Situated at the entrance to the Argolic Gulf, Spetses is the most the southerly of the Saronic Gulf Islands that include Aegina, Hydra, Agistri, Salamina, and Poros. Spetses has a coastline of 29 km and its land mass is around 22 square km. It is roughly oval in shape, with a population of about 4,000 people.
Spetses Island, Greece
With Piraeus, the port of Athens, 53 km away it is a popular with Athenians and other Greeks from the mainland who like to holiday on the island. In the main tourist season it is busy but not over crowded.
Spetses makes a good starting point for those who enjoy exploring. There are boats to Naufplion, Monemvassia, Tolon and Kosta on the mainland. Or ferries will take you to nearby islands.
Rejuvenating The Mind And Body
Most of the island is wooded and it is easy to explore and wander through the pine trees, amid oleander and pistachio with the clean fragrance of pine trees rejuvenating the mind and body. In Spring there are several species of orchids that bloom and towards the end of August and in the first weeks of September the fruit of the fig trees ripen.
The Pirate Queen
The pirate queen Laskarina Bouboulina became a national heroine after spending years raiding and pirating when she ordered her pirate fleet to the defence of Greece in the War of Independence.
Her fleet achieved many victories in battle and made a huge contribution to the Greek cause. Her home has now been turned into a museum celebrating her status as heroine rather than pirate queen and is open to the public and called The Bouboulina Museum.
The celebration of a famous naval victory by the pirate queen, Laskarina Bouboulina called the Amarta is re-enacted every September and is regarded as a highlight of the local calendar.
Beaches on Spetses vary in kind. On the northern part of the island Kaika Beach is pebbles. Paraskevi Beach on the southern coastline is golden sands.
An Air of Bygone Times
Spetses town is the only town and the centre of commerce for the island most of which is clustered around the district of Dapia, which is the harbour. This is where most of the places of interest are situated and where you will find Spetses Museum and the Anargyros mansion situated in Clock Square which is paved with cobble-stones. Around the square bars, cafes and restaurants are found. It is interesting to explore the narrow streets and mansions of Dapia which exude and air of bygone times.
Just on the outskirts of town is the monastery of Agios Nikolaos which is well worth and dedicated to the patron saint of sailors. There is a strict dress code for visitors with men expected to wear long trousers and to cover their shoulders and women should wear long skirts.
In Spetses Town there are banks, a bakery, grocery shops, a few supermarkets and a range of shops selling souvenirs, gifts, clothes, jewellery, pottery, and arts and crafts.
Eating Out And Nightlife
There is also good choice of restaurants, tavernas and cafes serving fresh fish and authentic local dishes served up with traditional Greek music. International cuisine is also served in many of the restaurants. There is also a choice of nightlife with music bars and clubs situated along the harbour front.
Cars and motor vehicles are restricted on Spetses and need a special licence. There are water taxis and horse and carriage though the main way of getting around is to walk, or use bicycles, or mopeds and scooters. There are a few licensed buses and taxis but they are hard to find, but will take you to other parts of the island.
Getting To Spetses
Most flights go to Athens International Airport just outside Athens and not far from Piraeus where hydrofoils and ferries go to Spetses and other destinations.
There is a good range of holiday accommodation on Spetses ranging from hotels, and fully equipped studios and apartments.
Spetses Really Is An Island to be enjoyed!
For those who seek a traditional Greek holiday on a sunny Greek Isle with all the ingredients to make a memorable and relaxing holiday Spetses really is an island to be enjoyed!