Smyros Resort, Poulithra (Leonidio)
The love that Panayotis Smyros has for his land and the nature around it is evident in the small piece of paradise that he built, the Smyros Resort, set among stone-laden paths and lush greenery not far from the sea. These stone-built villas that draw on traditional architecture, complete with medieval arches, marble balconies, cellars and a variety of intricate details take you into a glorious past, marrying it with four-star comforts, unparalleled Greek hospitality and a welcome touch of luxury.
The resort lies in the seaside village of Poulithra with its picturesque port, just 7 kilometers from the picturesque town of Leonidio. It offers the perfect escape from the stresses of civilization, particularly for those seeking refuge in the beauty of the green mountains, blue sea and Mediterranean comforts. While it's right next to the sea, there's also a pool and pool bar to enjoy the fabulous weather and sunsets of Lakonia. Also noteworthy are the gardens surrounding the property, ideal for strolling and admiring the nature all around.
Eating right from the farm
One of the most important aspects of Smyros Resort is that it has a complete traditional farm with no less than 14 sections that provides local delicacies to owner's family and the Smyros restaurant. To begin with the restaurant offers a rich buffet with Greek specialties such as yoghurt, feta cheese, omelets, freshly squeezed orange juice and other favorites, as well as continental flavors such as cheese, ham and marmalades.
For lunch or dinner, prepare yourself for some rare mouthwatering local dishes from the farm such as free-range rooster, pheasant, rabbit and guinea fowl. The owner explains how the animals are on a special healthy diet, as practiced for centuries here, avoiding unnatural foods and additives. Leonidio is also known for its unique eggplant variety, while the whole region is famous for its olive oil, oranges, and other fruits and vegetables. You'll undoubtedly see these ingredients in your food. Smyros proudly has its own olive groves that produce excellent olive oil, and guests can even participate in the harvest from November to February.
In addition to olive-picking, interest guests can also enjoy a hands-on experience kneading bread or cooking some fine Mediterranean dishes. Lastly, the property's Greek wines, ouzo and cocktails (especially at the pool bar) form the perfect accompaniment to these flavors.
Family friendliness and attention to detail
What makes this impressive resort special is also the friendly casual feel and natural warmth of the managing family (Dad Panayotis and daughter Maria will leave a positive impression on you). A variety of room types – single, double and triple – complement the country furniture, stone-built walls, balconies with heavenly views, modern bathrooms, personal care products, central AC, minibar, flat-screen satellite TV and hairdryer to create a great stay.
While the property on the inside is enchanting and great for cozy evenings – winter or summer – you're going to love the divine gardens by the sea and walk to the little port of Poulithra. And then there are all the nature activities and excursions that await…
Hike through heaven
Forest, seaside, mountains, blue skies – this area has it all, and you can hike to your heart's content. The folks at Smyros can even arrange a guide to take you around the areas sites, through some of the greatest Lakonian countryside. A car ride to the nearby high mountain village of Kosmas is also recommended, as you find yourself in a completely different environment (snowy winters and fresh summers) under 45 minutes way. Kosmas is also good for buying local products and embarking on hiking adventures.
The greater area of Leonidio offers official mountain climbing terrain, a diving club, and of course lots of swimming to be enjoyed in this gorgeous corner of the Peloponnese. This is one part of Greece with lots of secrets that's relatively safe from mass tourism and that you definitely won't regret visiting.