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Kalamata is the capital of Messinia, a region in the southwestern Peloponnese. It’s a sizeable city, the second largest city in the area, and just a couple of hours’ drive from Athens.
Built on the site of ancient Pharai, Kalamata’s modern name comes from an icon of the Virgin Mary that was known as kalo mata (good eye). When it was found in the stables of an Ottoman ruler its miraculous properties led him to convert to Christianity. The icon can today be seen in the city’s cathedral, the Church of Ypapantis, but there are many other legendary places to visit just a short drive from the city.
The region of Messinia will take your breath away. It is rich in historic sites, reminiscent of ancient myths and boasts vast olive groves, green valleys, dramatic mountains, scenic gorges and hidden coves.
Hire a car in Kalamata and you can explore this captivating region at your leisure, being sure to stop off at its numerous sandy beaches, where you will find a choice of calm waters perfect for families or huge waves that will satisfy the most discerning surfers. Tucked in among the old Venetian towns there are also impressive castles and even underwater parks for scuba divers.
If you are flying in to Kalamata International Airport you can arrange your car hire from the airport. Expedia partners with a number of car hire providers to offer you a great choice of cars and all the latest deals.
Our car hire comparison engine places cheap car hire in Kalamata at your fingertips. Simply enter the dates you need a car for, and let us know where is the most convenient place to pick your car up from. We’ll show you all the cars available, and make it easy for you to find the best deal.
Whether you are looking for a small, economical mini-class car or you need a spacious SUV, our diverse panel of providers ensures there’s always plenty of choice.
You can book your car in advance, with the peace of mind that it will be waiting for you on arrival. So now all you have to decide is where you will visit when you hire a car in Kalamata.
Rent a car in Kalamata to discover the history and beauty of the Peloponnese
The Peloponnese is where legends once sprang to life. Here Hercules wrestled with the Nemean lion, Paris eloped with Helen, and the Argonauts set off on their mythic quest for the Golden Fleece.
Wherever your car hire in Kalamata takes you there will be ancient stories attached to every landscape you arrive at. This is where gods once walked alongside mortals.
Yet it’s not just in mythic tales that the region is rich. There’s plenty of dramatic ancient sites, temples and palaces to explore too. Many civilisations have called this entrancing region home, and the abundance of classical temples, Mycenaean palaces, Byzantine cities, and Ottoman, Frankish and Venetian fortresses attest to this.
You won’t have to drive too far to find them, either. The delightful monastery at Karveli is almost on your doorstep, and in less than half an hour you can reach the Theban ancient capital. Messinia's boundaries were first created in 371 BC, after the Spartans’ defeat at the hands of the Thebans. After 350 years of exile in Sicily the victors founded their new capital in Ancient Messini. It’s less than a 20-mile drive northwest of Kalamata to start your exploration, and the ancient city nestles attractively on the slopes of Mount Ithomi.
It’s a longer drive to Patras in the north, but well worth it for the scenic delights and historical treasures at your destination. Drive north past Koutala and you will reach Korinth. Here fascinating massifs, beautiful coastal locations and significant archaeological sites all demand that you make a pause to take in the sights.
In the far north you will find Patras, the biggest of the cities of the Peloponnese. The region surrounding this attractive city is filled with exceptional mountain and seaside landscapes. There are the Panachaiko, Helmos and Erymanthos mountains and, for many, the most beautiful sandy beaches in the Corinthian Gulf.
The region of Ilia also combines mountain and seascapes, with plenty of beautiful resorts, sandy beaches and pine trees thrown in for good measure. Against this idyllic backdrop you can discover some of the most significant archaeological sites. The Olympic games were born at Olympia, and the Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae is a 5th century BC temple dedicated to the god of healing and the sun.
Whether it’s the surf crashing against the shore, ancient temples or beautiful harbours, car hire in Kalamata opens out a mythical paradise to you. Where will you visit?
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