Spetses

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The Island of Aromas

Aristocratic Allure, Verdant Sceneries and Luscious Aromas

Enigmatic and aromatic, charming and picturesque, simple and minimal, tiny and petite, lovely Spetses will steal your heart instantly. When you arrive at Spetses, you will enjoy mysterious aromas pouring gently from the lush courtyards of the houses. Undoubtedly, Spetses is the island of aromas. Spetses, an island with cultural and naval tradition, distinguishes for its picturesque character and its traditional identity. The Posidonion Hotel, the jewel of the island, aristocratically stands in front of the beautiful square with the statue of Laskarina Bouboulina, one of the greatest heroines of the Independence War of 1821.  Lush verdant forests, emerald waters and picturesque houses create images of pristine beauty. And your journey begins from the charming town of Ntapia with the distinctive pebbled courtyards and its beautiful “balcony” overlooking the endless blue of the Saronic Gulf. Walking along the seafront cobblestone promenade, you will be enchanted from the cannons decorating the chapel of Agios Mamas, the beautiful white and blue seafarer houses of Agios Nikolaos, the romantic chaises riding along the waterfront, the traditional shipyards of Palio Limani and the endless view of the fishing caiques sailing from the old harbour. Lose your way among the narrow alleyways behind the majestic beauty of the seaside promenade! Discover the discreet charm of the whitewashed houses with the pebbled mosaics, the blue windows and the bougainvillea courtyards that transform your promenade in an adventure overlooking an unexpected view to the endless blue of the sea.

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Best of Spetses

The Capital of Spetses

The Town of Dapia is the capital and harbour of Spetses located on the northeast side of the island. The beautiful settlement has an authentic and traditional character. Dapia is distinguished for its beautiful pebbled courtyards and its charming balcony overlooking the endless blue of the Saronic Gulf. Worth visiting sights include the Anargyrios Mansion, the Bouboulina Mansion, the Square of Laskarina Bouboulina and the Posidonion Hotel.

The Armata Festival

The Armata Festival is held in Spetses every September. The event is dedicated to the naval battle that took place on the 8th of September of 1822 when the local fleet defeated the fleet of Turkey. A series of cultural events take place for a period of one week culminating in the representation of the battle with a wooden effigy of a Turkish ship set on fire accompanied from visual effects of fireworks.

The Anargyrios and Korgialenios School of Spetses

The Anargyrios and Korgialenios School of Spetses is one of the most important exemplary public boarding schools of the 20th century. The school was founded from the national benefactors and donors of Sotirios Anargiros and Marinos Korgialenios in 1918.  Today, the high school of Spetses is housed in its premises.

The Beach of Zogeria

The Beach of Zogeria is a sandy beach with crystal clear waters surrounded from pine trees. The beach is considered to be the most beautiful beach of the island. The chapel of Agios Georgios is a scenic chapel located close to the beach. There is a tavern at the beach. The easiest way to reach the beach is through excursion boats.

The Cave of Bekiris 

The Cave of Bekiris is one of the most beautiful spots of the island. Characterized as the cave of filmmakers of the 50s, the cave will fascinate you with its beauty. It is located close to the beach of Agioi Anargyroi accessible either from a hiking path or by boat. The interior of the cave is astonishing with emerald waters and stalactites formations. According to tradition, the cave was used from the Spetsiots in order to hide the women during the Ottoman occupation. Legend says that if you and your other half drink water from the source inside the cave, your love will last forever!

The Mansion of Laskarina Bouboulina

The Mansion of Laskarina Bouboulina  is located above the square of Dapia. Laskarina Bouboulina was one of the few female heroines of the Revolution of 1821, known as one of the most commanding women of the history of Greece. When she lost her two husbands from pirate invasions, she used her fortune to help the fight for independence. The house of Bouboulina has been converted into a museum. Exhibits include a wide collection of personal objects and household furnishings.

