When people think of Greece they often think of the Greek Islands, Zante, Mykonos, Cos or Santorini for example. We visit Greece every year and stay in Stoupa, a large village on the Mani Peninsular, in the Peloponnese. If that was all Greek to you (*chortles at own sad joke*) then it might make more sense when I say it is part of mainland Greece, about three and a half hours South of Athens.
Kalamata – the nearest airport
The nearest airport is Kalamata, a city famous the world over for its olives and pure olive oil. I remember visiting a restaurant in Disney Springs (what was the Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World) and seeing Kalamata olives on the menu and getting all excited, even more excited than I already was by being in WDW in the first place!
Family Friendly Stoupa
Anyway, back to Stoupa. It’s a lovely, family friendly place. Absolutely perfect for a simple beach holiday with lots of sunshine and good food. The main beach is set around the arc of a lovely bay, the sand is soft and golden with a few pebbly areas to play with. The water is a beautiful clear blue and generally shallow immediately next to the beach so perfect for small paddlers.Unless you go in very busy season (mainly August) then the beach is relatively quiet. We often visit at Easter or October half term when it’s ‘hot, but not too hot’ and the temperatures are in the mid-twenties. The resort is relaxed and laid back and we often have most of the beach to ourselves.
Behind the beach sweeps the main beach road that is closed to cars in the busier months. Lining the bay are an abundance of tavernas and bars, more tavernas than noisy bars I am pleased to say. If you are looking for nightclubs then Stoupa is not for you. The restaurants are very reasonably priced on the whole – half a litre of wine costs just a few euro and although you might pull a face initially it definitely improves after the first couple of glasses!
Bars and Restaurants
The beachfront bars and restaurants are a perfect place to sit and watch the sunset over the bay after a fun day on the beach, with a glass of wine or an indulgent cocktail. Pretty much all of the bars and restaurants have free wi-fi too, so you can show off your favourite snaps on Facebook, or keep the kids quiet with YouTube.
Children are warmly welcomed in the tavernas in Stoupa. They are always made a fuss of, which my two enjoy. All of the restaurants feature a children’s menu, but you can also request a half plate of a dish and be charged half the price if, like mine, your children are a little more adventurous in their tastes.
Day Trips from Stoupa
For a picturesque backdrop to your beach idyll, you don’t get much more striking that the Taygetos mountain range hulking above peaceful Stoupa. Sea and mountain views – perfect! Here is an uncharacteristic stormy day, just look at that sky!
There are several interesting day trips to be taken Stoupa, exploring ancient ruins and fortresses. Our children particularly liked the Caves of Diros where you take a boat ride through stunning underground caverns. We were also struck by Ancient Messine, one of the most important excavated cities in Greece. You will be stunned by the size and scale of it.