There are several ways to get from Athens Airport to Kalamata. You can hire a car, take a bus, book a private transfer, or even fly.
Traveling to Kalamata from Athens International Airport
This article explains how to get from the Athens Airport to Kalamata city. I have included approximate travel time and costs for each option, so you can decide what’s more suitable for you.
Kalamata is the second most populous city in the Peloponnese, a large region in southern Greece. It is located on the Messenian Gulf, about 270 kms (168 miles) south-west of the Athens airport.
I’m an Athenian, and I’ve been to Kalamata a few times as I like it a lot. It’s a small but lively city, and enjoys some of the best climate on the Greek mainland. As it’s built right on the coast, some locals swim year-round!
So, here are all the ways to travel to Kalamata from the Athens airport – by car, bus, private transfer or flight.
Athens Airport to Kalamata by rental car
If you are happy to drive in Greece, you can hire a car at the Athens Airport and drive to Kalamata yourself. You can then use the car to go on day trips from Kalamata to nearby places, or to do a tour of the Peloponnese.
It’s easy to pick up a rental car at the Athens airport. You can pre-book your car at Discover Cars, a platform that compares several well-known providers.
The cost of renting a car will depend on what type of car you choose, how many days you are renting it for, and what time of year you are visiting.
As a rule, the more days you rent a vehicle for, the cheaper it costs per day. You should also know that car rental costs are higher during the peak season, July and August.
Make sure to do your research and compare prices before booking, as there can be substantial differences between different providers and car models. Tip: Don’t skip the insurance!
If you don’t make any stops on the way, it will take you about 3 hours to drive from Athens airport to Kalamata on the brand new highway. Note that there are frequent toll stations – the total cost of tolls is about 14 euro for a one way trip.
You should also factor in the fuel costs. Compared to most countries in Europe, fuel in Greece is rather expensive. For medium-sized vehicles, fuel costs for a one way trip from Athens to Kalamata would be roughly around 30-35 euro.
Bus services from Athens Airport to Kalamata
If you don’t want to drive, you can get from the Greek capital to Kalamata using public transport. You will first need to take the airport bus to get to Athens Bus Station Kifisos.
From there, you will take an intercity bus, known in Greek as KTEL bus, to Kalamata. You can pre-book your tickets for the KTEL bus 2-3 weeks before your trip – more on that, later.
Take the Airport Bus X93 to Kifisos Bus Station in Athens
Once your flight lands at Athens airport, head out to the area where the airport buses depart from. There are four airport buses, marked as X93, X95, X96 and X97. You want to take bus X93, which connects the airport with the Kifisos Bus Station.
Before you board the X93 bus, you will need to buy a ticket, which costs 5.5 euro. There are vending machines right next to the bus stop, or you can buy it from the small kiosk. Cash and credit / debit card are all fine.
Once you are on the bus X93, you must validate your ticket by scanning it on one of the blue card readers. Once you’ve scanned it, a message will come up saying “Successful”. Hold on to your ticket until the end of your journey in case of an inspection.
Kifisos Station is the last stop. This bus also passes from another intercity station, where many people are likely to get off, but don’t worry – your stop is right at the end of the route. The trip can take up to 1.5 hours, depending on traffic.
Kalamata bus services – Intercity bus (KTEL)
Once you’ve arrived at the Kifisou station, you will need to find where your bus to Kalamata departs from. Make sure that you arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled departure, as the buses depart on time.
You can check bus routes and book your bus ticket from Athens to Kalamata at the official KTEL Messenias website. Tickets go on sale closer to the travel date, so you can’t book them months in advance.
You will see that there are two types of services – some of them are marked as Express. Those buses take around 2 hours 45 minutes to arrive at Kalamata bus station, whereas the normal buses take about 30 minutes longer.
Whichever service you choose, a one-way ticket costs 22.20 euro, and a return trip costs 39 euro.
