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A year-round guide to experience Peloponnese

A year-round guide to experience Peloponnese.

Kalamata (Καλαμάτα) nestled in the heart of Peloponnese, making it an ideal base to explore this fascinating peninsula. We included information that you will not find on your general google search “What to do in…”. Our curated guide provides exclusive, local knowledge, ensuring an authentic Greek experience during your stay. Here’s a month-by-month breakdown of must-see attractions and activities in Kalamata:

January (Ιανουάριος)

It is the best time to go to Mount Helmos if you are a snow lover. This picturesque town is in north Peloponnese in the slope of mountain Helmos. It is only 172 km away from Kalamata. Kalavryta is widely known for its ski resort and its rack railway. Kalavryta is a small town with stone-paved streets, a beautiful square with cozy cafes, traditional taverns, local products, and souvenirs.

February (Φεβρουάριος)

There is a phenomenon in February, that’s called “Alkmeonides”, it’s a row of many sunny days, a sign that spring is coming. The Carnival period starts on Thursday called ‘tsiknopempti’ which translate to Smoke-Thursday. Everywhere in Kalamata you will see small BBQ-stands, where they prepare souvlaki. The festivities end with a big carnival parade on Sunday. It takes place in the Central Square. The main street of the city becomes a dance stage. It is a festive, relaxed atmosphere which you will enjoy with your friends and locals. Make sure you don’t miss this. Come enjoy the fun! 🥳

Monday after the parade you can enjoy a relaxed day flying your kite. In many places you will see children and adults playing outside with their kite. Many kites are up in the air and most of them are handmade. In the evening you will see big paper balloons, which are lite with fire, flying over Kalamata.

March (Μάρτιος)

The mountains of Arcadia are located on the western side of the Peloponnesus. You will find picturesque villages such as Bytina, Stemnitsa, Dimitsana and Karitaina. They are approximately 70 km from Kalamata. Close by, you will also find the Mainalo mountain, which is 1981 meters high.

The open-air waterpower museum is located in Dimitsana.  In this museum you can discover the technology used by the region’s traditional communities as early on as the 16th century in order to cover their basic needs.

In Stemnitsa you learn about the silver works and you can find many spots to buy fine handcrafted jewelry.

Last but not least, riding horses or rafting at Lousios River is a nice active way to spend your holiday in the nature. Check it on https://exploremessinia.com/outdoor-activities/land/hiking-menalon-lousios-gorge/ or https://www.xtremegreece.gr/en/ippasia/bolta-me-aloga-horse-elati-arkadias.html

April (Απρίλιος)

The spring has arrived! Road trips are a must. Driving around in your MHK car, enjoy the green scenery and blooming flowers. Go to Nafplion, Triakala Korinthias. You will be amazed by the views. Meanwhile preparation of the orthodox Pascha is in full swing. Traditional sweets (tsourekia, koulouria) are baked, you will find them in every bakery. 🐰

Easter is one of Greece most important festival and is celebrated throughout the country. At its heart, it’s both religious and spring festival with the use of symbols of rebirth and life after death. The highlight is on Easter Sunday when the lamb is slow-cooked. It’s definitely a traditional month. Whenever you choose to spend Easter in Greece, you’ll enjoy the food and ambiance. It’s the time of the year when the old traditions are dusted off and it’s easy to imagine how villages must have celebrated “Pascha” a long time ago.

May (Μάιος)

Finally, sea season! First dip in the water! Mani (like Kardamyli, Stoupa, Agios Nikolaos) and the West Coast of Messinia (like Pylos, Gialova, Koroni) are great destination. You can admire traditional villages by the sea, sandy beaches, historical Castles, ancient Greek Historical monuments, natural protected areas, and panoramic views.

Kalamata castle has survived many occupying nations over the centuries. Located high above Kalamata City, are views from hilltop ruins of the 13th-century fortification, with modern amphitheater nearby.

Ancient Ithomi is a very well-maintained historical site. It’s a nice day trip for the whole family. You can also visit the museum and understand the ancient Greek history.

June (Ιούνιος)

In the early summer the weather is getting warmer and sunnier, ideal for hiking and parasailing  “para-pente” like locals call it. You can find more information https://paraglidingkalamata.gr/ .

The pebble beach of Kalamata is 2.5 km long, easily accessible by foot or car. There are a variety of beach bars to choose form, either for breakfast, drinks, lunch or dinner. There are restaurants, tavernas, shops and bars and a vibrant night life.

One of the beaches close to Kalamata is Santova, perfect for sand-lovers. 👙 A typical day here consist of chilling, playing and hanging out at one of the many beach bars. This bubbly stretch of fun will keep you coming back for more.

July (Ιούλιος)

It’s getting warmer and warmer! Going to the sea is always a good idea but if you want to be more active, go on a hike to the waterfalls “Polylimnio”

( https://www.getyourguide.com/polymnio-waterfalls-l176073/from-kalamata-polylimnio-waterfalls-guided-hiking-tour-t420842/ ) or “Kalamari” or “Stenosia”. After the hike, you can refresh yourself to dive into the lake of the waterfall. Be aware it’s going to be chilly! You are warned.😊

The evening is the best time to visit the old town of Kalamata. The 23March square is the historical spot from where the Greek Revolution had begun. You can visit the ancient museum, stroll around the narrow paths and streets. Of course, you will end up in one of the small but very charming cafes, for a nice drink and Greek meze.

