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Kalamata and the Peloponnese

Welcome to Kalamata, the second biggest city on the ragged coast of the Peloponnese peninsula. West of Athens, this part of mainland Greece is a bit of a hidden treat, with sandy beaches, gorgeous weather and an abundance of olives.

Kalamata should only be the start of your holiday, as no trip to this coast is complete without a bit of exploring. You’ll discover a land of legends. Here the god Hermes hid stolen cattle, Helen started the Trojan War and the fierce Spartans reigned supreme. Near Kalamata, Olympia is where the first ancient Olympic Games were held and Corinth, an hour out of Athens, has ruins so important that they get mentions in the Bible. Thanks to a proliferation of vineyards, you can enjoy great local wine with every meal. Whether you book our seasonal flights to Kalamata or drive down from Athens, it’s easy to find great holidays in Kalamata and the Peloponnese with British Airways.

Things to do in Kalamata and beyond

Explore ancient wonders
Sightseeing.

Explore ancient wonders

This is Sparta: just east of Kalamata, visit the town of Sparti, once famous for its fearsome warriors. Venture north of Kalamata to visit Olympia, the ancient Greek city which hosted the historic Olympic games. Among the ruins you can visit the Temple of Zeus, and the stadium, where you can still make out the track and judges’ platform. For a true Greek epic, discover Ancient Mycenae, guarded by the Lion Gate and home to Agamemnon, who, according to legend, lead the Greeks into the Trojan War. At Diros you can explore one of the world’s best underground lakes.

Stock up on foodie souvenirs
Food.

Stock up on foodie souvenirs

This region of Greece is a gastronomic heartland. Fruit trees blush with apricots, oranges and lemons through the seasons. The region’s plump, meaty Kalamata olives are always hand-picked and make an exquisite extra virgin olive oil – an essential souvenir. For something stronger, the local vineyards in the Nemea region produce very drinkable wine. Look out for vegetables from the fertile Argos plain, including gorgeous aubergines and melons. Stews, filo pastry pies and feta salad abound on the menus. Try a rustic lagotó – pork cooked in a very garlicky sauce with breadcrumbs and vinegar.

Pad across pretty beaches
Beaches.

Pad across pretty beaches

The Peloponnese peninsula hangs down like a four-fingered cartoon hand from Athens, sporting huge quantities of relatively unexplored coastline on its fingers. The beaches around the Messinian Gulf, where Kalamata sits, are particularly pretty. Head straight to Voidokilia beach, one of the most beautiful in Greece. Its white dish of sand sits below a castle-topped hill. Just south of Kalamata, Stoupa has secluded beaches and fantastic tavernas, and Skoutari has even quieter shores – this area is a well-kept local secret.

Have a cocktail in Kalamata
Nightlife.

Have a cocktail in Kalamata

Mountainous and relatively undiscovered, this area isn’t not known for its large array of nightlife, but you’ll still find some fun bars and clubs in Kalamata. There are cocktail bars, taverns and clubs along the seafront and in the centre of town. Try the Agali Beach Bar, a stylish space overlooking the bay. Hang out in Bocca with the cool crowd, where they make deliciously unique cocktails. If you travel further out toward Stoupa, head to To Steki – a brilliant café bar on the esplanade.

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