After our 5 hour bus journey, we arrived at the coastal town of Stoupa, where we stayed for 5 days. Sox used to go on holiday here when he was younger and even worked here for a few months, when he was 19. He’s often spoken about Stoupa and his eyes always light up when he does, so I was really excited to experience this special place.
It’s right next door to the place, Kalamata – as in Kalamata olives (my absolute faves.) Honestly, I could eat a whole bowl in one sitting. My best.
I’m telling you this because, Stoupa is surrounded by mountainous terrain and olive trees. There are no white buildings with blue shutters, but more low-rise modern buildings with red roofs.
It’s wild and remote and has the most incredible beaches, with pale beach sand – something that isn’t that common in Greece. Pebble beaches, yes. Sandy beaches, no.We walked to a restaurant on the beach, where we met Dimitri. He owns the restaurant and also has accommodation – Dimitri’s Rooms, which are a few meters from the beach. They are incredibly basic, but I can’t explain how lovely it actually was (my photo does it no justice at all, I’m afraid.) It was the energy and the Mediterranean feel to the basic room that made me feel like yet again I was in a movie. The room was large with air conditioning, a small flat screen TV and a queen size bed. A kitchenette was on the side with a second room with 2 single beds (great for a family) and a bathroom with kickass shower pressure.
Step out onto the balcony to this view…
… a perfect spot for morning coffees and thick, creamy Greek yoghurt…
We actually had a few lunches on our balcony – a welcome break from the sunshine. We walked to the local supermarket and got our favourite type of basic picnic lunch, which we kept in our fridge.
I wasn’t kidding when I said we needed some relief from the sun. We even took the sheet off our bed to create a sun shield.
Layer a slice of cold meat, a slice of Swiss cheese, a dollop of cream cheese and salami and roll it up. You’ll thank me later.
Cut open the tomatoes, sprinkle sea salt to bring out the juices and devour… The tomatoes are the very best!After lunch, it was back to the beach!
The water is so blue – an ombre of turquoise, cobalt and deep petrol blue. It’s also so clear that it’s like swimming in a pool and you can see your full body even out in the deeper ocean. Oh and the water is warm, but every now and then you get an icy current. There is a stream of fresh water that runs down into the ocean and creates the cold patches, which is strangely refreshing.
We found our spot on the beach, hired 2 deck chairs and an umbrella, ordered waters and Freddo Cappuccinos (some of the best we had the entire trip) and settled down for the long days of bronzing ourselves.
Fresh fruit platters (always refreshing after salty swims)…
Beach massage? Yes please!
When the sun was too hot, we grabbed a Lilo and swam out. Sometimes we even took our iced coffees with us, until one day mine got salt water in it. I hadn’t realised, took a huge sip and coughed and spluttered salty coffee out. Sox found this hilarious. Me? Not so much.
We might have gone a little crazy in the GoPro photos…
Different day, different lilo.
We had a few days on our own before our nephews, John (Yianni) and his fiancé, Amvrosia and George (Yiorgo) arrived.
We hired a peddle boat and peddled out to explore… When we got too hot, we jumped into the ocean.This gives you an idea how clear the water is.
We discovered a cave and decided to peddle inside… It looks a lot smaller in this photo than it actually was.
We all decided to jump into the water and swim around. It was such an adventure, but I did check repeatedly: “There aren’t any sharks, right? Right?“Sunset was pretty spectacular and only happened after 20h30…
It was even better in the water…
Wearing our Maaji swimwear…
After a refreshing shower to get rid of the salt and sand, we’d either head out on date night (when it was just the 2 of us) or with the gang. The town at night has a certain charm… Yellow light washes over the cobbled/tarred streets, the stone buildings and you’re spoilt for choice with open-til-late stores, restaurants and ice cream shops.
Told you I love my olives. I love a restaurant that isn’t shy of putting loads of olives in a salad. Sox made me take a photo of the olive pip evidence.
Feta stuffed in zucchini, rolled up in bacon. Must try this at home.
George and I…
I bought this cute off the shoulder dress from Zando – buy yours here.
I couldn’t believe I found Rooibos vanilla tea in Greece… in a bar! Haha! I’m not a big Rooibos fan but this vanilla blonde really enjoyed the vanilla one, and I’ve even bought some here at home.
This was the most underwhelming meal of the entire trip. It sounded so delicious – stuffed zucchini – but it came in a lemony sauce that I just wasn’t expecting and gave the whole meal a different taste. If it had come in a tomato based, napolitana sauce it would have been so good. I was just impressed with the size of the zucchinis and how they even got them stuffed – I couldn’t find the seam.
Warm evenings were perfect for chilled local wine, complete with condensation on the glass and glasses of water.
On our last day we ordered crepes. The menu said chocolate sauce and it made me instantly think of the synthetic sticky sauce we would pour over ice cream, as a kid – remember that? I avoided it and went with the standard cinnamon, sugar and lemon crepe.
Sox ordered a chocolate sauce and banana crepe. It arrived and I immediately saw the synthetic sauce drizzled over… UNTIL he cut it open and out came half a jar of warm, gooey Nutella. I kicked myself.He definitely won in the crepe department. Here was my sad looking crepe – it was delicious though…Oh and while we’re on the subject of food… One morning, we walked to the towns bakery. It’s a family run business and Sox told me that they make the best cheese pies (a Greek standard for breakfast) and Bougatsa (a custard pie.)
When I started taking photos, the bakers were completely intrigued. I don’t think many people have come in to take photos – they just come for the fresh bread, pastries and coffee. Suddenly, they were showing me all their offerings and asking me to take photos of them too.
After the mini photo shoot, Sox and I ordered a Freddo cappuccino each and a freshly baked cheese pie and Bougatsa to share. They had both just come out of the oven so they were still warm.
The cheese pie has feta in it, so it’s not melted, but it’s warm and crumbly and delicious!
Our favourite, was the Bougatsa. Bit into warm, flaky pastry dusted in icing sugar with a creamy custard centre – heavenly. Tim Noakes, look away!I was very sad to leave Stoupa… We headed back to Athens where I had the last dinner with the whole family. I left Greece on my own. Sox stayed behind for an extra 11 days to sort out things with his Dad’s Will and Estate 🙁
It’s always hard to leave, but we had the BEST Honeymoon/Family visit trip! It was hard to believe that in 3 and a half weeks we had explored London, Switzerland and Greece, had so many “pinch me” moments and made memories to last a lifetime!
Thank you for reading every post, for joining me on our travels and for all the heart warming comments!
I’ve heard some whisperings: “Oh no! What are we going to read now?”
The great thing with holiday’s is they bring a rush of inspiration and I’m excited to get back into my regular blogging schedule + there’s an exciting competition coming soon!