Kalamata seems to be a city divided in two parts: the downtown Kalamata with its shops, everyday life, offices, monuments etc that lies away from the sea and the seaside Kalamata that seems to be more relaxed and holiday-oriented with its cafes, restaurants and souvenir-shops. We enjoyed them both and furthermore we discovered the right place for those who want to buy the famous Kalamata olive-oil and olives.
After we finished our visit to the old city, we returned to our camper van that we had parked near the modern theater where the acclaimed Kalamata International Dance Festival is hosted every summer.
Parking in downtown Kalamata might seem challenging but the truth is that with a bit of flexibility for our part it is not that difficult. There are abundant free places available just outside the center and there are controlled parking zones in the city center where the parking fee costs just 0,50 euro/hour (only weekdays from 8.00 to 14.00 and 5:00 p.m. to 21:00, Saturday 8:00 to 14:00). The visitors’ scratch cards are available in newsstands and shops.
We take advantage of the shops in the center to buy a few things, the kind that are found only in the city, like an adapter for our tablet, refill for Parker pen and of course to take advantage of the city’s free wi-fi zones to update us on the latest news.
We pass by the Union of Agricultural Cooperative, situated in 10 Iatropoulou street [37.03847,22.10954], on the advice of a nice couple of campers from Mantua who we met in Gythion. In fact, except that the location of the shop is not the most convenient, the prices of the products are very good, to say the least!
To get an idea of the prices: the pack of three/five liters of extra virgin olive oil costs € 15,10 and 23,00, respectively; the one-liter bottle of the PDO costs € 5.40. The olives, depending on the size, cost from 9 to 11 euro for the pack of two liters. They also have a very interesting range of beauty products made from organic olive oil!
We move our motorhome towards the sea and we go to visit the open-air train museum [37.02776,22.10984]. It could be interesting for fans, although the fact that the trains can not be visited inside is a little disappointing…
So after a visit to the nearby supermarket, we head to the seaside where we plan to stop for the night, in the large municipal parking [37.02305,22.13289]. Before dinner we go walking to the harbor where we find another parking (a controlled one), perfect for a stop closer to the center [37.02437,22.11677]. Unfortunately I didn’t mark the price, but I think it was 3 € per day.
We spend a relatively quiet night, given the location of the parking (close to the main road…), but in the morning when we wake up we are rewarded by the beautiful light. Kalamata is definitely a city that deserves to be discovered!