I had already travelled in an anti-clockwise direction around the Peloponnese to Athens, but in my usual tradition of following instinct, I decided that the best beaches in Greece were to be found towards the South and West of the Peloponnese. It was the desire to sit on a beach that sent me back into the Peloponnese in a clockwise direction. And what an inspirational idea it was.
I picked Stoupa as as my first destination, I had mainly bypassed the Outer Mani region of the Peloponese first time around. Travelling to Stoupa from Kalamata offers some of the most exhilarating scenery and mountain roads in the Peloponnese, it was a shame that I could not stop and take in this beautiful country.
I stayed at Camping Kalogria, which sits astride a small hill separating Kalogria from Stoupa, not that one would necessarily know that there are two small towns here. The campsite was welcoming and the facilities were ok, but I did have an unfortunate incident here. I filled my fresh water tank from the nearby hydrant, only to later find that the water was dirty. I should have checked first, before filling up, but as I was drinking bottled water it wasn’t disastrous, just inconvenient.
The beach at Kalogria was my favourite, the sand being a little less coarse here. It was a pleasure to swim in the sea, where I could still see the bottom whilst hundreds of metres out.
The beach at Stoupa is larger and busier, but it is still a treat to visit. The beach front is lined with bars and restaurants, a sign that it is frequented by tourists.
On my first night here, I choose a restaurant overlooking the small bay. I seldom order starters or desserts, as I prefer to just have the main course as this usually fills me up. To my unexpected delight and consternation, the staff brought me a complimentary starter. After finishing my meal, I was brought a complimentary dessert and shot of Ouzo. I was truly touched by this generosity, as well as being as full as an egg. My tip reflected my appreciation. On my second night, I decided to use another restaurant, but only to find it full, I returned to the same one from the previous night. I experienced the same generosity, I don’t know how they are making a profit, but I could not feel any warmer to the Greeks and their generosity.
Stoupa is such a beautiful location, I could have stayed here for much longer than I actually did. It has the relaxed feel of a real holiday destination, the warm blue sea is perfect for swimming, the number of tourists (during my visit) were reasonable, it was quite and just what I needed. Apart from the generosity of the people, my overriding memory of Stoupa is the sunsets. I will leave you with some of my favourite photographs.