How to get from Athens to Kalamata by Bus, Car, Plane

This travel guide shows how to get from Athens to Kalamata by bus, plane and car. Find the best way to get to Kalamata from Athens and other essential travel information.

Exploring old town Kalamata

Getting from Athens To Kalamata

  • Athens To Kalamata Flights: There are now sporadic direct flights from Athens Airport to Kalamata with Aegean Airlines subsidiary Olympic Air. The direct Athens to Kalamata flight takes 55 minutes. Check for flights on Skyscanner.

  • Driving from Athens to Kalamata: Rent a car in Athens with Discover Cars (who partner with local and international car rental companies to get you the best prices), and you can drive to Kalamata in less than three hours. 

  • Taking the bus from Athens to Kalamata: Intercity buses run by KTEL Messenias leave Kifisou Bus Station in central Athens, and reach Kalamata in less than 3 hours. 

  • There is no train from Athens to Kalamata, so not a transport option!

  • Dave’s Advice: If your international flight into Athens lines up with a domestic flight from Athens to Kalamata, that’s going to be your best option. Otherwise, it’s a toss up between renting a car and driving (you might appreciate a car in the Peloponnese to see more of the region), or taking a bus.

How to get to Kalamata in Greece

If you are sure you’ve heard the name “Kalamata” before, you are absolutely right. This small city in the Peloponnese of Greece is famous for its olives – Kalamata olives! But that’s not the only reason to visit.

The coastal city of Kalamata in the Peloponnese is a popular holiday destination. Loved by locals and foreign tourists alike, it has great weather, a laid back atmosphere, and an amazing food scene. There's a lot to see and do here, covered in my guide: Things to do in Kalamata.

Kalamata is also a good base from which to explore other parts of the Peloponnese. From the city, you can make day trips to significant archaeological sites, check out Venetian castles, and of course chill out on miles upon miles of some of the best beaches in Greece.

But first, you have to get to Kalamata!

Where is Kalamata?

Kalamata is the second biggest city in the Peloponnese after Patras. It is located to the south of the Peloponnese, right on a long stretch of sandy beach, at the foot of Taygetos mountain.

Kalamata is approximately 3 hours away from Athens, and 3 hours away from Patras by road. 

A travel guide to the top things to do in Kalamata, Greece

How to get to Kalamata from Athens by car

If you have a chat with a Greek, you will immediately realize that the Athens – Kalamata route wasn’t always a straightforward trip. In fact there were times when it seemed more like an epic journey!

Things have changed though, and a tollway was recently completed. This means you can now drive from Athens to Kalamata in less than 3 hours. Take a look here for the route.

The new road from Athens to Kalamata

In terms of navigation, Google maps works perfectly, and is probably more up to date than printed maps because of the relative newness of the completed toll road.

Toll roads in Greece

One thing that you will probably find annoying is the number of toll stations along the way. The total cost on the Athens to Kalamata route is just under 15 euro at the time of writing.

The toll stations accept debit and credit cards, but we use it as an opportunity to get rid of our small change!

Related: Pros and cons of road trips

Driving from Athens to Kalamata

About an hour away from Athens, you will pass by the Corinth canal. Have a short break to stretch your legs and take some photos – the canal is really fascinating! There is an archaeological site as well, but in all honesty it is not the most spectacular in Greece.

Corinth Canal

Instead, on your way to Kalamata, consider stopping at Mycenae or Epidaurus – or perhaps both. These two are among the best archaeological sites in Greece!

Inside Kalamata, parking is very straightforward, and driving around the city was really easy. That said, everything is walking distance, so you won’t really need your car too much if you want to explore the city.

If you are looking to rent a car in Athens so you can drive to Kalamata and also see more of the Peloponnese region, I recommend Discover Cars.

Buses from Athens to Kalamata

Another way to get from Athens to Kalamata is the bus. If you are travelling on your own, this will work out much cheaper than renting a car. A one way ticket is about 25 euro, whereas a return ticket is 43 euro.

Buses from Athens to Kalamata depart from Kifissos bus station. These long-distance, privately-run buses are called KTEL. You can book your tickets in advance, and find all other relevant information here.