The Monastery of Agios Nikolaos

The Agios Nikolaos Monastery is one of the oldest religious sites of the island located close to the homonymous bay. It is an imposing church with a beautiful pebbled courtyard and an imposing bell tower made from Tinian marble. The monastery used to be the metropolis of the island during the revolutionary years. One of the most historic events of the church is that the flag of Revolution was raised for the first time in the Cathedral in 1821. Today, it is inhabited from nuns.

Churches & Monasteries

The Church of Analipsi was constructed in 1853 in the homonymous district. The church served as quarantine station for sailors because of the cholera and plague diseases during the 19th century. An old tradition is held on midnight of Orthodox Easter that involves the burning of an old fishing boat for good luck.

The Church of Agia Marina lies on the left side of the homonymous beach. Archaeological excavations indicate that remnants from a Hellenistic settlement of the 3rd century BC were found here, which are on display in the Museum of Spetses. The chapel is ideal for romantic promenades.

The Church of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) is one of the most important religious sites of the island. The church was built on the hill of Kastelli in 1893. Inside the church, there is a beautiful wood carved iconostasis while the courtyard is made out of pebbles. This is one of the most beautiful spots to enjoy astonishing views of Spetses.

The Church of Panagia Armata is located on a hill above the area of Palio Limani. The church was built in 1825 from the captain Ioannis Koutsis in order to commemorate the defeat of the Ottoman Fleet on the 8th of September 1822. Every September, the festival of Armata takes place is the island hosting a series of cultural events. This is one of the most beautiful spots to enjoy the sunset.

The Agios Nikolaos Monastery is one of the oldest religious sites of the island located close to the homonymous bay. It is an imposing church with a beautiful pebbled courtyard and an imposing bell tower made from Tinian marble. The monastery used to be the metropolis of the island during the revolutionary years. One of the most historic events of the church is that the flag of Revolution was raised for the first time in the Cathedral in 1821. Today, it is inhabited from nuns.

The Nunnery of Agioi Pantes is a historical monastery founded in 1830 on the top of a hill above the bay of Agia Marina.  During the Holy Week of Easter, many locals visit the monastery in order to witness the holy liturgies. The monastery offers panoramic views of the island.

Museums and Historical Houses

The Mansion of Laskarina Bouboulina is located above the square of Dapia. Laskarina Bouboulina was one of the few female heroines of the Revolution of 1821, known as one of the most commanding women of the history of Greece. When she lost her two husbands from pirate invasions, she used her fortune to help the fight for independence. The house of Bouboulina has been converted into a museum. Exhibits include a wide collection of personal objects and household furnishings.

The Museum of Spetses is housed in the mansion of Hatzigiannis Mexis in the center of Dapia. It is an amazing neoclassical building built in 1795 that used to belong to the first governor and benefactor of Spetses. Exhibits include an interesting folklore collection with traditional costumes, household objects and weaponry along with an archaeological collection with ceramic, sculptures and findings of the Revolution of 1821 including weapons, ecclesiastical objects, historical manuscripts and the flag of Revolution.

The House of Sotirios Anargyros  is an imposing neoclassical building built in 1904 above the square of Dapia. Sotirios Anargiros was one of the greatest benefactors of the island who funded projects of the Posidonion Hotel and the Anargyrios and Korgialenios School. Today, the building houses the Cultural Centre of Spetses.

Monuments

The House of Sotirios Anargiros is one of the most important exemplary public boarding schools of the 20th century. The school was founded from the national benefactors and donors of Sotirios Anargiros and Marinos Korgialenios in 1918.  Today, the high school of Spetses is housed in its premises.

The Hotel Poseidonion is the jewel of the island located in the harbour of Dapia. The hotel was founded in 1914 from Sotirios Anargiros, a visionary benefactor of Spetses. Following an exemplary upgrade, the hotel reopened its doors in the summer of 2009.