A word of caution: None of these buses have toilets on-board, and the Express buses don’t make ANY stops from Athens to Kalamata. I found out the hard way, hah! The non-Express buses stop somewhere on the road, so you can have a toilet break and buy a snack or some water.
Both Athens and Kalamata stations have toilets, which in my experience are very clean. If you can leave a tip for the cleaner, it will be appreciated.
Overall, taking into account travel time and waiting time, it will take you about 5.5-6 hours in total to get to Kalamata by bus from the Athens Airport.
The KTEL bus station in Kalamata is very close to the historical center of the town, just opposite the main food market. Depending on where your hotel is, you can walk or take a local taxi ride.
Private transfer – Door to door service from Athens Airport to Kalamata
Another option is to pre-book a transfer from the Airport in Athens to Kalamata. This is a premium service, but it will take away the hassle of driving or changing buses.
The cost usually depends on the number of passengers, number of pieces of luggage, time of day, and time of year. You will be in Kalamata in about 3 hours after you’ve landed.
You can book transfers here, up to a few hours in advance of your trip: Welcome Pickups.
Your driver will meet you inside the airport, holding a cardboard with your name.
Athens to Kalamata flights
Kalamata has an international airport, which is a 15-minute drive from the city center. The airport code is KLX.
You would have thought that there would be frequent flights to Kalamata from the Athens Eleftherios Venizelos Airport. However, this is not the case. There are, in fact, rather few flights from Athens airport to Kalamata year-round.
However, during the tourist season, there are direct flights to Kalamata from certain European cities. Examples are London, Manchester, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.
If you are coming from abroad, have a look on Skyscanner and see if there’s a suitable flight from another European airport to Kalamata.
Bonus: If you plan ahead, you may end up finding some very cheap flights.
Things to do in Kalamata
And now that you know how to get to Kalamata, let’s take a quick look at what there is to do there!
Here are a few of my favorite activities in Kalamata:
- Walk around the pretty Old Town – so many photo-ops
- Climb up to the Kalamata castle – in summer, you might catch a show or performance
- Explore the various museums – my own favorite is the Museum of Traditional Greek Costumes
- Tasting the incredible Greek food – including the famous Kalamata olives
- Look around for the great street art – it’s everywhere
- Go to the beach!
Here’s a detailed guide with things to do in Kalamata Greece.
And, if you’ve rented a car, there are so many lovely places near Kalamata that you can visit!
Just to mention a few – Methoni, Koroni, Finikounda, the Byzantine site of Mystras, Mani, Ancient Olympia, Gythio, Nafplion, Ancient Mycenae, Ancient Epidaurus, and so many others. Yes, the Peloponnese is a wonderful destination!
If you are looking for a luxury experience, have a look at this article on Euphoria Retreat near Mystras. This is a premium holistic spa resort which follows the principles of Hippocratic medicine!
Also, have a look at this article with 22 beautiful places in Greece.
FAQs – Athens airport to Kalamata
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions:
How long does it take to get from Athens Airport (ATH) to Kalamata?
You can get to Kalamata from the Athens Airport in about 3 hours by car or private transfer. Using the public transportation, it will take you about 5 or 6 hours door-to-door, depending on traffic and waiting time. There are also flights from Athens to Kalamata, which take under an hour, but they are not very frequent.
How far is it from Athens Airport (ATH) to Kalamata?
The driving distance between the Athens Airport and Kalamata is about 270 kms, or 168 miles.
Is there a ferry from Athens to Kalamata?
No, there is no ferry from Athens to Kalamata. You can only go by bus, transfer, rental car, or a short flight on some days.
Is Kalamata worth a visit?
Kalamata is a lovely, vibrant coastal town with rich history, which enjoys mellow weather most of the year. If you are going to the Peloponnese peninsula, it’s definitely worth spending some time in Kalamata.
Does Kalamata have an airport?
Kalamata has an international airport (KLX). In summer, flights connect Kalamata with several cities in Europe. There are also infrequent flights from Athens.
If you are thinking to spend a few days in Athens before going to Kalamata, have a look at these other guides as well: