First a thanks to all the people, on here, that gave us tips and advice that made our holiday special.
We travelled with Thomas Cook from Birmingham on June 11 for two weeks. We stayed in the Alexandra Apartments which were ideal for us. (I will include a review of the apartments at the end as there is no review available on TA) We are in our early seventies and late forties. We were last in Stoupa 15 years ago.
No queue at check in then very short queue at efficient security check with pleasant staff. Took off twenty minutes late and arrived three hours ten minutes later. Soon deplaned and quickly through entry and to collect cases. Ours were very early off, not our usual luck. Efficient reps and soon on the coach and off down the new motorway to Stoupa. Great views on the way and arrived one hour ten minutes later. A bit of a frustration as it was nearly another hour before we were dropped off.
Soon installed in the two bedroom apartment and out reacquainting ourselves with the village. Very little seems to have changed and just as nice as we remembered it. Pleased to see this is the busiest place we have been in Greece for the last few years hope everyone is doing well. There are more sunbeds and tavernas and some new buildings but all away from the front and all done in keeping. We felt like we had never been away.
We just made simple breakfasts and ate out all the time. We used the spring water all the time using the tap on the corner opposite the Stoupa Hotel.
We ate in lots of tavernas including Pefco, Yesterday and today, Panorama, Liastres, Gialos, 5Brothers, Ammos, Gyro Gyro Oli, Dionysos and the new one To Potamaki, which opened a couple of days after we arrived.( I will do a review for each). As others have said we did not have a bad meal or fail to have a friendly welcome in Stoupa. The only one we avoided was Melissa as it was the only one with a chucker in. For overall experience; view, food, staff etc. our favourite was Liastres. Early on it was Panorama but when we went back a second time they did not seem to have much food! At least 4 of our first choices were not available. Tried to go to Halikoura but the menu outside didn’t seem to list any vegetarian options. Favourite meals where meatballs in red sauce (5Brothers), Eggplant special (Panorama), Stuffed chicken (Liastres) and Briam (Liastres)
The beach is still one of the best and still has some “free” space for people to put down a towel although there were simple sunbeds(no shades) at the at the back of these areas which people were using but don’t know if they have to be paid for. We preferred the south, harbour end as it was a bit quieter and was easy to get into the sea with no stones. Fine grit but still good for sand castles (age 73 acting age 8). Most beds seemed to be free if drink etc. was purchased from the associated café. The only exception’s we could see was those in front of the Kastro Hotel and Stoupa Taverna. We used the beds associated with Gyro Gyro Oli, the one with the kids play ground behind. Wi-Fi was good even down to the sea. They also did gyros at €2 or large pizza and two drinks; beer, wine or coke for €10. At these prices we soon stopped bothering to make rolls etc.
Half way through our holiday the spring that is near the Mango Bar started to back up so a group of men cut a narrow path down the beach to the sea. Within a couple of hours this became a metre wide stream and fast flowing, great for the kids to play in.
I always thought that the cold springs only appeared in the sea at Kalogria beach but there is one in the town beach sea. It rises about 30-40 metres off the shore just opposite the 5 Brothers tavern. It is very easy to swim to and worth the effort. The first thing you notice is the cold and if you look below you can see the sea bed is churned up. It is surrounded by a ring of sea weed and lots of fish.
It got busier after the kids broke up from school and even busier at the weekends. A Greek woman I spoke to at length (excellent English) spent the summer out of Athens in Stoupa (Mr. no doubt hard at work in hot Athens. Guess my gender!) said well that’s the end of the peace and quiet but all I could hear were happy children enjoying themselves.
Occasionally used the supermarket on the front, the one with the parrot outside, mostly to get a newspaper. They had already arrived by 10.30 each morning by the time we went. This place is like the Tardis it is much bigger inside than just the food bit. To the left, beside the Mango Bar, is an area of hats and shoes and to the right down in the basement loads of beach stuff including those useful pegs to hold your towel on the sun bed in the howling gale that you get on Stoupa beach, NOT. Up a level is an upmarket clothes and jewellery area. Thank goodness (for me) there are only a couple of other shops along the front
We also used Katarina’s, the large supermarket on the main road. Quite hard to find things but a great range. Don’t forget to look upstairs as there are lots of useful things like wheel barrows and cement mixers but hard to get in your hand luggage.
We hired a car from Napoleon for 3 days which we booked in resort. A great company with lovely clean cars and very helpful.
On our first day we drove to Areopoli. On the drive from Stoupa to Areopoli we saw 2 cars a van (which we let pass) a snake and a herd of goats and sheep with a man and a few dogs.