The Lighthouse of Spetses is one of the oldest lighthouses of Greece located on the right site of Palio Limani. The lighthouse of the island differs from others of the network of the country, as it is situated in a residential area. The location of the lighthouse offers panoramic views of Spetses.

The Square of Dapia is the centre of the island. The historical square was used as a place of meeting of the captains during the Greek Revolution of 1821.  Today, the square of Dapia is the centre of life of the island.

The Shipyards of Spetses are an integral part of the historical heritage of the island. Spetsiots built the renowned ship model of vrikogoleta that gave freedom to the island. Spetses is one of the few places in Greece that has preserved the tradition of shipbuilding.

The Town Clock is one of the trademarks of the island located on the Clock Square of Dapia.

Natural Beauties

The Cave of Bekiris is one of the most beautiful spots of the island. Characterized as the cave of filmmakers of the 50s, the cave will fascinate you with its beauty. It is located close to the beach of Agioi Anargyroi accessible either from a hiking path or by boat. The interior of the cave is astonishing with emerald waters and stalactites formations. According to tradition, the cave was used from the Spetsiots in order to hide the women during the Ottoman occupation. Legend says that if you and your other half drink water from the source inside the cave, your love will last forever!

Promenades & Villages

Dapia is the capital and harbour of Spetses located on the northeast side of the island. The beautiful settlement has an authentic and traditional character. Dapia is distinguished for its beautiful pebbled courtyards and its charming balcony overlooking the endless blue of the Saronic Gulf. Worth visiting sights include the Anargyrios Mansion, the Bouboulina Mansion, the Square of Laskarina Bouboulina and the Posidonion Hotel.

Kastelli is the oldest district of Spetses located on the mountain slopes of Prophet Elias. The area has mantained its traditional character embellished from old houses with tile roofs and coloured windows and pebbled mosaic alleys. The charming chapel of Agia Triada is located in the area of Kastelli offering panoramic views of the surrounding areas.

Kounoupitsa is a charming district close to the town of Dapia. The lovely district has a traditional character with cubic houses with pastel coulours and cobblestone gardens with fuchsia bougainvillea flowers. Close to Kounoupitsa lies the Town Hall, a beautiful example of the traditional local architecture.

Palio Limani is the old picturesque harbour of Spetses located on the northeast side of the island. Wander around the area and walk towards the lighthouse standing on a small peninsula adorned from the charming chapel of Panagia Armata and the square of the cannons. The view from the lighthouse is amazing especially during the sunset hours.

Sunset Spots

Spot: Chapel of Agia Anastasia, North Spetses

Spot: Chapel of Agia Marina, Northeast Spetses

Spot: Chapel of Agia Triada, North Spetses

Spot: Lighthouse of Spetses, Northeast Spetses

Spot: Nunnery of Agioi Pantes, East Spetses

Excursions

Boat Trip: The Island of Hydra is a romantic island with a distinctive architectural character embellished with colourful fishing boats and neoclassical captain mansions. Beautiful captain mansions overlooking the endless blue sea of the Aegean and labyrinthine cobblestone alleys leading to mysterious picturesque neighbourhoods and seashores with crystal clear waters. This is Hydra, how not to fall in love at first sight with this island? This island can intrigue you with the uniqueness of its beautiful harbour and the traditional character of the settlement with the imposing stone mansions, the flowery courtyards and the cobblestoned alleys that overlook the deep blue of the Aegean. Hydra, famous throughout the world for her elite atmosphere, renowned for the great island character and the neoclassical architecture, blessed with rich historical monuments, a favourite of nature lovers, the black and white star of the Greek cinema has a charm that remains unchanged over the time.

Activities

Bicycling: The countryside of Spetses is an ideal place for cycling lovers. Bicycling lovers can enjoy riding a bicycle around the island of Spetses. You can rent bicycles from the Bike Center at Dapia.

