This is end of the Argosaronic island chain and the end of the line for the Piraeus ferry and fast-boat services. Spetses may lack the other-worldly austerity and artsy image of Hydra, but it’s much more of a holiday favourite for the Greeks. There are also more trees and wooded areas, which make Spetses a favourite for summer homes. The built-up waterfront, the Dapia, stretches out quite a distance in both directions.
The single road south winds past old mansions and eucalyptus trees, ending up in a holiday home community. The island’s single bus shuttles back and forth on this road several times a day. On the way there are open-air nightclubs abutting the sea and several new hotels. Traffic, including those pesky motorbikes that sometime make sleep difficult, is generally banned after the early evening. So at sunset you can take a leisurely and fascinating stroll eastwards, with the concrete-paved road following the winding contour of the shore, out to the Karnayo, a club that was once a boat-building shed. Better, sit in comfort in the back of an antique horse-drawn cab and be lulled into tranquillity by the rhythmic clip-clop of the horse’s hooves.
There is a good beach at Aghii Anargyri on the other end of the island, but it’s best to get there by boat unless you care to bounce up and down on a mule, which is the only means of transport inland.
Mention also must be made here of Spetsopoula, an islet off the eastern point of Spetses, that is owned by the Niarchos shipping family. In happier times, the family would stock Spetsopoula with game for hunting parties. These days, the imposing yachts of a newer Greek tycoon generation lie cheek by jowl in the marina, with bikini-clad beauties reclining on the decks conserving energy for another hectic night of clubbing. Life is indeed hard for some people.
The museum is housed in the A.KoryzisResidence (he served as PM in 1941) in the square of that same name. It was established in 1960. The museum covers the ground and first floor of the house and features finds from excavations at the temple of Poseidon, Ancient Troizen and Agios Konstantinos at Methana, and photographs from those archaeological sites. The finds date from the Mycenaean up to the Roman period. The museum collections have been supplemented by finds from ancient shipwrecks from the Argosaronic Gulf.
PORIOTISSA FOLK COLLECTION
This is a collection of folk materials from the Poros Women’s Cultural Association, Poriotissa, which was set up by private initiative in 2003. The objective in setting up the association was to identify, collect and preserve local folk materials. However, the overriding objective is to set up a Poros Folklore Museum to showcase the history and traditions of the island and collect together the island’s wealth. Important exhibits from the Collection include household utensils, day-to-day objects, agricultural implements, furniture, looms, embroidery, weaving and handicrafts, as well as traditional costumes and photographs.
One of the largest and most developed beaches, this is about 10 km from Dapia in the south-west of the island. The water is clean and deep, ideal for water sports, for which there are facilities. Access is by boat or bus.
This sandy beach is situated on the west of the island, 12 km away from Dapia. There are facilities for water sports and a snack bar. At one end of the beach is the chapel of Agia Paraskevi, which gave the beach its name. Access is by boat or bus.
Two km south-east of Dapia is the island’s most famous beach. It is sandy has on-beach services (such as sun loungers and umbrellas), with water sports facilities, and attracts a large number of visitors, arriving either by boat or by bus. Taverns and bars complete the image of this beach. The chapel of Agia Marina is also there, hidden amongst dense greenery.
With pine forests stretching down to the beach, the locals consider this the most beautiful beach on the island. The colour of the water is exceptional, and the view unique because if the weather is right, you can see all the way to Nafplion. Access is by boat or private vehicle.
This bay is 8 km from Dapia, on the south-east of the island. It is possible to drive here via a dirt-road, but access is usually via the regular boats. There is also a small tavern at this beach.
A beautiful sandy beach on the west of the island. This beach has also been nicknamed ‘Paradise’, probably due to the thick pine forest surrounding it. Access is by boat or private vehicle. It is also an ideal place to begin a walk towards Profitis Elias, the highest point on the island (248 m).
Yet another beach, on the west of the island, with sand, pebbles and clear waters, which can be accessed by boat or road.
By ferry and flying dolphins from Piraeus.
Piraeus Port Authorities Tel. 0030 210 4226000-4, 210 4511310-17
By car, take the national road Athens-Korinthos and turn at the Epidavros exit. Go on with direction to Porto Heli and when you reach Costa, take the ferry boat or a sea taxi to Spetses.
Transport: Cars are not allowed in Spetses. For your transportation, use coaches, bicycles, motorbikes, taxis and sea taxis.
Municipality of Spetses Tel. 0030 22980 72225
Spetses Port Authorities Tel. 0030 22980 73100
Spetses Sea Taxi Tel. 0030 22980 74885
Spetses Health Center Tel. 0030 22980 72472
Spetses Coach Tel. 0030 22980 73170
Official website: www.spetses.gov.gr
Sources: www.nomarhiapeiraia.gr, www.spetses.gov.gr