Heading from Agios Andreas in the opposite direction, the road leads towards Kalamata and the small villages here seemed more interesting.
At first, we thought that one of our favorite beaches had become a casualty of the new road. We used to go to Kalamaki beach all the time, because it was good for snorkelling, and I had a special affection for it because Emily got her GCSE results here. But we didn’t remember the name of the beach, and the first couple of times we drove down to find it, the old turnoff was nowhere to be seen.
In the end, we took the turn off towards Kalamaki and the old turnoff is just behind the new road. We drove down the steep road and recognised the small Orthodox church that we always used to go past.
Kalamaki has a small semi-circular bay with interesting rock forms, and the whole beach is pebbly, so ideal if you want to have a change from sand and sun.
On previous visits, the beach taverna has always been shut. We were surprised to find that there is now a lovely restaurant overlooking the beach called O Vraxos (The Rock). We had a meal of “house” wine and sardines, with garlicky tsatsiki, and char-grilled toast drizzled with olive oil. All this was around 16 Euros. O Vraxos has a wonderful atmosphere. There are rickety blue wooden shelves filled with drift wood and sea-farers’ paraphernalia. Also a striking wall of rocks on strings, in the form of an abacus. The restaurant has amazing views over the bay, and it was a windy day when we visited, so lots of big waves breaking against the rocks. Very atmospheric.
Somehow, we never stop at Petalidi, we always seem to be on the way to somewhere else. But it has a beautiful square at the center of town, and lots of small shops. We should definitely find time to investigate the place at a more leisurely pace.