Stoupa (Greek: Στούπα) is a village on the coast of the southern Peloponnese peninsula in Greece. It is part of the municipal unit of West Mani, in Messenia and the historic region of Mani Peninsula.
Once a sleepy little town, in the past few years more and more tourists have discovered Stoupa. There are about 20 restaurants lining the road along the beach, a few small hotels, and many rental houses. Besides Greek tourists, who come mostly in August, British and German tourists are the most frequent visitors. There are a few Dutch, Italian, and French tourists. There is only one flight a week into Kalamata, the local airport, from Holland. Aegean Airlines has begun to operate flights from Athens to Kalamata, and has recently added a Thessaloniki-Kalamata flight. In the summer season, many charter carriers operate flights to Kalamata bringing package tours.
Stoupa is located in an area of Greece called Outer Mani. Approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from Stoupa is the village of Agios Nikolaos (also known by its slavic name Selinitsa), a working fishing village which also has a number of restaurants and guest houses but which attracts fewer tourists than Stoupa. Above Agios Nikolaos is the lovely small village called Riglia. Other places in the Mani region include Itylo (32 kilometres / 20 miles), Limeni (36 kilometres / 22 miles) and Areopoli (40 kilometres / 25 miles). Below Areopoli are the caves of Pirgos Dirou.
Kalogria, a beach just outside Stoupa
There are many beaches and coves around the area including Stoupa Beach, which is the most popular and has a good beginner's snorkeling site at the end of the beach. Over the hill is Kalogria Beach, with its turquoise waters and rich marine life, volleyball net, and a handful of bars and restaurants. One of the features of Kalogria beach is the upswelling of an underground freshwater spring about 100 metres (330 ft) out from the shore. It can be seen as a disturbance on the surface of the sea.
In the past, the Mani area was known for its fierce inhabitants, who lived in isolated fortified towers (some of which are still present today, either in ruins or having been restored). The towers offered protection in an area where feuding was commonplace.
Stoupa also has literary history. It is where the Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis met Alexis Zorbas, on whom he based aspects of the main character in the novel Zorba the Greek. There is a bust of Nikos Kazantzakis on the cliff overlooking Kalogria beach, at the corner of the main road and the beach approach. Stoupa is just 7 km away from the historic area of Kardamili, which is mentioned in work by Homer.
There are approximately four buses a day which call through Stoupa, running from Kalamata to the southern tip of the peninsula. The bus stops by the Bakery on the main road at the top of Stoupa and takes around five minutes to reach Agios Nikolaos.
Visitors can book coach trips to the ancient ruins of Olympia and the Corinth Canal. Another possibility is car rental, which allows travellers to take in the sights of places such as Naplio, Mycenae, Epidauvros, and Monemvasia on the Peloponnese.
Municipality Website (in Greek)
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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