5 reasons why the Greeks love Stupa. And not only the Greeks.
Due to the surrounding highlands, the Mani Peninsula is considered by the Greeks to be relatively wild and remote. Among the olive groves, on the coast, below the rocky peaks of the Taygetos mountain range, whose highest point (Profitis Ilias) is located at an altitude of 2407 m, Stupa is located. Surrounded by three azure bays, this city offers a relaxing break from the noise of the metropolis and gives you the opportunity to join the culture of Greece, try to find dryads and nymphs among the riot of greenery.
1. Nature inspiring creativity
“The Greatest British Travel Writer in Life” Patrick “Paddy” Fermor (1915-2011) chose the surroundings of Stupa in order to spend his rest of his life on the Mani Peninsula. The traveler traveled to many countries and described many of his adventures, but only here could find peace. Kardamyls, which are located near the Stupa, became Fermoru’s home.
And this is not in vain: medieval towers and an 18th-century church drowning in cypress trees are the best place to get to know yourself and find inspiration. Patrick Fermor described his love for this place in Mani: Travels in the South Peloponnese. So, armed with this manual, you can feel the same tender love for the Mani Peninsula, as the author did.
2. Comfortable beaches of Kalogria
A charming Kalogria beach is a 15-minute walk from Stupa. There is everything for a comfortable stay: deck chairs, umbrellas, volleyball courts, several restaurants and cafes. This is a great place if you decide to spend the whole family vacation: here you can rent a canoe and feel like a sailor conquering the Ionian Sea.
If you prefer a more secluded vacation, as close to nature as possible, then you should pay attention to the northern part of the Stupa. Here, a 10-minute walk, is Dolphin Beach. With a crescent of gray pebbles, the coastline crashes into the sea, this place is very popular with diving enthusiasts. Due to the fact that the seabed suddenly falls into the depths, this beach is not recommended for families with small children.
3. The ruins of Murcinos castle
Murcinos Castle is a whole complex of buildings of the early 18th century. It has been preserved in very good condition and is one of the most attractive tourist destinations on the Ionian coast. The church of St. Spyridon was built a little earlier, and its bell tower majestically rises above the ruins.
Here you can join the history of Greece. After all, it was in the Murcinos castle that the kleft Kolokotroniks planned an attack on Kalamata in order to liberate itself from Turkish power. After all, for a long period of time, this country was under the oppression of the Ottoman Empire, and only in 1821 did the struggle for the independence of Greece begin. And this so-called Greek revolution began precisely with the castle of Murcinos.
4. An opportunity to get closer to nature in the Viros gorge
If you are tired of basking in the silk sand of the beaches of Stupa, the surroundings of Kardamil are no longer inspiring, and you are not interested in an excursion into history, you can have a good time organizing a trip to the Viros gorge. It is ideal for an entertaining one-day adventure (the route takes 6-7 hours).
Moving inland towards the highest mountains, you can find trodden footpaths leading through rocky grassy landscapes and rural villages to lonely Byzantine churches and rural villages. The Viros gorge ends at Kardamil with a peaty plain, along which huge snow-white boulders scorched by the sun are fantastically scattered.
5. Magic Caves in Areopolis
Excursions a little further from Stupa include the cave of Diros near Areopolis, which can only be reached by boat. The view from this cave is simply breathtaking: it is huge, dotted with stalagmites and stalactites of various shapes and sizes with their teeth.
Also, not far from Aeropolis is the fortified Byzantine city of Mistras, located on a steep slope with a few charming churches that are now declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.