Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Kyparissi ~ One of Greece's Most Beautiful Villages


So picturesque is the village of Kyparissi that it has been included in the coffee table book, "The Most Beautiful Villages of Greece". . . yet, it might be one of the least visited destinations in Greece.
 
Parilia - from main the dock


Its relative inaccessibility is to blame (or thank) for the lack of tourists - for the time being. Unless you have your own private yacht or water taxi, the only way to get there is over a road one travel guide describes as 'one of the most frightening roads in Greece'.

A narrow route leads to this Greek treasure in the Peloponnese

The narrow winding road (with a few guardrails here and there) clinging to the face of the Parnonas Mountain range is currently the only land route into the village. Work that was started 20 years ago on another - reportedly less harrowing route, along the coast from the north -- has an estimated completion date of sometime later this year, 2016.

"Poppy" parked in the municipal lot across from the church

Thus in addition to being beautiful, the village remains refreshingly untainted by hordes of tourists.  There are just enough hotels and restaurants to make it welcoming but not enough to make it overrun with visitors.

Kyparissi from the road that leads to it

Our first spring road trip from our Stone House on the Hill in the Greek Peloponnese two weeks ago was to Kyparissi, (kip-ah-ree-see), about 3.5 hours drive to our east. Kyparissi is Greek for Cyprus and we were told the town's named for those tall, stately Mediterranean Cyprus trees so prevalent throughout  the Peloponnese. For you history buffs, it's the ancient sanctuary of Asclepius and was once called Kyfanta. Today's Kyparissi is made up of three villages, Vrissi, is the highest and you squeeze between its whitewashed buildings on the road leading to the two that share its crescent-shaped beachfront, Parilia, on the south and Metropolis to the north.

Greek breakfast buffet - most were homemade taste treats

The Scout had done his research and found us a family-owned 10-room hotel Paraliako, not far from the beach in Parilia. For 45-euros a night or about $50 US (as it is still low season) we had a room with a large deck and view of the water and it came with a huge buffet breakfast for two. Greek breakfast offerings range from fresh tomatoes and cucumbers to in season and canned fruits, yogurt, honey, jam, pastries, pies (filled with spinach and feta), hard-boiled eggs and cereals usually round out the choices.

Beach linking Pailia with Metropotis


Our hotel was located footsteps from a corner café that drew both coffee and wine drinkers, To Kafe tis Maritsela and by walking around the corner and just a bit further, we were at the beach.  We dined our first night at Trocantero, a restaurant, just across the street from the beach; a place owned and operated by Panagiotis "Bill" Volis who returned to this, his ancestral village, from Montréal where he's lived much of his life.

Another beach - this between Cavo Kortia and town

On the morning after we arrived, we set out early to avoid the ever-increasing spring-time heat in Greece and walked to the far end of the bay where crews are laying a final layer of asphalt on the new road.  It was on the walk we visited Cavo Kortia, a hotel/restaurant combination that drew us back for dinner that night and may be the place we stay next time we visit (although it would be difficult not to stay with Stella Vasiliou at her Paraliako again). 

View from Cavo Kortia restaurant toward town

Cavo Kortia, about a half hour walk from the center of town or a short 2-kilometer drive offers large, posh, spacious rooms - double the size we had in town - and this time of year the rate was 40-euro a night.  The owner was out working on a minor construction project when we stopped to inquire about the restaurant hours.  He insisted we sit down, enjoy the view and he served us coffee (which came with a plate of cookies) - and of course at no charge.  Yes, this is still unspoiled Greece!

The new road from Leonidion will pass Cavo  Kortia


Like so many areas of the Peloponnese the surrounding hillsides are laced with hiking trails. In recent years rock climbing has been drawing more and more outdoor sport enthusiasts to the town and a few years ago it celebrated its first Climbing Festival. Cliffs like the ones pictured below call out to climbers.
 
 
There are organized walking tours available - but we were quite able to cover a lot of ground without anyone showing us which way to walk.  A local resident, James Foot, an accomplished water color artist, often conducts week-long watercolor workshops. Those 'shoppers-off-all-things' among you might want to find another destination as the town has only a 'super market' that most would call a small grocery store and an even smaller store, a pantapoleon, which is Greek for a small store that sells everything -- everything but touristy kitsch and souvenirs, that is!
 