We then continued on to Diros Caves. Stop at the ticket office and then drive down to park near the entrance. Entry fee was €13 but only €8 for two of us oldies. No waiting just put on a life jacket and down to the boat. Very extensive and dramatic but no commentary which would have been more informative.
On the way back stopped at Neo Itilo (?) beach for a meal and drinks at the Black Pirate (?). Very nice meal especially fish. Lots of parking.
Next day we visited Kardamili to see the restored old town. Easy to miss the road on the right especially as a van was parked across the entrance. Lots of parking once you get on the road/track. It is just a short walk up to the open air museum. Entrance €2 (what no concession!) and then you can wander round at will. Set off up the tower and disappointed to get to the top and not able to get onto the roof. There are toilets (wait till you are in your seventies!) but not signed. They are hidden to the left in the big open hall.
Down on to the beach and a drink in a bar. Very quiet with only about two people on the extensive stone beach.
Back through Stoupa and on to Ag Nikolaos. Ignore any parking signs and head along the front where there is lots of space. Had a wander round and then had a great meal in the Vezuvios tavern which sticks out into the sea with great views. We followed signs to the light house to find it’s really just a lamp on a pole!
The third day we went towards Kalamata until we got to Stavropigi where we missed the left turning down to Kitries and the coast. We turned around then saw a massive sign going that way but nothing coming from the Stoupa direction. The turning is on the outskirts of the village so if you get to the main part of the village you’ve missed it. The road is narrow and twisty and it is a long way down but so worth it. The views are spectacular and Kitries is a tiny picturesque village with a small harbour. Got the man up from a taverna (it was about 10.30) and had a drink. We then continued along the coast stopping for a swim off the many beaches and coves. It is apparently very busy at weekends as it is popular with locals. Once we reached the main road we continued on a short way towards Kalamata and stopped at Verga (?) beach and a taverna (Cosi?) for a meal. They had homemade lemonade with ginger which we all enjoyed, very refreshing. Great waitress and nice food. Home along the main road and return the car to Napoleon.
We spent the last few days on the beach as it started to get really hot.
We had a bit of difficulty getting our pick up time but the excellent Doufexis travel agent kindly sorted it for us (10.00 – 10.15 for Birmingham)
Return coach was late as it had gotten stuck in Ag.Nikolaos. The coach did not take the motorway back but along the front of Kalamata and being Sunday was very busy. Very easy check in and no one else going through security. With hindsight we should have waited before going through as there was not much room with the Manchester flight people waiting to board. Did clear and then plenty of room so I assume the Birmingham plane was smaller. Out to the plane on time to see that the Manchester plane had still not taken off. The stewardess explained that there was some mix up with people on our plane and the Manchester flight having the same surname and the wrong luggage had to be removed from Manchester plane. It took off very late and we soon followed on time and 3 hours 35 min. later touched down.
Not too bad getting through customs although everyone seemed to have to go through the auto checking ports and some people seemed to struggle and a man shouting “it’s not rocket science” didn’t help.
We had a fantastic holiday and can understand why so many people return each year.
We stayed in a two bedroom apartment (room 2) and I believe there is a total of 2 two bedroom and 2 one bedroom apartments.
They are situated a couple of buildings back from the road, down an alleyway, opposite the Lefkatron Hotel. They are surrounded by olive trees and the only noise is the racket of the birds in the trees and the occasional cock crowing. He starts off OK in the morning but when it gets hot he sounds like he can hardly be bothered. It did though seem to be mosquito central so make sure you have protection. We had no problem with ants etc. but then we always put things like biscuits in food bags.
The owner’s family live below and Ella (?) is very friendly and helpful.
Our accommodation was very spacious and airy and although there is aircon in every room we did not use it or need it. In case you are worried the flat is also fully centrally heated with a radiator in every room (I’m not kidding). There are two balconies (one off the kitchen/diner) with table and chairs and a sun umbrella.
The main bedroom has single beds (and one of the balconies) and the other a double bed. Plenty of storage room and loads of coat hangers.
There is a free safe, accessed with a key.
The kitchen is very well equipped with a large fridge freezer, a full size oven and four plate hob, toaster, kettle and all the pots and pans, glasses, mugs etc. that you could possibly need. All looked in clean and in good condition although we only made a simple breakfast and ate out all the time.
We timed the walk from door to the beach at under 5 minutes.
The bathroom has an excellent and easy to use shower, over a small bath. There is a shower curtain so no flooded floor but as usual is hand held shower head. Hot water never looked like running out
Only one of us had brought any technology and although there is Wi-Fi it only seemed to work with the phone and not the iPad.
Just outside our rooms are a few reading books to exchange.
The rooms are cleaned and linen etc. changed on Sundays and Wednesdays.
More than happy to answer any questions.