GREECE – OFF THE BEATEN TRACK | LOCAL HIDEAWAYS
Stunning beaches, rugged mountains, century old fortresses, Byzantine treasures, overwhelming nature, waterfalls and tiny rivers all to yourself. The Peloponnese has it all and is really easy to reach from Athens. It is a peninsula southwest of the capital. What a find!
In the mountains at Mystras, the Mazarakis family found their escape from the bustle and heat in Athens. A place to unwind and get in touch with nature. They built their country house here, at first only for friends and relatives, but gradually it expanded into a hotel with 11 rooms – sleeping two to six guests – in other words, accessible to everyone. This is a place for nature lovers and those who seek quietude.
There are endless hiking trails through gorges. In spring, through the fields exploding with wild flowers. In summer, the small rivers and waterfalls provides a welcome refreshment. Water is available from the many natural springs. And of course there is Mystras, which is rather more touristic, but very much worth a visit. This abandoned Byzantine ghost town was beautifully restored and is now a Unesco World Heritage site. It features some beautiful frescoes, a monastery and several churches. At the end of the day, when most of the tourists have left, you will have this dwelling almost entirely to yourself.
Suffice it to say there’s enough to do around here to enjoy yourself a couple of days. But this Hideaway itself is also great for spending a couple of days. For starters, the staff are super friendly and attentive. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, beautifully furnished and the wonderful COCOMAT beds – a Greek brand of organic beds – will help you to sleep like a baby. At night, hand over your list of breakfast requirements at the reception and the next day, at the agreed time, a picnic basket filled with tasty delicacies is delivered to your room. In the garden, the small swimming pool with lounge beds and a hammock are perfect for a relaxing day in the sun!
Mountain bikes are available for the sportier guests who wish to discover the surrounding mountains. And after a day of exploring or lazing about, the onsite wine bar that serves wines from all over Greece is the icing on the cake. I look back nostalgically on sipping a lovely Greek wine while enjoying the beautiful setting and the sweeping view of the valley as dusk fell. Priceless and forever etched in my memory! (And you now know where Ms Local Hideaways has her priorities ☺)
This Hideaway doesn’t have a restaurant, but in the vicinity are two nice taverns. Also at walking distance, is Chromata, a fine dining restaurant with a great kitchen and a breathtaking view of the surroundings.
In short, I understand very well why this is the happy place of the Mazaraki family….
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