Stoupa is a seaside village of Messinian Mani, part to the Municipality of West Mani, and is located 45 km southeast of Kalamata. It is built at the foot of Taygetos and today it is the most developed tourist village in the prefecture of Messinia.
The landscape diversity is impressive. The imposing Taygetos, the traditional architecture of Mani, the hidden caves, the traditional villages with their cobbled streets and the unique sandy beaches with their turquoise waters compose a wonderful setting that will enchant every single visitor.
The first name of the village was Potamos (=river), from the river that crossed it. It was later renamed Stoupa. There are two versions of the origin of the current name of the village. The first mentions that the name is due to the Arabic word Stoupa, which means beach or shore.
According to the second version, the name comes from the Greek word “stoupia”, i.e. the flax fibers, which the locals collected and put in the sea to make them soft, so that they could be processed more easily. Stoupa is of historical importance for the Peloponnese, as Nikos Kazantzakis and Alexis Zorbas lived there for some time (basically on Kalogria beach); it was there that Kazantzakis was inspired to write the book “Zorba the Greek”.
The name “Taygetos”, according to Pausanias, has mythological roots. It comes from Taygeti, one of the Atlantis, who, full of shame from her unintentional mating with Zeus, ended her life by falling in a mountain cliff. During the Byzantine period it was also called Pentadaktylos, due to the five peaks of the central complex.
One of the most famous beaches in the area is Kalogria; a sandy beach with clear turquoise waters, umbrellas and sunbeds. You can savour your coffee or your snack in one of the beach bars or do some water sports enjoying the view of the sunset.
Foneas beach is a superb pebble beach, with its crystal blue-green waters and a surrounding lush natural landscape with rocks creating an extraordinary atmosphere. What distinguishes the beach is the huge rock located in the middle of the small bay, which is ideal for adventurous swimmers and endless dives.
Delfinia beach is one of the famous beaches of West Mani. It is located between Kardamili and Stoupa, in a protected bay, with clear and turquoise waters, which are calm due to its natural location. Olives, pines and cypresses surround Delfinia beach, where the mountain meets the sea with its steep cliffs and pebbles. Just above the beach there is an organised camping, and the beach is accessed via a dirt road. The car goes until 50 meters before the beach and then you continue on foot.
Stoupa beach is the second busiest beach in West Mani after Kalogria. It is located almost next to it, right in front of the main road of the settlement of Stoupa. Stoupa beach is also called the “Miami” of Mani, with turquoise waters, golden fine sand, countless umbrellas and sunbeds and people who come and go non-stop. Despite the crowds, the waters of Stoupa beach are always crystal clear due to underground rivers that start from Taygetos and flow here underwater. Stoupa beach is ideal for families and people who avoid isolation. There are many bars, restaurants, cafes, gift shops and supermarkets by the sea.