Kalamata. Of course, the city is known for its excellent dark reddish-brown fleshy olives, some say the best in Greece.
But there are many other interesting and beautiful things to discover in the second largest city (70000 inhabitants) in the Peloponnese.
Kalamata is a port city with an international port for foreign clearance, customs and all that - at the moment there is less or nothing going on because of Corona and probably also economic crisis.
But the old town is not at the port, as one might expect, but up on the hillside below the 800 year old fortress. Like everything else here, the fortress has changed "owners" between Turks and Venetians again and again.
One has a grandiose view of the whole city and into the surrounding mountains and gorges, in the west the Taygetos mountains, behind which Sparta lies, and further east the Kalatio mountains, also strategically an interesting location.
There are many small, winding, picturesque alleys above, of course with many pubs and bars, where you can eat very good and very regionally original Greek food. In the middle of the old town a tiny church from Byzantine times, which was completely rebuilt after the violent earthquake in 1986.
Kalamata is the centre of the Greek Orthodox Church of Messenia, all metropolitans have their statues here.
The newer city is essentially a chessboard structure, with axes up to 3 km long from the old town to the port and cross streets.
Even late in the evening you get the feeling that all inhabitants are on the streets and squares, in bars and taverns, including the many children.
A very unusual detail: The Railpark with lots of greenery and trees, also water areas, which goes right up to the harbour - and where many old railways, freight wagons, passenger wagons, steam locomotives and railcars are located, an open-air museum, in the middle of which is the obligatory bar, the station pub so to speak.
The marina with its marina for pleasure boats is located west of the large commercial harbour, here you can find supply of electricity, water, showers, washing machines…..and of course restaurants and cafés.
All in all a not spectacular, but still very worth seeing city in the western Peloponnese.