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Kalamata Car Rentals


Greece! What a country that is! Blessed with great climate, amazing beaches, warm-hearted people, great history, seductively beautiful landscapes, and mouth-watering cuisine, Greece is a place where ancient myths blend with contemporary reality. A place that is an amalgam of rich cultural traditions, where the new co-exists with the classical magnificence of the old. In other words, this small piece of land will surely turn your holidays into unforgettable memories.

Certainly, the first places that you may think of are Athens, Parthenon, and the Greek islands. The first season will surely be summer. But Greece is so much more than this. Here, you can enjoy your holidays regardless of the time of the year you may decide to visit and regardless of which spot you may visit.

Are you into exploring the ‘hidden gems’ and looking for the refreshing experience of visiting places that are away from the mass tourism trends? Then certainly the Prefecture of Messenia in southern Peloponnese is one of these secret and purely genuine places you must visit at least once in your lifetime, rent a car with us and lets start the travel.

Messenia...explore one of the most beautiful places in Greece!

Messenia could be characterized as a bright strip of Greek land where the sun arises from the all mighty Mount Taygetos brightening the sky and creating great blends of colours and scents. A place that has witnessed past glorious days and nowadays the fast contemporary rhythms of development seem to create new challenges and opportunities. In Messenia, the summer stays more than anywhere else in Greece and its multi-awarded beaches will surely seduce even the most difficult type of traveller.

In Messenia, you will have the opportunity to discover fertile lands, rugged coastlines, sandy beaches, very mild climate, picturesque coastline and inland towns and traditional settlements, stone castles, and many more.

Do the above seem like a great promise for unforgettable holidays? Then you should know that the best way to get to Messenia is by plane and then to rent a car to drive through all its amazingly beautiful spots and corners.

Kalamata Airport

The Kalamata International Airport “Captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos”  (IATA: KLX, ICAO: LGKL) is located some 9km west of Kalamata, which is the capital of the Messinia Prefecture. It mostly serves charter flights during the late spring and mid-autumn period. Also, once a week there is a scheduled flight to Thessaloniki. Overall, the last decade there is a quite impressive increase regarding the tourist demand. An ever growing number of tourists decide to visit and explore this beautiful place that has so much to offer at very lower prices compared to those of more mainstream Greek tourist destinations. This increasing tension is also being depicted in the ever growing number of international charter flights to Kalamata and the ever increasing number of Airlines that connect Kalamata with dozens of large European cities.

Regarding the airport, it is located between Kalamata and Messini, close to the highway Pylos-Kalamata-Sparta. It has a quite long 3km runaway, and its terminal is located on the northeast side of the airport. The airport facilities cover an area of 2450sq.m.

More specifically, the airport consists of two Arrivals Halls, two Departures Halls, and a Waiting Hall. The International Kalamata Airport has space for four aircrafts (1 B767, 3 A32O). This allows large groups of tourists to be served with no problem. In the airport, there are the car rental stands of the major car rental companies: Sixt, Hertz, Europcar, Avis.

As mentioned earlier, the wider Messinia area gains popularity over the years, and that's why there is an ever growing number of charter flights connecting Kalamata with other large European cities.

One of the largest airline companies that connect the Kalamata International Airport “Captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos” (KLX) is the Greek Aegean Airlines. The Aegean Airlines, a Star Alliance member, operates direct international flights from Munich (Germany) starting in February. Also, from Dusseldorf (Germany) and Stockholm (Sweden) starting in March. And finally from Paris (France), Moscow and St. Petersburg (Russia), and Kiev (Ukraine) starting in May.

Flyniki/AirBerlin operates transit international flights to Kalamata International Airport via the Vienna International Airport from Hamburg, Berlin, Hanover, Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf (Germany) and Zurich (Switzerland) starting in May.

Austrian my Holiday operates a once a week international flight from Vienna (Austria) starting in May.

Condor Airlines operates frequent international flights from Dusseldorf, Munich, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt (Germany) starting in May.

EasyJet operates twice a week international flights from Gatwick (UK) starting in April, and from Hamburg (Germany) starting in June.

Ryanair operates twice a week international flights from Milan (Italy).

Thomas Cook operates frequent international flights from London, Manchester, Glasgow (UK).

SAS operates international flights from Oslo (Norway).

Transavia operates international flights from Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

Travel Services with SmartWings operates international flights from Prague (The Czech Republic).

