As historically significant as it is beautiful, the island of the aromas (isola di spezzie – that’s where the name actually originates from), Spetses is much more than just another weekend destination for wealthy Athenians and international jet-setters. Although it became famous during the 60s and the 70s, around the time when Greece attained global attention for its natural beauty and cosmopolitan feel (no small part due to the prodigious film production of the era), Spetses is the place where Greeks declared the start of their Independence War of 1821.
This was by no means a coincidence. The island held a long naval tradition ever since the middle ages and in fact, many of the most prominent Greek shipowners of the modern era, descend from centuries-old Spetsiote families. The Greek state was quick to recognise the island’s importance both as a tourist and a cultural heritage site; a fact that is reflected not only by the very well preserved grand captain mansions, but also by the impressive lack of traffic! Yes, cars in Spetses are banned (there is a bus line, some taxis, hackneys and quad bikes/motorbikes/bicycles), making it an ideal location for romantic promenades, absolute relaxation and carefree sightseeing!
Sightseeing and Excursions
There are plenty of places to go and sights to see in Spetses and of course you are free to enjoy a few (or all of them) on your own pace! However, we couldn’t help preparing a short guide for you, just as an introduction. Feel free to follow, re-adjust or downright disregard our tips when having some of the best vacation of your life in Spetses!
The House of Bouboulina is definitely worth a visit and it is one of the best known attractions of the island, as an architectural and historical landmark. Home to the Greek Revolution heroine Lascarina Bouboulina, the building has been perfectly preserved and ready to introduce visitors to the life and times of one of the few female protagonists of the Greek war of independence. Another interesting point is the House of Hatzigiannis Mexis, an estate built during the 18th century and is now turned into a museum, exhibiting relics from the Greek Independence War (letters written by war heroes, a folk art collection and personal objects of Bouboulina).
Also, the promenade along the coastline of Spetses capital town offers a great chance for a romantic walk in the sunset.
There is also a boat rental point in Dapia (Spetses town centre), from which you can embark on a slightly more unconventional (and fun) trip around the island. Keep in mind that there are some beaches/bays that are accessible only by boat, so plan accordingly if you want to really get to know the island!
Apart from the interesting journey through time, Spetses still is one of Greece’s most popular holiday destinations, due to its accessibility and immaculate beaches, which suit every taste. Moreover, no matter where you are on the island, an inviting beach is always nearby, to offer you some moments of relaxation!
If you don’t want to stray away from the town of Spetses, there are two beaches that have got you covered: Agios Mamas and the smaller Agios Nikolaos.
Some of the most popular beaches in the island are Agia Marina beach (new entry for 2018 at this beach will be the luxury Ivy Club that will include beach bar/club, beach restaurants, water sports), Kaiki beach next to Kounoupitsa area (beach bar, sunbeds, umbrellas, water sports etc.) and Vrelos beach (beach bar, sunbeds, umbrellas).
On the west side of the island’s coastline you will find Agioi Anargyroi beach (pebble beach with sunbeds, umbrellas, watersports and one taverna). Special hint the Bekiri cave at the side of the beach.
There are also Agia Paraskevi, a mixed sandy/pebble beach located 12 km. away from Dapia and the pebble beach of Xylokériza, located 8 km. south-east of Dapia.
For vacationers not hiring a vehicle, all above beaches can be also accessed by public bus and taxis.
Insider Tip: Zogeria beach is considered by the locals to be the most beautiful beach on the island. Surrounded by pine trees and offering an unbeatable view of mainland Greece (under optimal conditions). Try also the small taverna of the beach.
Spetses is -traditionally- one of the most cosmopolitan and classy destinations among the Greek islands. It comes as no surprise that there are many restaurant and nightlife options available to the visitors.
At the centre of Spetses Town (Dapia), you can try Roussos Café for a filling breakfast, Clock for a tasty pizza or pasta and Mr. Dim for Asian dishes. Greek modern cuisine On the Verandah at Poseidonio Hotel will meet high demands (the menu includes options for vegetarians/gluten-free options/options for kids). A recommended option for a coffee/drink/cocktail or a glass of wine is all day cafe-bar Point of View at Agios Mamas beach.
Near Dapia you can also have a coffee or a cocktail at Votsalo or Mayo (espresso/cocktail bars) or a glass of wine at Balconi Bar.
The vibrant nightlife in Spetses can be mostly found at the Old Harbor. Along with some great restaurants like Orloff (on a great veranda with nice view), Liotrivi and Tarsanas (fish/seafood restaurants), you can find a great number of bars like Throubi, Booze, La Luz and Mourayo (which is located practically over the water). These are some of the best choices among the great variety of bars in the area.
At Kounoupitsa area (about 2 km. westward from Dapia), you can also enjoy great food: Akrogialia, The Water of Love and Patralis, are all seafood restaurants that offer fresh fish of the highest quality.
Telephone numbers: 00306942635656, 00306932200240, 00306946167251, 00306944251945, 00306944605784, 00306946853253, 00306971717660.
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