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|
|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.
Paraliako, operated by Stella and Voula Vasiliou, http://www.kyparissi.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or Cavo Kortia, www.cavokortia.gr, email@example.com
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!
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