Two nights were just about right for the length of the stay, this time of year.  If we'd wanted some beach time, we'd have needed another night.
 
If you go:
Don't mix up Kyparissi in Laconia on the eastern 'finger' of the Peloponnese, with the town of Kyparrisia, which is on the west coast of the western most finger.
Accommodations:
Paraliako, operated by Stella and Voula Vasiliou, http://www.kyparissi.com, info@kyparissi.com or Cavo Kortia, www.cavokortia.gr, info@cavokortia.gr

Again thanks for joining us on the road in Greece. We've got more tales so hope you'll be back with us as we explore more Greek villages. Thanks for all the comments you've been leaving for us and safe travels to you!
 
 
This week we are linking with these fine bloggers:
 

22 comments:

  1. This looks to be the most magical place. Your photos depict an aura of peace and tranquility ... it looks and feels quaint ... somewhere you really do just want to sit and watch the world go by either on a beautiful sweep of bay or at a cafe eating home made goodies - which look so fresh and local.

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    1. It is a place you can get away from it all - but I should have noted that Wi-Fi is everywhere! Thanks for the comment Jo.

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  2. Beautiful shots of place. Very scenic.

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    1. Thanks for visiting Rajesh - always appreciate it!

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  3. You're killing me, here! Tears in my eyes. Feeling sorry for myself but joyful for you at the same time! Exactly the kind of place that Ken and I sought out as we drove around the Pel.

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    1. We often say when we are out and about that you and Ken would love this or that place. Each village really is magical in its own way. While Kyparissi is beautiful there are -- as you known -- hundreds of picturesque villages dotting this peninsula! (The welcome mat is out).

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  4. Kyparissi looks like my type of holiday destination, if I could manage the drive in along those cliff faces. It looks like a truly lovely little corner of Greece. Thank you so much for taking us there. Happy travels.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the tour Jill! And I suspect you could handle that drive - in fact being the driver might be better than being the passenger as you are further from the drop off edge! ;-)

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  5. I like those narrow winding mountain roads because they usually lead to someplace beautiful and not over crowded, like this.

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    1. Gaelyn, this would remind you of parts of AZ like up by Jerome. I do think you would love this.

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  6. Ι'm in awe of your breathtaking photos. You make me lonfing for the Mani!!! I'm so happy you feel perfectly at home in Greece!
    Love, Olympia

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    1. Olympia, we both have said we expected it would be easy to feel 'at home' here; what we didn't expect was how 'at home' it would really feel! Hugs to you - come visit someday! Love Jackie

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  7. What a beautiful town. I've never been there but it is nice to see some unspoilt places. Very few are left that way. I hope you will be able to join me for my new link party called Sweet Inspiration and link up your great posts. It runs Friday to Tuesday.

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    1. Mary I would love to join a linkup called 'Sweet Inspiration' - thanks so much for the invitation!

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  8. How wonderful to be able to drive to such wonderful destination. I love beaches that are backed by mountains and having to drive a scary road in to get to them only makes the experience more appealing in my book. A Greek breakfast looks similar to a Turkish one!

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    1. They are very much alike Jan and I adore them - such a delightful mix of tastes and textures. We found the breakfasts in Cairo to be much the same way - there we had a lot of hummus as well and pita breads. I was as stuffed as the pita after each of those culinary journeys to start our day! Thanks for the visit.

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  9. What a gorgeous place - the vistas, the food....you have put it in danger of being "discovered" , I'm afraid ;) You certainly made ME want to go!

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  10. Such a beautiful to escape to getsome peace and quiet

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  11. Well, it takes some determination and (incredible!) bravery to drive that road but what a reward - such a beautiful village. Love it's off-the-beaten-path feel and you two must have had a feeling of having it almost to yourselves. I have the feeling that if we wait to visit the village until after the "new" road is built the place will be very crowded. Looks like we better hurry up and plan a trip to your part of the continent!

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  12. That breakfast spread and that beach view look incredible. Looks like the scary drive was well worth it.

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  13. Isn't it a dream that there are still unspoilt nooks and crannies in Greece away from the islands!
    And often as you say - miss the peak summer season and they are deserted.
    What a pleasure - As a non-shopper this is my kind of place :)

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  14. Well captured the natural beauty of the villages in Greece. It is quite interesting and I like the way you presented the idea. We have essay writing service USA to get best writing tips.

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