The southwestern corner of the Peloponnese named Messinia or Messenia, has many attractions, from the peninsula's loveliest beaches to old Venetian towns, impressive castles and even underwater parks for divers.
Messinia’s boundaries were established in 371 BC following the defeat of Sparta. The defeat ended almost 350 years of Spartan domination of the Peloponnese – during which time Messinian exiles founded the city of Messina in Sicily – and meant the Messinians were left free to develop their kingdom in the region stretching west from the Taÿgetos Mountains. Their capital was Ancient Messini, about 25km northwest of Kalamata on the slopes of Mt Ithomi.
Kalamata city played an important role in igniting the War of Independence, when, on March 23th, 1821, two days before the start of the revolt, a group of impatient Kalamatans massacred local Ottomans in their sleep. The city was the first one to be liberated by the Greek rebel forces under the orders of generals Theodoros Kolokotronis, Petros Mavromichalis and Papaflessas. In 1825, the Turks invaded the city and destroyed it under the command of Ibrahim Pasha.Kalamata was rebuilt unimaginatively by French engineers in the 1830s and became one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean Sea
Beaches of Messinia
1. Voidokilia is one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, but also in Europe. It is located next to the Lagoon of Yalova, 10 kilometers from Pylos.
2. Romanos beach is located near the homonymous village of Messinia, is large with fine sand. It is organized at many parts. It is under the protection of NATURA
3. Methoni beach inside the settlement is sandy and shallow. From there you can enjoy your swim overlooking the Castle of Methoni and opposite it Sapientza
4. The beach of Verga, 5 km away from the city of Kalamata at east, is one of the most popular and crowded beaches
5. The beach of Stoupa is the second busiest beach in western Mani after Kalogria. It is located almost next to it, right in front of the main street of the village of Stoupa
6. The beach of Kalogria in western Mani is the most famous, the most crowded and the most “organized” beach. It is Ideal for young couples and families.
7. The beach of Kalamata in the city is suitable for swimming, and has been awarded with a blue flag. It has warm and calm waters, ideal for families.
8. Lagouvardos beach is the spot for surfers, next to Marathopoli village.
9. Divari beach, next to Gialova lagoon.
10. Proti islet beach, 15 minutes from Marathopoli port
Messinia Facts & Figures
southwestern part of the Peloponnese region, in Greece
primarily based on agricultural production & secondly on tourism
olives, olive oil extra virgin, figs, black raisins, watermelons, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers
typical Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Rainfalls are typical between November and March.
Air: The airport of Kalamata has several international flights from main European cities from Fevruary to November. There are about three weekly flights to Athens. The airport of Kalamata is located 10.5km west of the Kalamata city. The airport is also connected to Thessaloniki and Heraklion twice a week.
Bus: Several KTEL coaches connect Kalamata to Athens (3¼ hours), and other cities in the Peloponnese, such as Tripoli (1¼ hours), Corinth (2½ hours), Kyparissia (1¼ hours), Patras (4 hours), Pyrgos (2 hours), Koroni (1½ hours), Methoni (1¾ hours), and Sparta (1½ hours).
Ferry: There are ferry services from Kalamata to Kastelli – Kissamos, and Crete via Kythira.