Kalamata is a port city and the capital of Messenia located at the mouth of the Messenian Gulf, about 148 miles from Athens. Kalamata is a well-known tourist destination with different attractions for all kinds of visitors. For starters, there is a historical neighborhood surrounding the ancient castle. Kalamata is also famous for the dark black olives that give the city its name and its heritage as a producer of olives and olive oil. The city's latest avatar is as a beach holiday destination with the marina, port area and long and beautiful beaches. In order to explore all these aspects of the city, you will need to get a car for hire in Kalamata.
The main attraction in Kalamata is the ancient castle from 1208 on a hill overlooking the sea. Other attractions in the historical center include the Benakei Archeological Museum from 1742, the Saint Apostles Church from 1317 and Byzantine style structures like the Temple of the Visitation of the Saviour. Coming out of the historical center, you will need to get a car for rent in Kalamata to enjoy the newer commercial area. This includes the main Aristomenous Street along which you will find the main square, the Pantazopouleio Cultural Center and the Railway Park at the end of the street.
The main place for enjoying the coast and the beach in Kalamata is the Navarinou Pedestrian Street. The street follows the beach with tall swaying palms and colorful umbrellas on the beach. Go west and you will find the port and then the marina. As for the nearby beaches, they are among the best in Europe and have been awarded with prized blue flags. You must visit the fishing village of Finikounda and spend some time lazing around on Paradise Beach and Anemomilos Beach with its golden sands. Finikounda is popular for fishing and snorkeling too, and the nightlife with waterfront taverns is pretty hot. But the real beauty of the Greek beaches can be appreciated only in Kardamyli, where the Kalamitsi Beach is perfect for golden sunsets and the Chalikia, Neo Proastio, Salios and Ritsa beaches are just as picturesque. Stoupa is another great place to find family-friendly beaches like Sandy Stoupa and Kalogria Beach.
Apart from the beach towns, there are other fascinating attractions near Kalamata. The Monastery of Zoodochou Pigis Velanidias from 1697 is just a few miles northeast near the old Kalamata-Alagonia road. If you visit Stoupa, then do not forget to see the home of celebrated Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis. It was here that he wrote the famous book Alexis Zorbas. Outdoor enthusiasts can visit the Vyros Ravine, and begin an exploration of fabulous old Byzantine Churches.
There are six agencies providing a car rental in Kalamata for visitors. Apart from the Kalamata International Airport (KLX), they provide pickups and drop-offs in the city and downtown area too. You can find them located on Athinon Avenue, Kaisari and Lykourgou near Teloniou Square. But it is not necessary to go around looking for them. Just compare the agencies online, find a good deal and book it right now.
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