change to Highway 7 will take you directly to Kalamata.