Spetses Island information

Spetses is a small island (area 27 km2, population 3600) located southwest of Athens, off the eastern peninsula of Peloponnese. It is a popular tourist destination and has been an athenian resort for over a century. Its vagetation consists mostly of pine trees. It has several beaches and a sea cave.

The island cannot be reached by airplane. A passenger boat leaves Piraeus daily at 8 am and arrives about 5 hours later. Hydrofoil and catamaran passenger boats leave the same port several times a day and arrive at the island 2.5 hour later. (See also travel suggestions and expenses.)

The coast of Kosta is a short distance across from the island. Kosta can be reached by car, but no cars are allowed on the island.

The city hall telephone number is +30-22980-72225 (as copied from the Ministry of the Interior web page on Spetses).


Spetses

The Greek Islands by E. Karpodini-Dimitriadi, Ekdotike Athenon S.A., Athens 1989, p.24

Geography Click for detailed view
Located at the entrance to the Argolic Gulf, Spetses, which is also the name of its main town, is 22 sq. km. in area, has 29 km. of coast and has a population of 3,708. Some 52 nautical miles from Piraeus, the island is extremely close to the Peloponnese, being only 2 nautical miles from Kosta, from where visitors are conveyed in speed boats. There are also passenger ferries and hydrofoils from Piraeus and connections with the other Argosaronic islands, as well as with Hermioni and Porto Cheli, again by boat and hydrofoil. During the summer additional services link Spetses with l, Nauplion, Leonidion, Monemvasia and three times a week with Neapolis and Kythera. Cars are prohibited on the island and the only means of transport are the bus and horse-drawn carriages. One may also travel by small caiques or by "taxi", that is speedboats departing from the harbour, Dapia, for picturesque beaches and bays. The island is rich in natural beauty and is an ideal place for both quiet and cosmopolitan holidays.

History
During antiquity Spetses was known as Pityoussa and, as finds from excavations at Aghia Marina testify, was inhabited in the Early Bronze Age (2500 -2000 BC). The ancient city was located at Kastelli, a short distance from the present harbour. Little else is known of the island's past history. In more recent times Spetses, like Hydra and Psara, developed to a notable naval power and its fleet played a major role in the 1821 Revolution. Captain Laskarina Bouboulina (picture on the left) is one of the legendary figures of the Struggle for Independence and her bones repose in the local museum. The interior of her house is preserved just beyond the harbour.

Click for detailed view The heart of Spetses is its quaint little harbour, Dapia, with its six canons, momentoes of the Struggle for Independence. Restaurants, cafes and patisseries line the waterfront and throughout the day until late at night there is an endless toing and froing of people. short distance from the quayside is the Chatzi-Yanni Mexis mansion in which the museum is housed. Exhibits include heirlooms of the Revolution, archival and folklore material pertaining to the island's past. Other sights worth visiting include the church of ll Saints, the church of St. Nicholas on the road to the old harbour, the church of the Dormition of the Virgin.

From Dapia one may take a small boat to several of the island's beautiful coves (Aghios Georgios, Aghia Paraskevi, Vrellos) and enjoy the precipitous northwest coast with the tiny islet of Petrokaravo or visit the bay of Aghioi Anargyroi and the Bekiri cave, haven for freedom-fighters during the War of Independence. Last but not least are the scenic bays of Xokeriza and Aghia Marina. Directly opposite the southeast littoral of Spetses is the dazzling island of Spetsopoula, owned by the shipowner Niarchos.

Excursions are organised from Spetses to Kosta, Porto Cheli and Kranidi, as well as to Nauplion and archaeological sites in the Argolid.


More pictures from Spetses
Detailed History of the island by Sophie Papageorgiou

Useful websites

Greek Travel Guide: Map - information
Hotels-in-Greece.com:
Greekhotels.gr: Hotels in Spetses
Finet.gr: Hotels in Spetses
Saronictravel.gr: Lefka Palace Hotel (in Greek with pictures)
Spetses Hotel: General information
Meledon: General information

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