Kalamata (Greek: Καλαμάτα Kalamáta) is the second most populous city of the Peloponnese peninsula, after Patras, in southern Greece and the largest city of the homonymous administrative region. The capital and chief port of the Messenia regional unit, it lies along the Nedon River at the head of the Messenian Gulf.
The history of Kalamata begins with Homer, who mentions Pharai (Φηραί), an ancient city built more or less where the Kalamata Castle stands today. It was believed that during ancient times the area that the city presently occupies was covered by the sea, but the proto-Greek and archaic period remains (Poseidon temple) that were unearthed at Akovitika region prove the opposite.
Kalamata has the second largest population and mercantile activity in Peloponnese. It makes important exports, particularly of local products such as raisins, olives and olive oil. It is also the seat of the Metropolitan Bishop of Messenia.
Kalamata is accessed by GR-7/E55/E65 in the west and GR-82 runs through Kalamata and into the Taygetus. The motorway to Kalamata from Tripoli is also complete, since 2013.
Kalamata is served by a metre gauge railway line. There is a station and a small freight yard in the city, as well as a rolling stock maintenance depot to the north. A previously disused extension line to the port is now a Railway Park, with old steam engines on display and a cafe in the old station building.
There is a bus link (KTEL) to Tripoli, Corinth and Athens with frequent services. Ferries are available to places such as the Greek islands of Kythira and Crete in the summer months. Also in the summer months, charter and scheduled flights fly direct to Kalamata International Airport from some European cities. A scheduled service by Aegean Air once a day linking Kalamata and Athens International Airport commenced in 2010.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_sidebar _builder_version=”3.0.63″ area=”sidebar-1″ orientation=”left” background_layout=”light” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]