Greece is a colorful land: there is the white of the houses of Santorini, the blue sea, the green olive trees and Mediterranean vegetation, which expands to meet the sea, pink and red of the sunset, yellow of sun.
It’s a place full of life, both during day and night. It’s a country restaurant in a colorful alley, the magic of the Parthenon, the hospitality of its inhabitants, the wreck of Zakynthos, it’s the scent of the woods.
Greece is an exciting land of a unique beauty that has so much to offer. Among the Ionian archipelago, the islands of the Cyclades, the Dodecanese archipelago, the island of Crete, Athens, Thessaloniki, Mount Athos, you may return to Greece for the umpteenth time and still have places to discover.
Where to stay in Greece?
For this time we remain in the peninsula, in the south-central, not far from Corinth, in a place far away from mass tourism. Arrived in Corinth we move away from the city and its traffic and we enter a large pine forest until we reach a remote place, the farmhouse Lakazeza. Around us only the green of the forest, the song of the wind, the blue sky and the blue sea. Lakazeza is a place of serenity, where you can live the journey in contact with nature, in a carbon-neutral holiday. Marta and Luca, the owners, are indeed aware of the importance of a sustainable and eco-friendly tourism. They seek, together with us guests, to minimize the ecological footprint thanks to careful management of waste and resources, thanks to the production of energy from renewable sources and through organic and local food.
We interviewed Marta and Luca who told us a little more about their truly spectacular corner of Greece.
1) How did you arrive to this corner of paradise in Greece?
“Lakazeza” is the place where is located our eco-farm. The term “Laka Zeza” is the combination of the Greek word “laka”, which means valley, glen, clearing, and the Albanian word “Zeza” which means dark, in this case, rich in organic material. “Lakazeza” is a clearing surrounded by pine trees, overlooking the Gulf of Corinth, for centuries cultivated with olive trees and wheat.
The discoverers of “Lakazeza” were Sandro and Laura Malusardi, an Italian couple who in the early 70 has explored Greece far and wide, falling in love with its nature and its people. Sandro and Laura have arrived at “Lakazeza” from the sea, on an excursion to the islands Alkionides, they then tried to reach by land and after many adventures they found the clearing.
They fell in love with the place and they decided to return. With the years they have bought small portions of land, and centuries-old olive trees, which were divided between several families, up to acquire the entire clearing and the totality of the olive trees. They then decided to leave Italy and move to this special place. As true pioneers, they built the buildings, not connected to the electricity and water network and a far cry from the photovoltaic times.
Marta came here on vacation the first time when she was 15 years, in 1987, along with hew parents. She’s always been in love with the place. And she always thought she would build her own family here. Time has passed and Marta has traveled around the world, explored the whole of Greece and worked in beautiful places as marine biologist, from the Maldives to the Caribbean, the Pacific, the Mediterranean, keeping intact the “Lakazeza” dream in the heart. In early 2008, Marta and Luca have come for the first time along with “Lakazeza” and also Luca fell in love.
Luca sailed the seas of the world on racing boats, but has been struck by this corner of the Mediterranean, so ancient and preserved. Moreover the time was ripe, because Sandro and Laura had decided to return to Italy. Thus, in the space of a year, they have made the change of ownership and management. Once in Lakazeza Marta and Luca wanted to preserve the spirit and spaces. They intervened on facilities improvements and renovations, redoing roofs, floors and bathrooms, but keeping intact the discreet appearance of whitewashed buildings in the clearing. They brought into the clearing technology of photovoltaics and water management. Marta and Luca have led to Lakazeza also their passion for the sea, sailing and outdoor sports. In 2010 Alessandro arrived in Lakazeza who grows up in harmony with the natural environment.
2) How did your adventure in hospitality start ?
Before coming to live in Lakazeza, Marta and Luca made another life. Luca was racing and ran a company selling and refitting of boats in Liguria. Marta worked as cetologist and as sailing instructor. Life was so different, but both were already used to manage a crew and guests in the sea. Switch to the management of the guests on the mainland was therefore a natural step. The aspect of the hospitality they like best is sharing their passions with the guests.
3) What is the itinerary that you recommended most to those who comes to you?
It’s really difficult to choose an itinerary or an excursiond. We offer our guests both activities related to the sea (sea kayaking, sailing trips, dolphin wathcing) that MTB excursions. Surely those who come in summer should not miss the opportunity to sea kayaking. In a few minutes you can reach isolated coves with rocks and sand very white, otherwise unreachable.
Marta organizes, in collaboration with the Research Institute Gaia Onlus Association, different outputs for monitoring the dolphin. In this area there is one of the highest concentrations of dolphins in the Mediterranean.
With Nordic Walking you can explore the coast, to reach other bays and coves, or climb Mount Gerania, protected area of Natura 2000. We invite our guests to make excursions in MTB especially in spring and autumn.
Beyond the natural aspects we must not forget those cultural! Lakazeza is located on a promontory that man has cultivated for millennia. This is testified by ancient olive groves, interspersed with the forest, and the archaeological remains of the Templio Era, 3000 years old, on the end of the promontory.
A few kilometers away there are Argos, Mycenae, Epidaurus and Athens …! Staying on the headland and on the slopes of Mount Gerania area you can visit several Byzantine churches and monasteries.
Here you can forget the frenetic rhythms of the city and rely on those of nature, you can rediscover the taste of organic vegetables, you can meet new friends from all over the world, no schedule to follow, no forced activity, but many possibilities. After the organic breakfast you can make quiet walks in the woods, swim in the clear waters, discovering small bays and secluded beaches, explore the coast by canoe, dolphin watching, discover the seabed by snorkeling. Recalling that Athens is only an hour and a half trip, along with many other archaeological sites nearby.
Greece is this and more, it’s a return to the core values of life, it’s the discovery of nature, it’s freedom.