From the above, you can easily understand that you can fly to Kalamata during the summer period practically from every part of Europe. And it gets even better knowing that the flight prices start from only 30 euros. Most of the airline companies run great offers to Kalamata International Airport. Just check their official websites and stay updated. Every year there are new airliners and new arrival destinations added to the Kalamata International Airport.

So, while dealing with the bad weather and the work pressure on a daily basis during the winter, just spend a couple of hours with your other half, family or friends, and plan your holidays to Messinia Greece. Book your air tickets online and rent a car that suits your needs best by visiting the cargreece.gr website. Browse through the dozens of offers found on cargreece.gr, rent your ideal car, and pick it up straight from the car rental stand at the International Kalamata Airport when your flight lands there. The Greek car rental experience has never been before so effortless, economic, fast, and reliable.

Kalamata...your first stop in Messenia

The capital of the Messenia Prefecture, Kalamata, is buit under the majestic Mount Taygetos. It is a lively seaside city with modern cafes, beach bars, great restaurants and taverns, budget and luxurious hotels, studios, apartments, and villas, great market, historic buildings, a large port, and ofcourse a buzzing nightlife.

Situated only 9km away from the airport is your ideal first stop in Messenia. After a probably long flight and to get used to your rented car and the Greek roads, it is recommended to spend a couple of days in Kalamata. On the net, you can find dozens of different kind of accommodation and choose the one that suits best your needs and budget. Staying a couple of days in Kalamata you will soon realize yourselves why they call it the ‘Mistress of Messenia’.

Kalamata is a city that can offer to its guests loads of different experiences. While there, park your car somewhere close to the city centre and walk through its centre where you will find nice shops, restaurants, cafes to spend your time and wonder around. Don’t forget to have your camera with you, because you will have many reasons to shoot some amazing photos.

Kalamata - Points of Interest

- The Castle. The Kalamata Castle is built on a hill that is situated on the northwest side of the city above the river Nevontas. It was built during the Byzantine times, but its present form dates back to the early 13th Century A.D. From there you can enjoy a great view of the city and during the summer period is open from Tuesday to Sunday (08.00 - 20.00). The ticket costs only 2 euros and is worth the visit.

- The Monastery Kalograion. Founded in the late 18th Century, played a crucial role during the many difficult times that citizens of Kalamata had to go through over the last three centuries. It is located in the centre of Kalamata, very close to the metropolitan church of Ypapanti and under the Castle. It is a perfect place to visit and learn about the way nuns lived and acted there all these years. It is worth mentioning that the Monastery Kalograion stands outs for the world famous handmade silk textiles made by the nuns (tableclothes, curtains, towels, embroidered vestments, etc.).

- The Old Town. The Old Town of Kalamata is situated north of the modern city and under the castle. Locals believe that this is the best place for a visitor to begin his tour of Kalamata. Wandering through its narrow streets, will take travel your senses back in time and give you the opportunity to come across old neo-classical builidings, loads of luxurious mansions, stone-built churches, museums, and many tourist shops.  A perfect place to chill out and enjoy a coffee in this romantic side of Kalamata.

- The Ypapanti Square. This is the first area that was inhabited outside the boundaries of the castle. There you will find the majestic metropolitan church of Ypapanti with its two bell towers and silver domes. North of the church, you will find the 19th-century building that houses the Municipal Music School. Just opposite to the church, there is the Military Museum of Kalamata with various and very interesting exhibits dating from 1821 onwards. The entrance is Free, and it is open all days of the week. For the exact hours ask the locals or the staff of the hotel you stay at. Very close to the Military Museum, you will find on Agios Ioannis Str. the Historical and Folklore Museum of Kalamata. There you will find loads of very interesting exhibits that will help you get a better idea of how the everyday life of the locals used to be two centuries ago. It is open from Tuesday - Sunday during the morning and the entrance fee is 2 euros.

- The 23 Martiou Square. This square is also situated in the Old City. It took its name from the Kalamata’s Liberation Day in 1821 from the Turkish oppression. There you will find the Agioi Apostoloi chapel where, according to the tradition, the Greek Revolution was declared and also the place where the first Mass of the liberated city was held. This beautiful square is surrounded by loads of cafes, bars, and taverns. A perfect place to have your lunch there, since the air is enhanced with mouth-watering scents of freshly cooked food.