Water Sports: Are you a water sports lover? Do you like skiing or windsurfing? The beaches of Agia Marina, Agia Paraskevi and Kaiki offer water sport facilities.

Beaches

Agia Marina is a long sandy and pebbled beach with crystal clear waters located on the southeast side of the island. The beach is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas and water sport facilities. There is a restaurant and a beach bar in the area.

Agioi Anargyroi is a long sandy beach with crystal clear waters and lush vegetation located on the southeast side of the island. The beach is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds, umbrellas and water sport facilities. The cave of Bekiris is located close to the beach. The easiest way to reach the beach is through excursion boats.

Agia Paraskevi is a long sandy beach with crystal clear waters and lush vegetation located on the western side of the island. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of Spetses. The beach is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds, umbrellas and water sport facilities. The easiest way to reach the beach is through excursion boats.

Kaiki is a long sandy and pebbled beach with crystal clear waters located in front of the Anargyrios and Korgialenios School. The beach is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds, umbrellas and water sport facilities. There are taverns and beach bars in the area.

Kouzounos is a secluded pebbled beach with crystal clear waters located on the southwest side of the island. The beach is one of the most isolated and natural beaches of the island with panoramic views of the island of Spetsopoula.

Vrelos is a pebbled beach with crystal clear waters located on the northwest side of the island. The beach is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds, umbrellas and beach sports. There is a beach bar at the beach.

Xylokeriza is a secluded sandy and pebbled beach with crystal clean waters located on the south side of the island. It is an ideal beach for those looking for seclusion.

Zogeria is a sandy beach with crystal clear waters surrounded from pine trees. The beach is considered to be the most beautiful beach of the island. The chapel of Agios Georgios is a scenic chapel located close to the beach. There is a tavern at the beach. The easiest way to reach the beach is through excursion boats.

Coffee Corners, Gastronomic Delights and Cocktails Inspirations

Coffee Corners 

To Posto: Ice Cream, Dapia

Klimis: Pastries, Agios Mamas

Porto: Coffee, Dapia

Roussos: Coffee and Waffles, Dapia

Tasos: Traditional Bakery, Kounoupitsa

Tripitsis: Traditional Bakery, Agios Mamas

Votsalo: Coffee, Dapia

Gastronomic Delights

Akrogialia  Seafood, Kounoupitsa

Clock: Pizza, Clock Square

Cockatoo: Souvlaki, Agios Mammas

Kafenio: Ouzo and Meze, Dapia

Giorgos: Souvlaki, Agios Mammas

Il Padrino: Italian Cuisine, Palio Limani

Nero tis Agapis : Seafood, Sholes

Orloff: Greek Cuisine, Agios Nikolaos

Sioras : Seafood, Palio Limani

Pahni : Grill, Analipsi

Patralis: Seafood, Sholes

Tarsanas : Seafood, Palio Limani

Cocktails Inspirations

Bikini: Cocktails and Drinks, Palio Limani

Booze: Cocktails and Drinks, Palio Limani

La Esquina: Cocktails & Drinks, Palio Limani

Marine: Cocktails and Drinks, Palio Limani

Votsalo : Cocktails and Drinks, Dapia

Local Products & Specialties

The local products of the island include the almond sweets of amigdalota.

The local specialties of the island include the fish a la spetsiota, a traditional fish dish.

Events & Festivals

Every June and October, Spetses Mini Marathon, takes place in the island of Spetses.

Every June, the Spetses Classic Yacht Race takes place in the island of Spetses. A series of events are hosted where the participants compete with their yachting boats while also the event itself celebrate the rich naval and shipbuilding tradition of the Island.

Every 17th of July, the traditional celebration in honour of Agia Marina takes place at the chapel of Agia Marina.

Every 26th of July, the traditional celebration in honour of Agia Paraskevi takes place in the chapel of Agia Paraskevi.

