ROUTES TO THE ARK FROM KALAMATA AIRPORT 1.5 hours 67 kilometres The journey from Kalamata airport to The Ark involves a short stretch of motorway driving followed by a more challenging trek across the Neda gorge.
- When you leave the airport, turn left towards Kalamata (right goes to Pylos).
- At the first roundabout, follow the signs to Athens / Tripoli onto the Kalamata-to-Corinth Moreas motorway (E65).
- This recently opened road is also known as the A7 because it heads north towards Athens. Remember it is a motorway and that it will not be long before you encounter a road toll. Be sure to have 2-3 euros to hand.
- After about 25 kilometres is a major junction signposted to Kyparissia / Patra / Pyrgos. This will take you onto the E55, a straight road that traverses the plain of ancient Stenyclarus on its way to the coast. You will see signs to towns with romantic names like Meligalas, ('milk and honey') but do not be tempted to turn off the E55 until you reach Kopanaki.
- You will also pass a number of petrol stations which is useful if your hire car has a near-empty fuel tank but do not expect an M&S outlet.
- The first station on your left after leaving the motorway is run by Shell and does sell some groceries (largely drinks, snacks and souvenirs) aimed at tourists disembarking from coaches to use an impressive line up of toilets.
- When you reach Kopanaki turn right and head for the main square.
- Kopanaki is the last town on your journey from Kalamata airport with shops, tavernas and cafés and, depending on the time of day (everything closes from 14:00 until 18:00), your last opportunity to pick up supplies and study our directions for crossing the Neda gorge. This takes about 45 minutes and is the final leg of your journey to the Ark in Ancient Phigaleia.
Fill up at the Shell service station
A few car hire companies operate from inside the terminal building. Others will meet you outside the terminal doors and take you to your car.