Villa To Kyma

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Places to go

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Places to go

Stoupa and its surrounding villages of Kardamyli and Agios Nikolaos have plenty to offer for a relaxed holiday. If you would like to explore some more than there are so many possibilities that you will surely need more than one holiday! You can visit Messene, Kalamata, Olympia and Monemvasia from here. You can take a day trip to the Inner Mani. Or spend another day visiting Gytheio, Sparta and Mystras. Where ever you go, you will be sure to find some wonderful villages and scenery.

Places to go

Stoupa and its surrounding villages of Kardamyli and Agios Nikolaos have plenty to offer for a relaxed holiday. If you would like to explore some more than there are so many possibilities that you will surely need more than one holiday! You can visit Messene, Kalamata, Olympia and Monemvasia from here. You can take a day trip to the Inner Mani. Or spend another day visiting Gytheio, Sparta and Mystras. Where ever you go, you will be sure to find some wonderful villages and scenery.

Stoupa

Stoupa is only 500 meters from Villa To Kyma. It is a lively village with a lot of possibilities for an unforgettable holiday. At the boulevard, that is closed for traffic in summer, you will find a lot of restaurants. There are also a couple of bars and discos. Still, Stoupa is not a very busy touristic town. It has held on to its original charm and a lot of that is to do with the fact that quite a few houses have been built with natural stone. Stoupa has three golden beaches: Of course there is the long sandy beach by the boulevard. A little to the north you will find Kalogria Beach. Surrounded by trees, a few taverna's and a lounge bar this cosy little beach is by far our favourite. Its gradual slope also makes it safe for children. The writer Níkos Kazantzakis (1883-1957) lived here and based his character Zorba the Greek on the local foreman of a mine.

Stoupa boulevard

Kardamyli

Kardamyli is 6 kms to the north of Stoupa. The village looks very picturesque, especially when you enter it from the direction of Stoupa and you see all the red roof tops. The village has a nice square and there are also a couple of restaurants and tavernas by the sea. Most shops are in the main street. Kardamyli used to be the hiding place of the Troupakis clan, who were nicknamed Mourtzinos or 'bulldog', because of their tenacity in battle. You can still climb up the towers they built to protect themselves. Kardamyli is the starting point of some of the finest walks in the area.

Agios Nikolaos

This sea-side village (2-3 km's from the villa) is said to have the most photogenic harbour in the Mani. In the mornings you can visit the small fish market there. Agios Nikolaos has a very relaxed atmosphere. Its small boulevard is closed for traffic in summer. If you go a little further along the coast you will come to Pantazi. It has a small beach with taverna. Agios Dimitrios has a small harbour and its own Mani-tower.

Proastio

Proastio

Proastio is a lovely little village to stroll through. Life has not changed all that much for the people that live here. As soon as you drive into the village you will see the water basins where the women used to collect water and do their laundry. You can park your car here or continue up a little on the main street and park your car at the church. This is just one of Proastio's many churches. The village was surrounded by a ring of churches (some say 365!) as protection against pirates. The idea being that a pirate would be afraid to do anything wrong after just having passed a church.

Foot paths going to Foneas Beach and to Kalamitsi are signposted on the main road.

Places to go near Stoupa

Gytheio

It’s nice to stop in Gytheio for a stroll, a coffee or a meal. The village is very scenic, especially when seen from the harbour.

Gytheio has a Roman amphitheatre and the city was important in that time for its purple-red dye and rose antique marble. The purple dye was called porphyra, Tyrian purple or royal purple and came from the gland of a sea snail found here. It was extremely expensive, worth its weight in silver and a status symbol. Only imperial silks were coloured and there were laws dictating who could wear it. The silks were only worn by the imperial family, as they were ‘born in the purple’.

For those of you who are interested in Greek mythology it’s nice to know that Helen from Troy and Paris spent their first night together on the little island of Cranea, just in front of Gytheio. They had just eloped from Sparta where queen Helen was married to Menelaos of Sparta. The next day they set off for Troy.

If you follow the boulevard and continue to the west you will see an enormous shipwreck on the beach. Very photogenic!

Mystras

Mystras & Sparta

This old Byzantine city is close to Sparta and we really recommend it. This uninhabited city itself is wonderful and overlooks the complete valley. The trip there will lead you through some beautiful and sometimes spectacular landscapes. Especially if you drive in a big circle. You will pass Gytheio when you go to Mystras. Returning home you can take the northern route through the mountain pass and on to Kalamata.

While you’re there you can also visit the small but pretty archeological museum of Sparta

Day trip to inner Mani. Areopoli

Day trip to Inner Mani

You can spend a day exploring the south of the Mani peninsula. This trip takes you to Limeni, Areopoli, Pirgos Dirou, Gerolimenas. Vathia, Porto Kagio and Cape Tenaron. You probably won’t have time to visit all these places but they are all nice to visit. The landscape is very different from Stoupa’s lush and green surroundings. The route will take you to old towns, spectacular blue water, caves, tower houses, swim breaks and perfect lunch spots.

Areopoli

When driving south from Stoupa you will pass Areopoli, capital of the Mani and named after Ares, the god of war. Areopoli may not look like much from the main road but it is definitely worth a visit. The town is lively and its many tower houses have been lovingly restored.

Every year on the 17th of March the town celebrates that it was here that the Greek war of independence started in 1821. From all over Greece people wearing traditional costume come to celebrate this day.

Pirgos Dirou caves

Pirgos Dirou

The Pirgos Dirou caves are amongst the most spectacular in Greece.

What we particularly like about this cave is that the guide doesn’t tell you about ‘the statue of liberty’ etc. etc. but that you get to see the cave in serene quiet. In a boat that is pushed like a gondola. Most of us know about stalagmites and stalactites, so now you can just absorb the surroundings.

Another added bonus on a hot summer’s day is that it is lovely and cool inside! You may even want to bring a sweater. Something else to bring is your swim gear and maybe a picknick. When you leave the cave (inside the park), just about where the heat hits you, you will see a small pebble beach with perfect blue water calling your name.

Vathia

Gerolimenas

A small but beautiful harbour. Great place for lunch.

Vathia

Vathia is the now largely uninhabited village that you see on the postcards of the Inner Mani. The village is surrounded by barren mountains, looks out over the sea and is made up almost entirely of tower houses. Very dramatic and great to do some exploring. The Pirgos Dirou caves are amongst the most spectacular in Greece. You can visit them as part of a day trip to Inner Mani.

Porto Kagio

If you are driving all the way south to Cape Tenaron then Porto Kagio is also a great place to stop for a meal or a drink. Its bay is a beautiful natural harbor with a dozen houses and a few tavernas. To the right of the harbor is a small footpath. It will take you to the little church at the entrance of the bay. The view all around with nothing but the sea really makes you feel like you have reached the end of the world.

Day trip inner Mani

Cape Tenaron

Now the real end of the world, or rather Europe, is at Cape Tenaron. There is a small sanctuary and death oracle of Poseidon. Continue on towards the cape and you will pass some old settlements and even an old mosaic. From there you can follow the footpath to the lighthouse.

East Coast

After you have been to Cape Tenaron you will have to decide how to drive back to Stoupa again. The shortest route is to simply return the way you came. If you’re up for more you can drive home following the east coast of the Inner Mani peninsula. It will take longer but it is spectacularly different from the west coast. More greenery, steep cliffs, small winding roads and lots of small villages hanging just above the sea.