Two years ago we searched the coastline of Arcadia to find out the best beaches. This year we visited the area again to check if these beaches remain the best. In our search we discover two more wonderful beaches.
Arcadia is a region in Peloponnese, which is most commonly known for its picturesque mountain villages and as a very popular destination for winter holidays. However with a very long coastal line, along Myrtoan sea, which starts near Nafplio in the north and ends near Monemvasia in the south, it has many to offer as a summer destination as well. Here, in our opinion, are five beaches which stand out in the area, as well as in the whole Peloponnese.
Viles (Βίλες) : One of the first beaches you meet as you enter Arcadia from the direction of Nafplio is Viles beach (7 km from the village of Kiveri). You will understand it from the dozens of cars that parked in the summer months at this point. You follow a path, descend an iron staircase and you find yourself at one of the most impressive beaches in the area. The white pebbles on the shore and in the sea, the deep green waters, and the impressive caves compose a unique setting. In recent years the beach has become very popular, so arrive early to enjoy the unique scenery.
Lileika / Karakatsanis or Karanti (Λιλέικα / Καρακατσάνης ή Καραντί) : Lileika beach is located 26 km from Nafplio, on your way to Paralio Astros. There are two beaches here under the same name, the second one, also known as Karakatsanis or Karanti, due to the tavern-beach bar, which operates here, has easy access from the main road. You park your car at the parking areas alongside the main road and you walk 200 meters down to the beach. Only a small part of the beach is organized with umbrellas and sunbeds. The beach and the seabed are sandy. The waters are shallow and ideal for kids. The highlight are two sea caves with small sandy beaches inside, on the north end of the beach.
Kryoneri (Κρυονέρι) : Kryoneri beach is 22 km south of Paralio Astros and very popular among locals. It is a long beach with crystal clear waters and white-grey pebbles on the shore. The waters are quite deep and the seabed rocky. The north part of the beach is well organized with two beach bars, a tavern and other facilities. The rest of the beach retains its natural beauty and is ideal for diving and snorkeling. The view of the beach as you drive along the main road is just wonderful.
Tserfos / Ammos tou Moula (Τσέρφος / Άμμος του Μουλά) : This small magic beach on your way from Paralio Astros to Leonidio, a few years before was a common secret among the locals. Now the secret has been revealed and the visitors are increasing by the day. A few meters after the main beach of Tserfos, leave your car along the road, walk down a small path among the olive and carob trees and this small piece of paradise is revealed in front of you. This sandy beach with warm crystal turquoise waters is like it has been transfer here from Cyclades. No facilities here, just the natural shadow of the trees on the shore. Discover this wonderful place but respect its natural beauty in order to remain unspoiled.
Tigani (Τηγάνι) : Tigani is a well known beach for tourists staying to the nearby Tyros. It is a very well organized beach with sea sports, facilities and taverns. The waters are clear, not very deep but the seabed is quite rocky. Just next to the beach, with access only by the sea, you could find “Lover’s Cave”, a big sea cave with a small beach inside. You can reach it either by a rented canoe or paddle boat, or by swimming (if you are a good swimmer). Extra tip : If you feel hungry, drive 500 meters more and visit Akroyiali (Ακρογιάλι) restaurant on Tyros beach, probably one of the best places to eat in the whole region, for fresh fish, meat and delicious local dishes.
Theopafto (Θεόπαυτο) : Just before you reach Leonidio you see on the street a small sign that leads you to the beautiful and unknown to most visitors beach of Theopafto. The beach has an impressive sandy beach and crystal clear waters. Although there is no organization on the beach, it still has a shower and a cabin to change clothes. The only downside (if you do not like the waves) is that it is not very well protected from the winds and almost always has waves.
Fokianos (Φωκιανός) : What separates the beautiful town of Leonidio from one of the best beaches in Greece is an hour and 34 km of not so easy mountain driving. But it is certainly worth the effort. This breathtaking beach is located in a protected bay ringed by cliffs. The clear blue waters gives you the impression that they are drinkable, while the big white pebbles on the shore and on the seabed emphasize the impression of perfect blue. The place is ideal for snorkeling, with lots of sea creatures, fishes and sea shells to examine. There are only two spots with some umbrellas and sunbeds, and also a tavern. The place was unspoiled a few years before but now it has been discovered and the fear of destroying its authenticity with heavier touristic structures becomes eminent year by year. Discover this earthly paradise before its too late.
And as an epilogue, a magic moment that took place on our way to Paralio Astros, while writing this article :
[The photo at the top is from an unnamed beach on the road to Paralio Astros.]