Spetses is a historic island in the Argosaronic Gulf, known for its dense pine forest. The populated area of Spetses has approximately 3,500 residents. The island is surrounded by small and picturesque islets such as Spetsopoula, Mikro Bourboulon, and Agios Ioannis. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations for both Greek and foreign visitors throughout the year.
History of Spetses
According to archaeological findings, the island of Spetses has been inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC. Artifacts from the Early Helladic, Mycenaean, and early Byzantine periods have been discovered in the area. During the period of Frankish rule (1200-1460), Spetses was under the dominion of Venice but was later conquered by the Ottomans. During the Venetian rule, the island acquired its current name, "Spetses," derived from the Venetian name "'Izola di Spezzie," meaning "Island of Fragrances," due to its rich floral vegetation.
In the 18th century, Spetses experienced a period of great prosperity and developed as a significant naval center of the era. The most significant moment for Spetses was during the Greek War of Independence in 1821 when the island's naval fighters became a fear and terror for the Turkish navy. The heroine Laskarina Bouboulina, along with her comrades, fought with heroism and self-sacrifice, contributing their wealth and even their lives to the struggle for independence. In the battle that took place outside the harbor, the Turks were defeated on September 8, 1822.
After the end of the Revolution, Spetses went through a period of decline, and its population decreased. The two World Wars had devastating consequences for the island, with shipping and trade suffering significantly. However, after the 1950s, the island began to recover and develop again, transforming Spetses into one of Greece's top tourist resorts.
Beaches in Spetses
If we look ahead in the city of Spetses, we will discover a series of beautiful, blue beaches that allow residents and visitors to enjoy their swim with little effort.
Most of the beaches are organized, providing sunbeds and umbrellas, and they are located near taverns and cafes.
Starting from the southeastern side of the island, we will encounter the sandy beach of Agia Marina, approximately 2 km from the city of Spetses. Agia Marina is one of the most organized and popular beaches on the island, with taverns and beach bars that combine sports and entertainment, providing a lush environment.
Continuing towards the "Dapia" area, we will find the beach of Agios Nikolaos, a small beach with sand and fine pebbles that remains untouched and attracts many visitors for its tranquility and beautiful waters.
Continuing, we will come across the sandy and organized beach of Agios Mamas, which attracts a lot of people and has sunbeds and umbrellas. It is located in front of bars, cafes, and restaurants, serving both local residents and foreign visitors with its crystal-clear waters.
After passing the "Dapia" area, towards the west of the port, we will encounter the beach of Kounoupitsa, a small, beautiful beach with pebbles and sand and blue waters. Besides swimming, you can walk among the fishing boats and enjoy food or drinks by the sea at the picturesque establishments there. This is one of the best-organized beaches in Spetses, with sunbeds, umbrellas, water sports facilities, activities, and restaurants.
The beach of Kuzounos is located opposite the lush hill of Spetsopoula. It is one of the most peaceful and natural beaches in Spetses, with crystal-clear waters and fine, colorful pebbles, ideal for swimming.
Continuing, we come across the beach of Xilokeriza, a remote and organized beach with sand and pebbles, on the southern side of the island. It is very peaceful, with clean, turquoise waters located in a beautiful natural cove. It is an ideal choice for those who want to swim in a lush natural environment and relax on its beautiful sandy beach.
Lastly, I mention the beach of Vromolo, located in the northern bay of the island. It is a small and tranquil beach with a relaxing atmosphere and beautiful turquoise waters. Although it is not organized, it offers a quiet place to enjoy your swim and the tranquility of nature.
These are some of the beautiful beaches you can enjoy in Spetses.
Sights in Spetses
The historical square of Dapia in the harbor is the center of tourist activity in the capital of Spetses. There, you can find the old arsenal, which was used as a meeting place for the captains and leaders of the 1821 revolution.
Behind Dapia, in Bouboulina Square, there are significant historical buildings. The house of Hatzigiannis Mexis, the first lord and benefactor of Spetses, currently houses the Museum of Spetses since 1939. The museum serves as an archaeological, historical, and folklore collection, including artifacts from the Revolution, letters from Kolokotronis and Athanasios Diakos, as well as the bones of Bouboulina.
Furthermore, behind Dapia, you can find Bouboulina's mansion, which has been renovated and operates as a museum since 1992. Live guided tours about the life and work of Bouboulina are conducted there.
In Bouboulina Square, you will also find the "Poseidonion" or "Poseidonion Grand Hotel," which opened its doors in 1914. This hotel has significantly contributed to the development of Spetses and offers a cosmopolitan allure. Bouboulina Square hosts many major events of the island, with the most famous being the reenactment of the Battle of Spetses in 1822, known as "Armata."
Near the Poseidonion Hotel, in the area, you can find the Anargyreio-Korgialeneio School, founded in 1927. The school has excellent facilities spread over an area of 130 acres and includes buildings, conference rooms, laboratories, a restaurant, amphitheaters, an open-air theater, a beach, and sports facilities.
Additionally, in the area, there is the Church of the Holy Trinity, built in 1793 and formerly the island's cathedral, as well as the chapel of Panagia Armata, constructed after the victory of the people of Spetses, Hydra, and Psara against the Turks in 1822
Activities in Spetses
In Spetses, there is the possibility to take a horse-drawn carriage ride. It is important to know in advance that cars are prohibited on the island. The only modes of transportation on the island are walking, taxis, bicycles, buses, and horse-drawn carriages.
However, a horse-drawn carriage is not a means of transportation recommended for every journey. It is an alternative option to enjoy a leisurely ride on the island and discover the picturesque landscapes of Spetses.
You can also visit the Bouboulina Museum, located in her mansion. Laskarina Bouboulina was one of the most important figures of the 1821 Revolution. This museum presents the life and work of Bouboulina, exhibiting artifacts from the Revolution and personal belongings of Bouboulina herself. Additionally, various events, such as performances, take place at the museum.
How to travel to / from Spetses?
Hellenic Seaways operates daily ferry routes from the port of Piraeus to Spetses, using Flying Dolphins and Catamaran vessels that carry passengers only. The ships depart from the Tsélepi coast, across from the Church of Agios Spyridonas, at Gate D.
The frequency of the routes varies depending on the time of year, and additional special routes are introduced during periods of high traffic, such as Easter and Pentecost. The duration of the journey is approximately two hours, depending on intermediate stops at other ports. Intermediate stops from Piraeus include the ports of Poros, Hydra, and Ermioni, depending on the route's itinerary, while the usual final destination is Portochéli.
From the port of Portochéli to Spetses (in the direction towards Piraeus), daily routes are operated by Flying Dolphins and Catamaran vessels. The frequency of these routes varies depending on the time of year. The duration of the trip from Portochéli to Spetses is approximately 15 minutes.
You can easily and conveniently find the ferry routes that interest you and book ferry tickets online at the lowest prices with all available discounts for both passengers and vehicles on booktickets.