If you want to go directly to the bus terminal to take a bus between Athens and Kalamata, the X93 bus leaves from Athens airport and takes you to Kifissos bus station in about an hour.

The Athens to Kalamata bus itself should take about three hours, though it will generally depend on traffic and road conditions. The bus station in Kalamata is opposite the food market, very close to the historical centre.

Buying olives at the Kalamata food market

Flights to Kalamata

Kalamata does have an airport, and so flying is a good option for some people. In fact there are several direct international routes, including flights to Kalamata from London. There's also a popular Manchester to Kalamata route.

Other big cities with direct flight connections to Kalamata include Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Moscow, Frankfurt, Zurich, Milan and many more. So if you want a weekend break somewhere warm, Kalamata is a perfect choice!

Note that in winter, there are very few international flights to Kalamata. There are plenty in spring, summer and autumn however.

Athens to Kalamata flights

Each year, it varies as to whether there are direct flights between Athens and Kalamata. Updating this in 2024, direct flights were back on the cards again, with Olympic Airlines providing the service.

Direct planes from Athens Airport to Kalamata make the journey in less than an hour, so if you can find a suitable flight it’s certainly worth looking at if crowded buses aren’t your thing and you don’t fancy the drive.

Also read: Advantages and Disadvantages of Traveling by Plane

Taking the train from Athens to Kalamata

Good luck with that! There once was a train connection from Athens to Kalamata, with a stop at Corinth. This route ceased functioning well over a decade ago, though there may be future plans for an Athens to Kalamata train connection. Watch this space!

How to get from Athens to Kalamata FAQ

Travelers planning an itinerary in Greece which includes travel from Athens to Kalamata often ask questions similar to:

Is Kalamata worth visiting?

Kalamata is an interesting place to spend time. It has lovely stretches of beaches, vibrant nightlife, and cultural places of interest.

Is Kalamata close to Athens?

The driving distance between Athens and Kalamata is about 148 miles or 238 km. The travel time by car is approximately is about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Are there cheap flights to Kalamata from Athens?

There are currently no flights between Athens and Kalamata airports.

How frequent are the Kalamata bus services from Athens?

There are 48 buses per week traveling from the capital of Athens and on to Kalamata. They leave roughly every four hours.

What is the quickest way to travel between Athens and Kalamata?

Driving is the fastest means of transport from Athens to Kalamata, and takes about 2.5 hours.

Have you been to Kalamata, and how did you get there? If you drove, what did you think of the highway? Let us know in the comments!

The best way to get from Athens to Kalamata

You might also be interested in these other travel guides:

Dave Briggs: Writer at Dave’s Travel Pages creating Greece travel guides, Greece travel planning tipsDave Briggs
Dave is a travel writer currently living in Greece. In addition to creating this travel guide on how to travel from Athens to Kalamata, he's also written hundreds more travel guides to Greek destinations. Follow Dave on social media for travel inspiration for more Greece travel ideas:

3 thoughts on “How to get from Athens to Kalamata by Bus, Car, Plane”

  1. I went to Kalamata in October 2020 – had to fly to Athens as just missed the direct flight season. Hired a car and drove down on my own but came back to Athens with a friend. Got to Kalamata in the dark …… was slightly concerned about driving solo in the dark but it was totally fine. Roads are in great condition and the route was SO simple.
    Shame the car hire company CarWiz were rip off merchants !! Remember to photograph every single square inch of the car when you collect it …… think the staff are on damage claim commission. Luckily I had my own car hire excess policy.

  2. This was really useful as we are planning a 12 day holiday by car around the Peloponnese in June. Any tips would be really appreciated.

    • Hi Barbara,
      The Peloponnese is the perfect road trip destination – I hope you have a great time there!
      I’ve got a couple of further blog posts that might be of interest, which are:
      Peloponnese Blog Posts
      Peloponnese Road Trip
      I personally found the castles of Methoni and Koroni to be highlights.
      The Temple at Bassae is also off the beaten track but very impressive.
      And of course the beaches – Founikounda is my favourite!


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