Spetses | Argosaronic Gulf
37.2626° N, 23.1322° E
Tucked in the Saronic gulf, just 50 miles from the Greek capital, Spetses is an idyllic getaway with a carefree summer vibe, its tree-fringed coastline filled with charming bays and secluded coves. Once home to ship-owners and captains, the island carries its long nautical traditional with panache, the waterfront lined by sailboats and yachts combining a cosmopolitan flair with traditional charm. The waterfront is bordered by neoclassical mansions, some restored, others scarred by the passing of time.
The elegance of the architecture and the island's glorious past are evident in its modern way of life. There are no construction monstrosities - newer houses are built to respect the local traditional architecture. The nightlife is buzzy, but there is no excess of debauchery - something that often tarnishes some of the most popular Mediterranean destinations.
On weekends, Athenian weekenders join the fun-loving crowd of locals, yachters and in-the-know tourists who flock to the port's cheerful cafes, watching the coming and going of yachts, water-taxis and horse-carriages. As the day turns into night, everyone descends on the waterfront joints, strolling happily from bar to bar, sipping cocktails, chatting and enjoying the music.
ArmataA week-long extravaganza organised every September in honour of the sea-battle of Spetses that took place during the Greek revolution. The week includes exhibitions, concerts and cultural events, and climaxes with a glorious festival of fireworks and the burning of the “Turkish” ship.
Museum of SpetsesHoused in an old mansion, the museum displays exhibits from the island's rich history, including findings from the ancient settlement of Agia Marina, pieces that were retrieved from underwater excavations and relics from the world's most ancient shipwreck.
Museum of BouboulinaSpetses played a pivotal role during the Greek revolution against the Ottoman empire. This museum is housed in the mansion that once belonged to the commander Laskarina Bouboulina, displaying relics of the war and her everyday life.
The old portHead to the picturesque old port of Spetses to visit the traditional shipyards and stroll among both the old and new buildings that are fine examples the island's traditional architecture, or sit back at one of the waterfront's colourful cafes for a cold glass of wine and some excellent people-watching.
Despite its popularity with the jet-set, the ambiance of Spetses is perfectly easy-going.
Walk around the plaza of Dapia, the heart of the island, to see the canons, the neoclassical buildings and the charming pebble-paved streets. There, you will find museums, an array of shops that sell anything from souvenirs to the latest fashion. and then head to the quaint area of Kastelli, to feel like you have gone back to simpler times.
Cars are not allowed in Spetses, but you can rent a motorbike or use the water-taxis to move around the island. The old port boasts a great choice of bars and restaurants.
Spetses is famed for its gastronomy, so you will find some excellent dining choices here. Walk to the end of the old port to visit the church of Panagia Armata, and the Park of Mexi Chatzigianni. If you feel like walking, take a stroll through the forest of Spetses in Kastelli, to enjoy the lush surroundings and the dazzling water views.
You can get to Spetses from the port of Piraeus by hydrofoil or catamaran. The ride lasts about 2 hrs. There are also ferries and water-taxis that cross to Spetses from Costa, close to Porto Heli.
Just a breath away from Athens, Spetses is the perfect getaway for those who wish to sip into serenity in a luxurious private villa. Built the traditional way, all luxury villas in Spetses will make guests travel through time and sense the authentic old-time aura of the island within their classy ambience. Our team has created an exceptional list of holiday villas to rent that will make your visit in Spetses utterly memorable.