Stoupa is a newly built little village at the south of Peloponnese. The picturesque sandy beaches, the small rivers, the caves, the beautiful harbors and the hill with the castle are some of the reasons more and more tourists visit every year this magical place.
The name of the village was originally “Potamos” which means river in Greek and is related with the river of the area. The name finally changed to “Stoupa”, a word coherent with sails, because of the sails the locals put into water in order to make them softer.
This tourist destination is equipped with a variety of restaurants, taverns and café bars around the area. Because of the astonishing beauty of this area many people tend to call it the fairy of Messinian Bay.
Stoupa belongs to the wider area of Mani, which is a place full of traditional fortified towers. These towers were made for the protection of the residents of Mani, who are known to be as one of the strongest and harshest people in the history of Greece. You can easily recognize these features from the moment you will come across the wild beauty of this area and the remaining traditional settlements.
Lefktra is a nearby village from where the first families headed towards Stoupa and created the modern settlement. The Ancient Lefktra was located between Lefktra and Stoupa and has a long history. The ancient city was destroyed many times and occupied by the Francs and the Venetians.
In the most recent years, this little place became very popular because of the great Greek Author Nikos Kazantzakis. This is the place where Nikos Kazantzakis was inspired to write his famous novel “Zorbas the Greek” about his friend Alexis Zorbas. In 1917-1918 the two of them worked in the lignite mines of Prastova near the area. Today the mines are deserted however the entrance to the mines can be still seen from a hillside. After Zorbas death, Nikos Kazantzakis wrote his internationally known work “Zorbas the Greek”. Many Europeans arrive at this area holding this book which intrigued them so much to visit this little village. Some of them even bought their own houses in this settlement. In the area there is a bust of Nikos Kazantzakis which seems to gaze at Kalogria beach.
Stoupa beach is the closest and one of the most popular in this area. Due to the amazing sand and water of the beach many people often call it the Miami of Mani. It is an organized beach ideal for those who are not attracted by deserted beaches. There are a lot of restaurants, café bars, supermarkets and gift shops. Don’t miss the beautiful sunset here!
Chalikoura beach is also one of the beaches nearby Stoupa which is ideal for those who seek a peaceful sandy beach.
Less than 1Km towards the north you will find the most famous beach in the area, Kalogria beach. It is an organized beach with beautiful turquoise water. Here there are enough restaurants and cafes as well as volleyball net and a camping. This beautiful seashore is mainly famous as the place where Nikos Kazantzakis was inspired to write his famous novel “Zorbas the Greek”.
If you like the idea of swimming in crystal clear water and in the same time enjoy the natural beauty of a beach surrounded by pines, cypresses and olive trees, then you shouldn’t forget to visit Delfinia beach. Delfinia means dolphins in Greek and is a peaceful, unorganized beach ideal for swimming, sunbathing and water sports. For the most experienced and curious swimmers there is in the northern part of this beach the “Polioras cave”, a cave in which you will see stalactites and also a small beach hidden inside. There is an organized camping and also a small canteen near the beach.
About 4Km away from Stoupa there is a hidden treasure, the Foneas beach. It is a pebble unorganized beach with turquoise water. The main feature of this beach is the big rock in the middle of the beach which divides it in two parts creating in the same time natural shadow. Some people also like diving from the rock into the water.
Places to visit
About 4Km south from Stoupa there is the fishing village Agios Nikolaos. The place is also called by many locals Selinitsa. The main activity here is of course fishing but the visitor can also enjoy walking around the beautiful settlement or swimming in the small picturesque sandy beach of the village. You can spend a few days here if you want as there are some rooms to let in the area, taste the fresh fish and maybe pay a visit in the small village above Agios Nikolaos called “Riglia”.
From Stoupa you can also visit the historical area of Kardamili, which is only 7 km away.
Following the seaside road towards the south part of Peloponnese you will encounter picturesque villages and the wild beauty of this area. After about 11km you will find the little harbor Trachila. Near the area there is a cave called Katafigi, which offers an amazing swimming opportunity. Many nudists choose this place for swimming also.