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Spetses

A beautiful island of the Saronic Gulf, Spetses is considered high class, not only because of its rich history and impressive architecture but also because it has a long standing reputation for gathering the Greek - and foreign - elite.

The island boasts a naval history of hundreds of years; in the 17th century it flourished with trade, and the local ship captains constructed elegant mansions that survive to this day. Even more important for local history is the role the islanders played during the Greek Revolution of 1821, contributing the Spetses wealth and fleet to setting the country free. The Armata Festival – a huge social event on the island – that culminates with the «burning of the Armata» is in fact a commemoration of the Greek victory against the Turkish Armada at the naval battle of Spetses, in 1822.

The town is the place to eat, drink, be merry, and people-watch. The coastal road closes to vehicles in the evening - private cars are not allowed on the island, anyway - and the promenade from Dapia to the Old Port is a must. It’s a fun relaxed way to check out the luxury yachts at the marina, the spectacular mansions, but also the Poseidonion, a gorgeous old hotel modelled after the Carlton in Cannes.

The island's most popular beaches are Ayioi Anargyroi and Ayia Paraskevi, as well as the very picturesque Zogeria beach are served by tourist boats during the summer. Other beaches on the island, such as Xylokeriza, Ligoneri and Vrellos are only accessible by motorbikes or bicycles that are available to rent on the island, or with sea taxis.

Things to do:

  • Visit Bouboulina’s House. Laskarina Bouboulina was a great heroine of the Greek War of Independence. Her impressive 17th century mansion is today a museum with artifacts of that era.
  • Explore the Bekiris Cave, a beautiful secret spot with a small sand beach inside! You can access it on foot from the beach of Ayioi Anargyroi, or swim/dive inside through a low opening.
  • The grand event of the summer season is the Armata Festival on the second weekend of September. The celebrations of Panayia Armata of concerts and cultural events attract as many as 40,000 visitors. During the re-enactment show an attack on the Turkish Armada sets off a fascinating show of fireworks in the harbour!
  • Try the fresh fish menu at Patralis, in Kounoupitsa. This seafront fish-taverna is considered to be one of the best in the country. It’s obviously very busy for dinner, so make sure you get reservations!

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