The southern Peloponnese is where you can discover the real Greece. Xirokambi, a lively village with impressive stone houses in the valley of Sparta, is one of its jewels. It lies close to Ancient Sparta and the Byzantine castle of Mystras in the southern Peloponnese, Greece. The majestic peaks of Mount Taygetos rise high above the valley, rich in olive and orange groves. Xirokambi makes a great starting point for walks via country roads and old cobbled paths into the mountains, through traditional villages and old olive groves.
A shady hot spot in the Peloponnese
The village square, surrounded by shops, cafes and restaurants, is the local hot spot. We watch its hustle and bustle, while we drink our coffee under the shade of the plane trees. Old men drinking ouzo; some of them have lived half their life in Canada, and have returned to enjoy the warmer climate in their place of birth. People wait for the bus to Sparta, while farmers pass by with their pickup or tractor, loaded with sacks of olives and oranges. Just off the square is the smallest market we have ever seen: four stalls with vegetables, plants and fresh fish.
Culinary hot spot in the valley of Sparta
Xirokambi, a village with 1500 inhabitants, has surprisingly many restaurants, all serving great food and self-brewed wine. Written menus are non-existent. Instead the hospitable restaurant owners visit our table and tell us what the kitchen offers today. Eat tasty fried cod with a daring garlic sauce (skordaliá), or zucchini cakes and perfect home made pork sausages. Oranges grow in abundance, and people like to blend them with meat. Sausage with orange is one of the local specialties. Read more in our culinary guide.
Xirokambi has plenty of great outdoor activities to offer. The village is perfect for visits to the renowned city of Sparta and the Byzantine castle of Mystras. The village itself features the oldest true stone arch bridge in Europe, a 1000 year old olive tree and easy access to the Taygetos via the beautiful Anakolo gorge. Xirokambi is a great starting point for walks up the mountain slopes. Or you can go cycling or walking in the green valley of Sparta. Combine your stay with an outdoor photography workshop or learn how ancient pebble mosaics are made. Read more