Hidden on the southern tip of mainland Greece is the stunning resort of Stoupa; a traditional fishing village that simply oozes personality and charm.
This picturesque destination is perfect for couples and families looking for a relaxing break or for volunteers who need a little rest and recuperation after all their hard work. In Stoupa you can while away the days lazing in the sun while listening to the Mediterranean Sea washing over the golden shores.
I have visited Stoupa almost every year since I was a child, after my father accidentally stumbled across it during his architecture degree; back then it was nothing more than a harbour, taverna and ‘Supermarket Katrina,’ rather than the bustling little resort it is today.
Over the years Stoupa has slowly developed into a traveller’s paradise while gracefully maintaining all of its original character. The two exquisite beaches remain untouched and are within a five minute walk of most apartments in the village. What’s more, Stoupa only has one hotel, favouring small apartments and studios over the ghastly sights of ten-storey hotels.
This isn’t a holiday destination that’s well suited to revellers, and indeed the only reason that a bar stays open late in Stoupa is if the locals’ chess game drags on, but for any nocturnal activities, there are 14 mouth-watering restaurants lining the seafront, the perfect number for the usual two-week stay.
Okay, so I’ve told you about the place, but now I think it’s time for me to let you in on a little secret - hidden in the far corner of Stoupa’s beach are a few heavenly coves with warm, shallow water. These idyllic hideaways are rarely visited by tourists and will give you a wonderful taste of true peace.
If, unlike me, you fancy some light exercise then why not try out the local pedalos which are available for hire along the beautiful beaches. They offer a great way to see some of the village’s irresistible charms from a distance and will leave you feeling just a little proud of yourself for making the effort to “do something” instead of just laying on the beach all day.
So, if you’re looking for a week of seclusion in a coastal paradise then Stoupa is just what you’re looking for; not only will you have the opportunity to explore the beautiful coastline, relax in the dazzling summer sun and swim in the crystal clear ocean but you’ll also come face to face with a traditional Greek community that has changed little since the first days of settlement all those years ago.
Stoupa offers travellers a unique insight into the Greek lifestyle, in fact, into the enigmatic culture itself, and how could anyone resist that?