Every September, the Armata Festival takes place in the island of Spetses. The event is dedicated to the naval battle that took place on the 8th of September of 1822 when the local fleet defeated the fleet of Turkey. A series of cultural events take place for a period of one week culminating in the representation of the battle with a wooden effigy of a Turkish ship set on fire accompanied from visual effects of fireworks.

History & Mythology

Mythology

According to mythology, God Pan fell in love with the nymph of Pitys. However, the nymph was afraid of Voreas who would not let anyone else to be in love with her. When Pitys embraced Pan, Voreas threw her into a gorge and got transformed into a pine tree from Titan Gaia. This is the myth associated with the island, as pitys means pine tree in the ancient native language.

History

Archaeological findings show that Spetses has been inhabited since the Bronze Age. During the 15th century, the population of the island increased with people coming from the opposite coast of Peloponnese. The first settlement of Spetses was the medieval settlement of Kastelli on the northwest side of the island surrounded from thick walls. Once Spetses was settled, the inhabitants began to develop a great marine power and tradition. The golden era of Spetses started with its shipbuilding activity and the empowerment of the fleet during the 18th century. The conversion of merchant fleet of the island into warships played an important role during the Greek War of Independence as well as the island had an equal contribution to the Peloponnesian War. Spetses took part in the Orloff Revolt with numerous warships, and Turks organized a punitive expedition for action of the Spetsiots, as they destroyed completely the fortified town of Kastelli; however, that did not stop the Spetsiots to help again the revolutionary Labros Katsionis and suffer again from Turkish punishments, an action showing courage and patriotism. The island was one of the three important naval centres of Greece along with Hydra and Psara, which dedicated their fleet to the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire. The ships of Spetses were used to transport weapons and supplies to other islands that have joined the Revolution and have participated to the liberation of Monemvasia, Nafplion, Mani, Mesolongi, Tripolitsa. The ships also went to Crete to fight the fleet of the Egyptian, who were allied with the Turks, and was main cause of success during the decisive battle against the Turkish fleet in the Argolic Gulf. Some of the most notable heroes of the Greek War of Independence include Laskarina Bouboulina, Mexis Hatzigiannis. After the war, Spetses continued to prosper owing to its strong commercial fleet. An important personality of Spetses was Sotirios Anargiros, a repatriated Spetsiot who returned from America and helped the development of the island by building a road and a reservoir, a prestigious public boarding school, the Anargyrios and Korgialenios School, and the first luxurious hotel of the island, the Posidonion Hotel.

Travel & Transport

By Boat (48 Nautical Miles): Spetses is accessible by boat from the harbour of Piraeus. The journey usually lasts from two to three hours. Spetses is also connected with the islands of Hydra and Poros. Book your tickets with FerriesinGreece.com !

By Car (180 Kilometres): Spetses is accessible by car. The journey usually lasts three hours. Following the Attica Road and then the National Road of Athens- Corinth, you will go left after the Isthmus of Corinth towards Epidaurus (Exit B – Corinth – Epidaurus).  After thirty minutes, you will reach the intersection of Epidaurus. Before getting there, you will see the signs to Poros and Spetses. At this junction, turn right and immediately make a left under the bridge. Following the peripheral road of Kranidi, you will reach the area of Porto Heli. There, you will make a left towards Kosta. Ferryboats, traditional boats and water taxis operate to Spetses.

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Hotels and Resorts

Mysterious Greece Tips

Blessed From Romance: Horse Carriage Rides

Enjoying a promenade with a traditional horse carriage is a beautiful experience! During the summer, numerous horse carriages are available in the areas of Dapia, Palio Limani and Bouboulina Square.

Bicycling in Spetses

The total coastline of the island is twenty two kilometres, making it an ideal place for bicycle lovers. Rent a bicycle from the center of Dapia, buy two bottles of water and start cycling!

