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GREECE (MAY 9th-13th)  pdf




                                    Kalamata city map


Formal Name: Kalamata
Region: Peloponnese
Country: Greece
Language: Greek
Outlets: European Standard, 2 round pins
Voltage: 230 V, 50 Hz
Size: 98 square miles
Population: 57,620
Population Density: 89 people per square mile
Currency: Euro
Time Zone: EET (UTC +2) with Daylight Saving Time

Visas: Most visitors do not need a visa for tourism or business stays of less than 90 days so long as they have a return ticket and passport that is valid for at least 3 months past the end of their stay. Countries currently in political turmoil generally require a visa even for transit through Greece.

ATMs: ATMs are readily available in Kalamata, and accept Visa, MasterCard and Cirrus. Be aware that they occasionally are out of order, so be sure you go a few days before you actually need the money.

Banking: Banks are open every day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will change traveler's cheques and foreign currency. Credit cards are accepted in most major shops, restaurants and hotels, but it's a good idea to check with them first. Note that personal checks are not accepted in Greece.

Airports: Kalamata International Airport receives flights from various European destinations throughout the summer, and from various Greek cities several times a week throughout the year.

Transportation: Kalamata is well connected with the rest of Greece. The Hellenic Railways Organization operates regular trains with a station in the city. Buses with the KTEL bus company run frequently to a multitude of destinations throughout Greece. Kalamata is also connected to other seaside Greek cities via weekly cruise boats and ferries.

Tipping: Tipping is fairly common in Greece, though it is expected more from tourists than locals. If there is a service charge on your restaurant bill then you can leave a few Euros on the table for good service. If there is no service charge then it is common to leave 10 to 20 percent for the waiter. Porters should receive a few Euros for their efforts. Taxis do not expect tips unless they help you with luggage.

Postal Code: 241 00
Country Telephone Code: 30
City Telephone Code: 27210
Hospital: 27210 46000
Ambulance: 166
Police: 27210 44600
Tourist Police: 27210 44681
Fire: 199

Embassies: The Netherlands and Chile have consulates located in Kalamata. Most other embassies or consulates are located in Athens.
Facts: Kalamata is well known for its high quality olives, olive oil and figs. It is also one of the few places that makes sfela cheese, an incredibly salty variety. Before you leave be sure to pick up a few silk handkerchiefs or scarves, Kalamata's specialty.

Sights:Set on a beautiful beach at the foot of the stunning Peloponnese mountains, Kalamata offers plenty to catch the eye. Although much of the tourist activity here revolves around the beach and the clear Mediterranean sea, there is more to Kalamata than that, and exploring the small town and its surroundings can throw up some stunning surprises. Although large sections of the town were destroyed by a major earthquake during the 1980s, there are still some attractive buildings and historically interesting sites to be visited in and around the town. Anyone planning to do a large amount of sightseeing on foot would be wise to avoid the high summer months of July and August, when oppressively high temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius and above can make this seem more of a chore than a pleasure.

Beach Life:No trip to Kalamata is complete without plenty of trips to the beach, but don't be tempted just to stick to one favorite spot. Taking a walk up the shore will take you past fishing boats, small local restaurants and bars, and past pretty little olive and fruit groves - bring along your camera as there will be some great photo opportunities! Another pleasant option is to head up to the Marina at the far end of the town. If you're staying by the beach or in Kalamata's center, it may be worth taking a taxi here, as the walk takes around 30 minutes - it can feel much longer in the heat of summer. Here is a modern little bay with impressive yachts and bobbing boats, along with some good waterside bars, cafes and restaurants.

Magic of the Mountains:The southern Peloponnese mountains form a stunning backdrop to Kalamata, and keen walkers and nature lovers will find the rugged mountain range throws up plenty of opportunity for challenging walks and rambles. The vast mountain that sits immediately behind the town has a trail running from its base right up to the top - set out early in the morning before the heat kicks in, and be prepared to spend around four or five hours getting to the top. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen, and don't forget your camera - the walk can be challenging but the views across the town and out to sea are outstanding.

Town Treasures: Drag yourself off the beach lounger and into Kalamata town centre to see the remains of a 13th century church, as well as the impressive Ayii Apostili - a church that also dates back to the 13th century. The fruit and vegetable market held in the town center is a riot of color and exotic smells, and the produce on sale tastes every bit as good as it looks.

Getting around the city: Welcome to Kalamata
Kalamata is known around Europe, especially in Greece, for its great weather and rich cultural traditions. As an important port city in Greece, Kalamata has its own international airport (IATA airport code: KLX), its own harbor, and its own major system of public transportation. Major landmarks of Kalamata are the Benakeion Museum, the Castle of Kalamata and the Temple of the Epicurian Apollo.