Enjoy coffee and dessert in Lasta, one of the most picturesque villages of Arcadia

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With the guide Lambros Papalambros from Vitina Trekking, Travel headed towards the village of Lasta.

“It’s a tiny village where only one family lives permanently”, he told us while in the car going through the fir forest to Lasta.

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Photo: Amalia Kovaiou

On the way to the village, we stopped briefly at a spring to cool off, and after gazing at the view, we continued.

Indeed, in no time, we had already reached Lasta. This was the starting point of our hiking route. We left the car a little further down and walked to the village’s main square.

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Photo: Amalia Kovaiou

The stone church and the view

Built in 1876, the large stone church of Agios Georgios dominates the large paved square, which enjoys fantastic views. A perennial plane tree next to the old school creates the backdrop.

An attempt has been made to convert the school into a guest house as it has fallen out of use. Here in this square every summer, on 15 August, the village fair is held, which is also a good opportunity for all those who hail from here to gather.

The self-managed café

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A different, self-managed café in the village of Lasta/ Photo: Amalia Kovaiou

We have been in the village for some time and have not seen a human being, only a dog that keeps us company. As we prepare for the hike, Lambros leads us to the café next to the church.

It is a different café, though, as it is self-managed. There is no barista, and anyone who wants a coffee takes on that role.

“Anyone can come here and make their own coffee, using the supplies and utensils on site. Their only obligation is to leave it as they found it, clean and tidy”.

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Photo: Amalia Kovaiou

The walls are decorated with photos from the village’s past, woven fabrics and a few portraits. An old radio cassette player, backgammon, cards and various other board games allow me to imagine what the café must be like in the summer months.

Next to the kitchen counter is a piggy bank with a sign that reads “cashier”.

Just above it, another small sign encourages us to leave something as a donation, “here you leave any financial contribution for the maintenance of our historic café”.

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Photo: Amalia Kovaiou

We make our coffee and sit on the colourful wooden chairs. There are so many things on the walls that I notice something new that piques my interest every so often.

We drink our coffee, take a loukoumi (Turkish delight) each, tidy up and are ready to leave.

Lasta’s coffee shop was a pleasant surprise.

Alexia Amvrazi is a columnist for Travel

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