- Aristomenous Street. On this street, you will find some of the most beautiful buildings in Kalamata. Aristomenous Street crosses the ‘heart’ of the city. It starts from the 23 Martiou Square and ends at the Customs Office in the city’s port. This street is pedestrianized and as you walk it through you will come across some of the finest neo-classical buildings of Kalamata where most of the city’s public authorities and institutions are being housed. The Aristomenous Street stops being pedestrianized at the height of the Vasileos Georgiou Square, which is the city’s central square. There, you will find the beautiful neo-classical building that houses the Bank of Greece. Aristomenous Street is perfect for your evening walk where you can do some shopping therapy and enjoy your evening coffee or cocktail.

- Navarino Avenue. This is probably the most cosmopolitan and busiest part of Kalamata. It is an ideal place for your evening walk or drive. Through this beautiful avenue, you will find many spots to park and chill out at the beach where you can enjoy the hot sun and dives into the crystal clear waters, and rent umbrellas and sunbeds. On its sides, the Navarino Avenue has large sidewalks with palm trees. Along this avenue, you will also see some really exquisite neo-classical buildings giving to this part of the city a really prestigious image, similar to those of Miami and Monte Carlo. This is also the ‘heart’ of the Kalamata’s summer buzzing nightlife.

- The Municipal Railway Park. This is a unique open-air museum of this kind in Greece and an ideal point of interest for all railway fans. It occupies a total of 54 acres, and it is located in one of the most central spots in Kalamata, about 5 minutes from the city’s central square. There, you will find an amazing exhibition of various steam locomotives, a diesel locomotive, a manual crane dating back in the 1890s, two draisines (one cycling and one manual), etc. The park is open daily from 08.30 - 15.00 and the entrance is Free!

All the above points of interests are only very few from the dozens of interesting places you will find in the city of Kalamata. You can leave your car at your hotel’s parking and make daily tours of the city either by feet or by using the bus or a taxi.

While in Kalamata, don’t forget to pay a visit to Ancient Messini

Before leaving or while staying in Kalamata, you should pay a short visit to the ancient Messini, nowadays called Mavrommati Ithomis. It is a beautiful and amphitheatrical village built at the foothills of the Ithomi mountain. Situated about 30km northwest of Kalamata (that is about 40mins driving distance). You can combine the visit to the village with a stop at the long sandy beach that is just a few minutes driving distance from there. In the center of Mavrommati, there is a large park with many tall trees, fountains and a square where you can find many restaurants, traditional taverns, cafes, and shops. A perfect place for a short break from Kalamata.

Despite all the above, the main reason you should visit Mavromati is the Ancient Messini. In the ancient times, this place used to be one of the most significant in terms of size and power cities of ancient Peloponnese. Visiting its archaeological site, you will have the opportunity to admire remains of large temples, public buildings, large burrial monuments, and majestic defense structures. Fortunately, there were no modern structures built where are the remains of Ancient Messini. Therefore, the visitor has the rare opportunity to see the real environment in which this ancient city thrived without any modern alterations. The natural surroundings are similar to the mountainous magnificence of Delphi and the calm riverside serenity of ancient Olympia. At the local museum, you will see many findings from the surrounding archaeological site and is worth the visit. During the summer period, the archaeological site of Ancient Messini is open and free to the public daily from 08.30 - 20.00. There is an entrance fee of 2 euros to the Museum.

Road Trip Vacations in Messenia

As mentioned earlier, there are so many places to visit in Kalamata and Messenia that you are strongly suggested to rent a car and pick it up from the Kalamata International Airport (KLX) when your flight lands there.

You can always plan your holidays according to your budget, time, interests, and expectations. Therefore, you can either spend your time in Kalamata and its nearby beaches and villages  if you are planning short holidays or you can stay a couple of days there and then continue your holidays with an amazing roadtrip across Messenia, especially towards the South. A driving route, that we will analyze below.

Messenian Mani … the authentic ‘harsh’ beauty of Southern Peloponnese

If someone would try to describe what the Messenian Mani is all about, then the first characteristic words of this beautifully harsh place are stone towers, wild landscapes, tall and steep mountain peaks, and stunning beaches. Stoupa and Kardamili are the two picturesque villages that will surely stir the interest of the visitor from the very first moments, and this is where the ‘heart’ of the area’s tourist activity mostly beats.