Fireworks, Fireworks and Fireworks: Armata Festival

The Armata Festival is held in Spetses every September. The event is dedicated to the naval battle that took place on the 8th of September of 1822 when the local fleet defeated the fleet of Turkey. A series of cultural events take place for a period of one week culminating in the representation of the battle with a wooden effigy of a Turkish ship set on fire accompanied from visual effects of fireworks. One can hop on a traditional boat, else known as caique, to enjoy the burning of the boat from a closer distance!

Enjoying a Cocktail at Posidonion Hotel

Standing just off the majestic square of Posidonio, the balcony of Posidonion is the best place to enjoy a cocktail with a beautiful view!

Ice Cream from Posto

To Posto in Dapia has the most delicious recipe of ice cream at Spetses! Try the machine one with hot chocolate topping, you will not regret it!

It’s Sunrise Time

The most beautiful sunrise spot of the island is the chapel of Agios Dimitrios . In order to get there, walk along the old harbour of Palio Limani until you will find the club of Guzel where you should turn right. Ascend the uphill road and take a right on the first street. Continue on that street till you find a sign saying in Greek “Αγιος Δημητριος”. Turn left, and continue into this dirt street downwards. The street ends in a beautiful rocky landscape overlooking the endless blue adorned from the blue chapel of Agios Dimitrios.

Legends and Reality: The Water of Love:

Legend says that if you and your other half drink water from the source inside the cave of Bekiris , your love will last forever!

Movies under the Stars of the Aegean

The open-air cinemas of Cine Marina and Cine Titania offer a relaxed vista under the stars of the Aegean!

Romantic Promenades: Chapel of Agia Marina and Chapel of Agios Georgios

Are you in the mood of a romantic promenade with your other half? Choose the chapel of Agia Marina on the homonymous beach or the chapel of Agios Georgios on the beach of Zogeria! You won’t  regret it!

Wandering on the Seaside Promenade from Dapia to Palio Limani

One of the most intriguing parts of the island is the seaside promenade starting from Dapia till Palio Limani . The best time to wander around the promenade is the afternoon. Upon reaching Palio Limani, continue till the square of the cannons and the lighthouse to admire the panoramic views of the island.

Wooden Boats in the Sea: September 1

Every 1st of September, a wonderful event takes place in front of the Church of Agios Mamas where lots of kids create their own wooden and plastic boats embellished with flowers and flags where they put a candle inside their boats and they throw them in the sea when the sun goes down.

Photo Credits

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Note: All the images are copyrighted from their owners. Please see Terms & Conditions. You can find the original images at the following links:

Agioi Anargyroi beach: Bibos by Panoramio

Agioi Paraskevi beach: G.Faletas by Panoramio

Agios Nikolaos: Marmontel by Flickr

Bekiris cave: Danny Baeyens by Panoramio

Dapia: Shutterstock

Kounoupitsa: Giorgio Hiker by Panoramio

Kouzounos beach: Agelos Zias by Panoramio

Lighthouse: Maymonides by Flickr

Panoramic view of Spetses: Poseidonion Grand Hotel Facebook Page

Posidonio Hotel: Thanassis Sallas by Panoramio

Zogeria Beach: Poseidonion Grand Hotel Facebook Page

Sunrise in Palio Limani: Stuart Berry by Flickr

Info

Spetses Official Website can enlighten you!

Quick Facts

Island Complex: Argosaronic Islands

Archipelago: Aegean Sea

Geographical Location: Argolis Gulf

Area: 22 km2

Capital: Spetses

Population: 4.070

Did you know?

Dapia was named after the Turkish word dapia meaning cannon station.

The traditional mosaic pebbled floors of Spetses are made from the local people.

Spetses played an important role in the Greek War of Independence in 1821 and raise the revolution flag on 3rd of April of 1821.

In antiquity, the name of the island used to be Pityousa, which means that the island had an abundant number of pine trees while it was called Isola di Spezzi, meaning the island of aromas and it was characterized as a paradise of aromatic plants from the Venetians.

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