Sandra Cherk Arts
Our home in Stoupa
People often ask me about where my inspiration for paintings of Greece come from. Here are a few photos of our home away from home, and our village. Stoupa is located in the Peleponese on the Mani Peninsula, about an hour south of Kalamata, between the coast and mountains.
We first visited Stoupa in 1979, before it was popular, then moved to Athens 10 years later (married, and with a one-year old daughter). My husband, Richard, taught English for 3 years, and we passed the time relishing the country. We surprised ourselves by buying our cool and cozy house while on a summer trip in 2003. Our Greek house is on a quiet street on the edge of the village, just a few minutes to beaches and businesses in one direction, and through olive groves, to the coastal bike path in the other. In our part of the Mani, there are astounding vistas- mountains and gorges, the sea and coast. The further south you go, the drier and rockier it becomes, but we love it all.
Stoupa is a tourist destination- the majority of visitors are from other EU countries, attracted to the relaxed atmosphere, beautiful beaches, wonderful weather and spectacular beauty. Our neighbors grow all their own vegetables in the fertile soil, and own chickens, rabbits, sheep, and acres of olives. With tourism, they are able to make a hard earned living.
We especially like spending time there off-season when it is quieter, and cool enough to hike. Springs are green and full of wildflowers, autumns bring the olive harvest, and winters are clear and cold. There are also villages, and many churches to explore. Greece is a country we feel very comfortable in- we love the terrain, food, people, music and water! My husband and I love to share our knowledge of the area... let us know if you have questions about visiting the Mani!