The Road Infrastructure

Regarding the roads, it could be said that they are in a very good condition. But, please be aware that because this is a harsh mountainous landscape, you will come across many sharp turns. Also, it is better to avoid driving at night, because the road lighting and the signs are rather poor in many parts. As long as you will be careful in your driving though there is nothing serious to worry about.

You can drive to Messenian Mani in two ways: Either via Kalamata or Sparta. The first option is probably the best, especially after the recent delivery of new roads. And in your case, this option is also the best, since you are starting your roadtrip from Kalamata. The only part of this road option that needs attention is that close to Kardamili because you will come across consecutive sharp turns. Nevertheless, the beauty of the landscape will surely reward you. Surely, you will have many times the opportunity to stop admire the landscape and shoot some great photos that you will proudly present them to your family and friends when you will return home.

Messenian Mani… where you should stop!

Kardamyli (43km and about 1h drive from Kalamata), Stoupa (50km and about 1h 10mins drive from Kalamata), and Agios Nikolaos / Selinitsa (52.5km and about 1h 15mins drive from Kalamata) are the first three major villages that you will come across on your roadtrip towards the south of Messenia.

These three villages combine the great tradition of Messenian Mani perfectly with the modern way of life. Despite the fact that these three villages are the ‘heart’ of Messenian Mani’s tourist attraction, their character remains traditional and unchanged. If you are looking for a crowded buzzing atmosphere, then probably using one of these two villages as your base for your roadtrips seems like your best option. On the other hand, if you are after a more quite and traditional kind of accommodation experience, then you should stay somewhere around Agios Nikolaos. There, you will have the opportunity to taste some of the great local dishes and get deeper into the cultural identity of Messenian Mani.

The distant and mountainous traditional Messenian Mani villages

After staying a couple of days there and enjoying the local cuisine and the nearby beaches, we suggest you to move on with your roadtrip and drive even further into the Messenian Mani.

You can either continue driving south and visit parts of the Laconian Mani, such as the traditional and amazingly stunning Oitylo and Areopoli villages or continue focusing on the Messenian Mani.

Just 6km south-east of Stoupa (about 15mins drive) and 12km south-east of Kardamyli (about 20mins drive) you will come across the Pirgos village. It is definitely worth the stop, because it is a very picturesque traditional village built on a very steep edge from where you will have the opportunity to enjoy some of the best views of the surrounding landscapes up to Kalamata. What a great excuse for a coffee break!

Otherwise, if you like, you can continue your roadtrip further south where you will come across the Trachila village (about 19km from Kardamyli and 30mins drive). This is a quiet and beautiful seaside village with houses just a few meters away from the sea. The roadtrip from Kardamyli or Stoupa to Trachila can be a little bit difficult, but the experience overall is fantastic. During your roadtrip, you will have the opportunity to admire loads of steep and high rocks that proudly stand to face the wildness of the sea and the wind for thousands of years. The landscape is very harsh, but at the same time seductively attractive. The visitor simply feels so small and humble while facing the greatness of nature. No wonder why the locals are so proud, strong, and cheerful characters. They reflect the landscape that they live in.

One of the most impressive attractions of Trachila is the Katafygi cave. The Katafygi coast is a place where you can swim, but mind that it doesn’t have a beach. The landscape is wild and imposing as the Mount Taygetos meets the sea forming natural stone ‘platforms’! This place is great for swimming and ideal for young people or lovers and nature and adventure. It is not recommended for elderly, families with young children, or those who don’t know how to swim well. There are quite high chances to see nudists. This rocky place is so seductive that many people stay there over the night. There you will also have the opportunity to enter the Katafygi cave, considered one of the largest and most impressive sea caves in Greece. When arriving at Trachila, you can ask the locals how you can get there.

Northeast of Trachila and into the mountainous mainland of Messenian Mani you will come across the Lagkada village. This village gives a kind of a majestic feeling to the visitor with its two stone towers overlooking the area below proudly. The amphitheatrical formation of the village provides the opportunity for the visitor to have an amazing panoramic view of the village while approaching it.

Surely, the most important point of interest in Lagkada is the Metamorphosis Church. It dates back 11 centuries, since it is believed that it was built somewhere around 900 A.D. The most impressive about this church is that it is being maintained in a perfect condition. Also, along the road you will see many ruins from Byzantine and ancient Greek temples and structures, yet one more proof that this area is being inhabited continuously since the ancient times. Also, we advise you to leave your car close to the village’s central square and walk through the village for a couple of hours. There, you will see many traditional houses most of which already date more than 300 years!

