Journey – Stemnitsa – Traditional village in Greek countryside

440 440 Velvet

Last weekend, we visited the heart of the Peloponnese and in particular, a traditional village called Stemnitsa in the Arcadia region. It is built on a rough rocky mountainous terrain at an elevation of 1080m. The view as we entered the village was breathtaking; a meandering complex of approximately 500 stone masonry houses stretching across hilly cliffs.

A view across the village of Stemnitsa in the Pelloponese, Greece.
Looking at Stemnitsa

As we wandered around the streets of the village, we came across a number of spring fountains with fresh, clean drinkable water. Midst the “center-line” of the village was a channel with plenty of water running downhill. And I kept on thinking how lucky can someone be to live so close to clean running water like that, or enjoy a nice relaxing evening on a patio and being able to hear the running water! Simply precious.

A small canal with fresh running water through the village of Stemnitsa.
One of the many little canals with fresh running water.
View of housing in a rural village of Stemnitsa in Greece
Inside Stemnitsa.

Clearly, this village was once a very lively and rich one. Although, some houses are in ruins, at present, the vast majority of the houses have been renovated. Some of them are very well kept summer residences and a few have been converted to small hotels and guest houses. The odd square in the mid of the village, with its main church and clock tower, is still the gathering hotspot of locals and tourists alike.

Partial view of the village of Stemnitsa from the village's square.
The square.
An old stone clock tower in the square of the village Stemnitsa.
The clock tower noting the altitude of +1080m from sea level.
The side facade of a Greek Orthodox Church at the village of Stemnitsa.
The village square with the church – the typical hangout spot of the village.
Two house facades made of stone along the street.
From the main street.
Stone houses and stone paved alleys all over this village.
A bicycle in front of a traditional stone house.
Directors chairs and table set up literally on the street outside a traditional stone house.
Thinking out of the box: Enjoying the outdoors.
Stone paved step alley through the village of Stemnitsa.
View of a window from inside a traditional house with thick walls and wooden finishes.
A picture of a wooden door with a traditional hand door knock.
Capture of a door.
Detail of a hand door knock on a traditional old wooden door.
A typical traditional stone house with a shop on the ground level.
Local produce like pasta and jams sold in little, cute shops like this one.
A traditional old stone house and stone paved alley in Stemnitsa.

Among the village homes, there is a public school for gold-and-silversmiths. The entrance door to this school is a great display of craftmanship. And the door to any building is one of its key features that I always take note of. A door can spark one’s imagination about what is behind it and as such, this beautifully crafted door has a lot to say about the work that is being carried out in that school.

The School of gold-and-silversmiths
School of gold-and-silversmiths
An old stone chapel and the school of goldsmiths in the background.
An old stone chapel and the school of goldsmiths in the background.
Detail of the entrance door to the school of silversmiths in Stemnitsa
Detail of an entrance door at the silversmiths’ and goldsmiths school

Most people just travel through this village. But after having spent a weekend there, it became obvious that the pace is a lot slower. The people are friendly and hospitable with an easy going attitude. Consequently, it felt great to unwind, catch our breaths, take in the views, fill our lungs with fresh air and enjoy a relaxing weekend, just a couple of hours away from Athens.

Of course, we owe special thanks to our kind host and friend for his hospitality.

Velvet signature

P.S. All images by author.

Our website uses cookies, in order to provide a better user experience. Review and define your Privacy Preferences or agree to our use of cookies.