In addition, a lot of activities will be organized by the Municipality of Kalamata, like dance festival, and other creative performances. The program will be published on the site https://www.kalamata.gr/en/

August (Αύγουστος)

This is the heart of summer! Greek people love August. It’s their favorite month because they are on holiday. Kalamata will be busy, but festive!  The 15th of August is an orthodox bank holiday, and everyone will be out to celebrate and party the night away.

For the little ones, ideal exercise and fun are the water parks that are located in Kalamata and one just outside Kalamata, in a small village, “Mikra Mantineia”. In this village you can rent water bikes and SUPs and explore the hidden treasures of the bay.

If you need a break of the beach, check out the outdoors Farmer’s Market on Wednesday or Saturday, “Laiki Agora”, and meet the locals! Don’t forget to taste breadsticks “lalaggi” and the smoked pork “pasto”.

In the surrounding areas, a short distance from Kalamata, you will experience the good Messinian “folklore” through the festivals (“Panigiri”), you can visit the village of “Harakopio”, “Agios Andreas”, “Agios Floros” and “Soulinari” in Messinia.

September (Σεπτέμβρης)

September is a great time to visit Greece. The weather remains hot for the whole month, sea temperatures stay warm, and visitors start to thin out as children go back to school. Enjoy the beaches! Ride your bike and explore the city of Kalamata, there is a bike lane throughout.

The Greek like to party, so they go to a “panigiri”. It is a cultural gathering celebration of a religious anniversary with dancing, singing, and more. Well, the Greek “panigiri” experience gives you a sense of the local way of life while enjoying the time of your life! The festival is a chance for young and older people to interact, mingle with the community, talk, drink, eat, dance, and feast! Come and sit with us at a communal table! The one in “Messini” starts at September 21.

If you have 2 days left in September, Epidaurus is an ideal place not far away from Kalamata. Relax and enjoy the sweet transition to autumn. Apart from the magic of the archaeological site, which you will definitely visit, picturesque villages, secret beaches, Venetian castles, idyllic gorges, Mycenaean bridges and even… pyramids await you. For more  https://www.allaboutpeloponnisos.com/place/Nomos-argolidas/epidauros-2

Another significant spot, is to visit the Sunken City of Epidaurus, located on the eastern coast of the Peloponnese at “Kalymnios” Beach, is a remarkable underwater archaeological site. You can snorkel around the remains of an ancient city. This is a must visit destination for divers and history lovers alike. Check for more info here  https://www.allaboutpeloponnisos.com/en/place/Nomosargolidas/epidauros-2

October (Οκτώβρης)

The weather is still lovely and warm this time of the year. Although there’s more rain, there are a lot of sunny days. The beaches are quiet, and some of the beach bars are closing.

Go on a road trip with your MHK rental car to the lagune of Yialova, Voidokilia. You will really appreciate the nature at her best. Take the opportunity to indulge yourself in nature, in Yialova lagoon. You will have the chance to observe the birds of the area  – Birdwatching – , where with the help of our knowledgeable staff you will learn more about the activities of the birds in this specific habitat (https://yialovalagoon.gr/en/ ).

At the main port of Pylos every year, on the 20th of October. They reenact the history of the Battle of Navarino. Navarinia is an event organized by the Municipality of Pylos-Nestor, which can be seen from any spot along the water, and lights up the sky.

A romantic visit to “Monemvasia” at the east coast of the Peloponnese, cannot be missed! Explore this mystical stone-built settlement. Wander around this narrow-cobbled streets and admire the beautifully restored stone buildings. Taste culinary delights at a fine restaurant on the roof of a tower house and spend a romantic night at a stone-built tower.

November (Νοέμβρης)

If you visit Kalamata in late autumn, you can experience a workaway. During the day you will be very active, harvesting olives. 🫒 If you want to take a more laid-back approach, go on an olive tour, like https://theoliveroutes.com/

Another important factor for visiting Greece in November is that the entrance tickets to many archaeological sites in Greece are half price. This is a great money saver, especially if you are a history buff and want to explore as many historical sites as possible. Highly recommended is to visit the Castle of Methoni. It occupies the whole area of the cape and the southwestern coast to the small islet that has also been fortified with an octagonal tower and is protected by the sea on his free sides. Please check out the opening hours, before you plan your trip on http://odysseus.culture.gr/h/3/eh355.jsp?obj_id=7499

December (Δεκέμβρης)

The weather is moderately with a gentle breeze. There will be some rainy days, but also a lot of sunny days. The winter is taking over the long beaches of Kalamata, gone are the colorful umbrellas, coffee tables, the laughter of swimmers. The untouched sand beach presents itself thoroughly cleaned and flattened by the wild waves. Depending on where you stand your feet are dry or not. You will end up watching the spectacle for hours.

Kalamata is getting ready for the festive season. Bakeries are making their Christmas sweets with honey and walnuts “melomakarona” and “kourabiedes”. Christmas market in the main square is full of kiosks and you can buy small handmade presents. 🎄 A nice stroll not too far away is the Santa Claus Christmas Station in the Railway Park.

Which month will you visit Kalamata?

Each month in Kalamata presents unique experiences, ensuring a diverse and immersive journey through the rich Greek culture and nature. Whether exploring ancient history, enjoying scenic landscapes, or indulging in local traditions, Kalamata offers a captivating experience year-round. Take a look at the short video to see a sneak-preview of what to expect. Pre-book your car for your trip here.

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