Kalamata is the capital of Messinia and the second-largest city in the Peloponnese. At first sight, it looks a very industrial place, but it does have a nice and friendly city centre. Just follow the signs ‘Centre’ or ‘Kentro’ and park your car close to the playground you will pass. The old town area is small but attractive with quite a few very nice shops. Compared to its more peaceful surrounds, it is a less-inspiring destination for visitors, but museum lovers and shoppers will be satisfied. Besides that Kalamata has its own Frankish Medieval castle, which can be visited. The remains of the castle are not very special, but the place is and the views over the city are amazing. Built on the site of ancient Pharai, the city takes its modern name from a miracle working icon of the Virgin Mary known as kalo mata (good eye). In the Kalamata harbor you will find some nice restaurants to go for a relaxed lunch. You can watch the boats sailing in and and out the harbor and in the back you can see the mountains. Following the road to the south-east, Kalamata offers many restaurants and bars along a the Kalamata beach (Paralia Kalamatas).