The Beaches of Messenian Mani

The innumerable beaches of Messenia will surely meet, and in most cases overexceed, your expecations. Cosmic and crowded, isolated, virgin, or next to luxurious seaside resorts, offer to the visitor the luxury of countless alternatives. It is impossible to name them all, but certainly there beaches that stand out from the rest.

Kalogria - The ‘Queen’ of Messenia beaches

This is one of the most famous, busiest, and most organized beaches in West Mani. During the summer period, especially weekends, tourists and Greeks ‘invade’ this beautiful coast that is covered with white sand and has deep blue, shallow, icy waters. Mind that the waters there are very cold and crystal clear, because of the underwater springs that come from the Mount Taygetos. As mentioned, the Kalogria beach is well organized. There the swimmers can rent sunbeds and umbrellas, they can play beach volley, do watersports and rest and eat at one of the many nearby taverns and beach bars. It is ideal for everyone, including families with children and elderly people. We highly recommend you to stay there until late afternoon and enjoy one of the best Greek sunsets.

Except of its cosmopolitan character, the Kalogria beach is also famous, because Nikos Kazantzakis, a famous Greek author, lived there for 2 years (1917-1918) where he meet the legendary hero of his novel ‘Life and Times of Alexis Zorbas’, also known as ‘Zorbas the Greek’. On the north side of the beach, still remains the house where the author stayed with Zorbas, while on the southern end, very close to the beach, there is the so-called ‘Kazantzakis cave’, where the author was ‘escaping’ from the noise of people to read and write. Nowadays, you can access the cave only by the sea, either swimming or with a boat.

Foneas Beach - The ‘hidden paradise’ beach

It is the most beloved and one of the lesser known Western Mani beaches. To get there, you will need to park your car quite far away and follow a path, with the Foneas beach being hidden behind the trees at the end of it. This is the perfect place for those seeking a virgin and isolated beach, far away from noisy crowds. The only thing that reminds of the civilization’s presence is a tiny canteen with few tables that can supply you with some basic to eat and some refreshing beverages, water, and ice coffee. This beach has white pebbles and amazing turquoise waters. One of the most beautiful West Mani beaches

Voidokilia Beach - One of the most impressive beaches in the world!

This is certainly the most famous beach in Messinia and one of the best in the world and it is being included in many top tourist destinations lists. It is located near the Yalova Lagoon, about 10km from Pylos. Fine white sand covers a wide area from end to end. The waters are calm, turquoise and surely exotic. And if you are looking for a beach that you can take something with you back home, then you should know that the beach is full of beautiful shells found scattered everywhere on the white sand beach - just dip your hands in the sand!

Surely the beaches that are worth your visit in Messenia are too many to be all fully addressed. If you are after great beaches, we recommend you also to visit Mikri Mantineia, Santova, Almyros, Velika, Petalidi, Foinikounta.

Choose Messenia for your holidays and explore it with a rental car

The good thing about Greece is that over the last decades there is a great effort by the Greek authorities and locals to turn tourist flows towards other parts of the country outside the axis that consists of the already mainstream and extremely popular Greek tourist destinations. Therefore, there are many investments on peripheral airports and peripheral infrastructures.

One of the hottest, but yet relatively unknown Greek tourist destinations, is Messenia on the sourth part of Peloponnese. The Kalamata International Airport acts as a great tourist gate for tourists from all major European cities. During the summer period, there are many and frequent charter flights and it is possible to rent a car online and pick it up at the airport. Cargreece.gr ensures that using its platform you will get the best deals for your budget, needs, and expectations.

Plan your roadtrip and explore Messenia, and especially Messenian Mani by car. This will provide you with a unique opportunity and freedom of movement to visit places that will surely stimulate your senses and give you generously plenty of great experiences to take back home with you. Drive through some of the most beautiful mountainous landscapes of Greece, visit some of the best beaches you have ever dreamed of, grap the opportunity to stay at one of the many stone towers or traditional mansions, discover the ‘hidden’ and pure part of the Greek folklore and cultural identity.

Rent a car….and get ready for the vacations of a lifetime!

Popular Pick-up locations to travel in Kalamata
Kalamata International Airport (KLX)
City Center