The capital of Messinia lends its name to the infamous olive, so it’s no surprise Kalamata is part of the Routes of the Olive Tree. Get your bearings at the 13th century castle of Isabeau, located on the Farai acropolis, where you’ll catch picture-worthy views over the Palia Poli, or the Old City, below. The castle also hosts major events like the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, the oldest film festival in the Balkans, and the spring Kalamata International Dance Festival. Cafés line Vassileos Georgiou (King George) square and the pedestrian Aristomenous Street, while the neighbourhood to the west of the square around the railroad station features a number of pedestrian walkways, bars and tavernas. Cycle from the city centre along dedicated bike lanes to the city’s marina and western beach, with a seaside spanning 4 kilometres of gorgeous shores lined by ouzo restaurants, or, if you want to cruise along one of the most beautiful roads in the country, head from Sparta up to the mountain villages dotting the western slope of Mt. Taygetos.