Looking for a romantic & stylish retreat close to Athens?

Port of Spetses island near Athens, Greece

We have the solution for you. The Greek island of Spetses is the ideal destination. An island, not that famous as Mykonos or Santorini, but surely worth visiting for its unique character and special beauties.

Located within the Saronic Gulf and only 54 nautical miles away from Athens, it combines the cosmopolitan air of Greece along with the traditional character that it has managed to preserve throughout centuries. Being one of the well-known cosmopolitan destinations, it attracts famous celebrities and guests every year. In 2010, for example, Spetses got much of the media's attention for hosting the royal wedding between Prince Nikolaos and Tatiana Blatnik.

At the same time, Spetses is also well-known for the absence of any private cars on the island, as bringing or driving cars there is banned. The main means of transportation for guests are motorbikes, quad bikes (4 wheelers) and public bus transportation that operates on routes to the main beaches. If you are into quad bikes, you will find them very convenient since there will be no cars in your way. 

Horse ride in Spetses island, Greece

And last but most exciting, the island is famous for offering rides in traditional horse-drawn carriages. Picturesque coachmen can take you to most parts of the town of Spetses, from early morning until late at night during the summer season.

The main port of Dapia as well as the Old Harbor consist tourist and commercial centers. Spetses island is also nationally honored for its significant contribution to the 1821 War of Independence and to the liberation of Greece from the Turkish occupation.

Furthermore, the island offers a plethora of beautiful beaches, some of which are accessible only by the sea. Kaiki Beach is one of the most popular beaches, close to the town of Spetses. It is easily accessible, within a 20-minutes walking distance from Dapia port. The beach is organized, with sun beds and umbrellas available for renting. Vrellos is another lovely sand and pebble beach, surrounded by a thick pine forest and can be reached by road and by taxi boat. Agioi Anargiroi is one of the most developed beaches of the island. Located in a nice cove, with deep waters, it is ideal for water sports. Agia Anargiroi also provides

 access to the Cave of Bekiris, a gorgeous secluded cave with impressive centuries-old stalagmite and stalactite formations. 

Regatta sailing at Spetses island, Greece

Last but not least, I have to refer to the beautiful beach of Zogeria, which is located within a cove, covered by a pine forest. The advised and easiest way to reach this place is by taxi boats. You can, though, reach it through an unpaved route with your chosen vehicle, but the route is not convenient, quite bumpy and not recommended. Of course there are many other beaches in the island, waiting for you to explore them.

Some of you probably already liked the whole idea of an exotic escape to Spetses and you are now wondering when is the best time to visit the island. A great time to do so is during September, when a truly impressive re-enactment of a naval battle called "Armata" takes place every year, since 1931, and promises to enrich your Spetses experience.

Furthermore, for sports lovers, the "Spetsathlon" is a successful sporting event that is held every year, offering a variety of activities for the brave ones, but also a special experience for the more relaxed ones to watch. This year the event will take place from Friday, 13th of May 2016 to Sunday, 15th of May 2016. More specifically, "Spetsathlon" includes:

1.Triathlon race with two courses:

     Spetses Triathlon Sprint (750m swim, 25km bike and 5km run)

     Spetses Triathlon Endurance (1500m swim, 50km bike and 10km run)

2. The Bike Race (25 km) - Island Round of Spetses

Contestants swimming at the Spetses Mini Marathon

Spetses also provides opportunities for walking tours, boat trips, and of course, wining, dining and partying.

For reaching Spetses, you can rent a car from Athens and take the national road, cross the Isthmus of Corinth and take the exit to Ancient Epidavros. Then, drive through Kranidi, Porto Heli and Kosta. The drive takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes. From Kosta, a sea taxi will take you to Spetses in 5 minutes.

On your return from Spetses you can also visit Nafplio, a picturesque seaport town located within half an hour drive from Spetses island. Nafplio is known for being the first capital of Greece, from the beginning of the Greek revolution in 1821 and until 1834. 

Even the Greeks recognize that it's the most beautiful of all mainland towns, with its numerous Venetian and Turkish buildings. Palamidi is the fortress that dominates the city, in the sense that it almost floats on a steep hill (216 m) over Nafplio. To reach Palamidi, most people say that you need to climb 999 steps, but it's actually "only" 857. The walk is well worth the effort. The most photographed monument of Nafplio, though, is the small Venetian fortress of Bourtzi, standing on the rocky islet of Agioi Theodoroi.

View of Nafplio city and Bourtzi castle

 Between 1865 and 1935 Bourtzi consisted the executioners' residence. Lately, it’s purely a tourist attraction, and has become the symbol of Nafplio. There are small boats heading out to the fortress, leaving from the port regularly during the day. The ride lasts only a couple of minutes. However, Nafplio's oldest castle is Acronafplia, an old Venetian fortress overlooking the old town of Nafplio.

Did you enjoy all this information about Spetses island? Are you interested in visiting it? If so, you can now Request for free a Tailor-Made Package Offer to Spetses as well as to other destinations in Greece. Fill in the form that you will find by clicking on the link above and one of our experienced travel agents will guide you through crafting your dreamed vacation package to Spetses and Greece.”

Author: Angeliki Gerasimidou