An island that can take pride in its history, that can gloat over its traditional settlement, that provides the best beaches of the Argosaronic Gulf, that has the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the French Riviera, Spetses is an island that has deservingly earned a place among the most fashionable islands in Greece.
Less than two hours away from Athens, Spetses is a popular weekend destination. Visitors come from Greece and abroad, particularly during September, when the Armata festival is celebrated, with the extravagant revival of the 1822 naval battle. The Canons of the Revolution are still standing, reminding us of the battles given by the people in 1821. Old mansions are preserved in the traditional settlement, houses of rich captains, with wooden window shutters, painted ceilings, and yards with pebbled floors and blooming bougainvillea.
You can visit the Museum of Bouboulina, a 300 year old mansion that belonged to the one and only female admiral in world history. Right next door stands another great mansion; a neoclassical stone house that belonged to the benefactor of Spetses, Sotirios Anargyros. A trademark of the island is the elegant, prestigious and newly renovated Poseidonio Hotel. Any tour of the island should include the Museum of Spetses housed in the mansion of Xatzigianni Mexi’s, where one can see Bouboulina’s bones and heirlooms of the Revolution.
No cars are allowed! This makes for a peaceful environment and enjoyable, romantic rides in a horse and carriage. Following the path along the shore, visitors can enjoy the waters of the well organized beach, or take a motorbike, taxi or sea taxi to beaches further away, such as little Ligoneri, the busy Vrello, or Zogeria, with its crystal-turquoise waters.
In the Old Port, we can walk by the famous Spetses boat yards, and near the lighthouse stands the Church of Panagia of Armata, by Barbatsi’s statue and the canons of the revolution. A wonderful day-cruise to the legendary Bekiri’s Cave and to the Agia Paraskevi and Agia Anargyron Beaches, is recommended.
How to get there:
By vehicle: travel to Kosta, on the Ermioni peninsula, where there is a ferry boat connection, as well as sea taxis, to Spetses. You can catch the bus for Argolida prefecture from the National Bus Station situated in Kifissos, along the national road.
By boat: from Piraeus port, Hellenic Seaways’ high-speed boats will get you there in about two hours.
Where to stay:
Staying at the Economou Mansion, built in 1851, is, in itself, an unforgettable experience; the master house has traditional, high ceilings and is a protected National Treasure. The Orloff Resort , another historical mansion built in 1865, is discreetly decorated, with high quality service. Nissia is a group of deluxe apartments, while the Yachting Club Inn is more modern and almost touches the sea. Finally, theArmata hotel is smaller and decorated in a more traditional island style.
Where to eat:
There is plenty of fresh fish on the island to choose from; try “Hatzis”, “Exedra”, “Koskinas”, “Patralis” and “Tarsanas”.