During our 2008 holiday to Koroni we travelled over to "the other side". We stopped for a drink in Kardimili, the first port of call when you drop back down to the coast. It was very hot and not a lot of shade to be found. All the places that were open were on the main road, so not that peaceful. We ended up at To Aloni whose customers seemed to consist of elderly Greeks on their mobile phones!
I had a wander round and noticed a few tourist shops, plenty of English writing in evidence here. There were a few tourists about but I suspect most of them were on the beach, some distance away.
It is quite an up-market little place, catering more for the individual traveller rather than packages. To be honest, because we didn't have a meal here, and didn't find anywhere likely to serve us one during the day, we didn't get a real feeling for this place.
About 10km. north of Stoupa is Kardimili, a lovely seaside village with a good, long pebble beach a kilometre or so away. At the far end of this is a campsite. There are some pretty, old properties here and inland are the ruins of the even older village.
There are plenty of places to stay though many may be block-booked by holiday companies.
There is also a good choice of eateries and a couple of good supermarkets, (cheaper than Stoupa). Most people speak "American English" having lived in the States at some time or other.
There is a pretty little harbour also.
Had a look at Kardimili during our 2008 holiday to Koroni. Lovely old buildings but unfortunately we couldn't find anywhere to have a drink except on the busy road that travels right through the village. Most of the eating establishments didn't open until the evening. Good job we weren't planning on having lunch here!
One other thing that put me off was when I asked a couple of old boys outside the ancient butchers if I could take their photo, I was told no. Ah, well....
Take the road south from Ag. Nikolaos and before long you come to the lovely beach near Ag. Dimitrios, known as Pantazi.
In the early days it was very quiet but I expect it's pretty popular now.
We would build a fire here in the evenings and grill chops over it. Delicious, washed down with retsina.
On a sadder note, we heard of peoples' vehicles being broken into and items stolen. There were gypsies camping in the shell of a building (I think Albanians when there was a mass exodus from their troubled country.)
Returned here in 2008 and didn't like what we saw. Much busier with car parking, motorhomes, beach bar and sunbeds and brollies. The beach appeared much stonier than in the 90's.
Behind the beach there was much development with new houses being built up the surrounding hillsides.
It's quite possible to walk the 2km. to Ag. Nick. but it's easier to drive!
It's a picturesque fishing boat harbour village with a few waterside tavernas. There is no beach but it's a pleasant place to while away an hour or two.
Even the resident ducks are an amusing activity to watch!!
There is accommodation available and a few shops and P.O.
RETURNED HERE IN MAY 2008 AND THE PLACE WAS THROBBING. MUCH BUSIER, MORE DEVELOPMENT AND BUILDING WORK TAKING PLACE ALL AROUND. IT STILL REMAINS A PICTURESQUE LITTLE PLACE AND I'M ONLY SORRY WE DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO STOP AND HAVE A DRINK.
I BELIEVE THERE IS NOW A BEACH BUS THAT RUNS FROM STOUPA TO AG. NIK AND AG. DIMITRIOS BEACH AS WELL AS A PROPER FOOTPATH ALONG THE COAST.
You can't stay at Stoupa without visiting the Inner Mani. The contrasting scenery on the two different coastlines is very apparent and you will not find more interesting and varied scenery elsewhere. It has a strange and mysterious quality to it with many ancient churches and the old villages with their tower houses, built to defend themselves from the other feuding villages.
A lot of these houses are now being restored.
For more info and pictures, take a look at my East Mani page.
When driving from Stoupa in the direction of Kalamata you will pass this lovely little cove, fairly close to Stoupa. It was an excellent stopping off place for a quick swim when en-route northwards. It was not a sandy beach, mainly stony so it was adviseable to wear shoes in the water.
It was a short walk down.
We usually had this place to ourselves in the mornings.
If you visit Kalamata, make sure you spend some time in the Railway Park. It is the disused port railway facilities with an extensive display of disused engines and carriages.
It stretches from the real railway station to wards the port. You can clambour over the exhibits and have a good poke about.
It's a cool oasis in the middle of a city, being well shaded by the trees and there is a cafe and a children's play area.
Even by Greek standards, the beaches around Stoupa are superb.
The sea is fantastically clear, and the mountain backdrop makes them even more spectacular.
Unfortunately, for this reason they are very popular, not least with the locals, and thus overcrowded for most of the day in summer.