All you need to know about Spetses!
The island of Spetses pops color! It’s secluded beaches have a tropical vibe with their white sands, emerald waters, and dense vegetation and it’s charming fishing villages provide picturesque scenes bursting with vibrancy. The island’s history is long and rich in naval traditions and has lead to the island possessing some striking landmarks. This is the perfect island to unwind and relax!
Findings from archeological excavations show that the island has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, however it’s first settlement Kastelli was found to be Medieval. In the 15th century the population increased as did the island’s marine power and tradition. This led to the empowerment of the island’s fleet which ended up playing an important role during the War of Greek Independence.
Sightseeing highlights include:
Old harbour: One and a half kilometers from the new harbour of Hydra lies the old harbour. This enchanting area used to be the centre of ship building during the 18th and 19th century.
Lighthouse: Located on the right side of the harbour is one of the oldest lighthouses that ever operated in Greece.
The Museum of Spetses: The Museum of Spetses is housed in an elegant mansion belonging to a local tradesman of the 19th century. It hosts items that depict the island’s rich history.
Bouboulina Museum: This private museum is housed in the heroine Bouboulina’s home and displays a selection of her personal belongings. Bouboulina was a Greek naval commander and heroine of the Greek War of Independence.
Church of Agios Nikolaus: This is the most famous and most stunning church on the island. It has an impressive bell tower made of Titian marble.
Bekiris Cave: This dreamy cave is reachable by boat or via a tricky path from the beach of Agioi Anargyroi. Inside the cave is a tiny sand beach and a display of striking stalactites and stalagmites.
Church of Panagia Armata: This church was built between 1824-1830 by a Spetsiote Captain to commemorate the defeat of the Ottoman fleet by the Greeks.
Church of Agia Paraskevi: The tiny chapel of Agia Paraskevi is located on the beach of the same name.
Monastery of Agioi Pantes: Established in the early 19th century, the imposing Monastery of Agioi Pantes stands on top of a hill in Agia Marina and offers stunning views. The Monastery’s cemetery holds tombs of important local figures.
The beaches of Spetses are very tropical looking with their bright turquoise waters, white sand beaches and dense greenery. Each beach provides a striking backdrop and a relaxing atmosphere.
Agia Paraskevi: Located 10km west of Spetses town is the secluded beach of Agia Paraskevi. The bay has soft white sands, clear waters and tropical greenery. The little chapel of Agia Paraskevi sits on the beach making this one of the most stunning beaches on the island.
Agia Marina: 3km south of the island is the small and organised beach, Agia Marina. This is the most popular beach on the island with it’s mix of sand, fine pebbles and turquoise waters. The pastel coloured chapel of Agia Marina sits on the beach aswell as a fantastic beach bar with sea views.
Agioi Anargyri: The striking cove of Anargyri is located 12 km west of Spetses. It has emerald waters and a sandy, pebbled beach. It is the largest beach on the island and boasts great tavernas within the area.
Xilokeriza: This mesmerizing bay is found on the southeast coast of the island. It is very secluded and therefore doesn’t possess any tourist facilities. It has a very exotic vibe with it’s emerald waters, white sands and dense backdrop of palms and pines. Kalki: This long bay has a sand and pebbled beach and is one of the most developed on the island. It boasts plenty of tourist facilities, tavernas, beach bars and shops.
Kouzounos: Located southwest of the island is the secluded beach of Kouzounos. It is the most secluded and unspoiled beach on the island and has a pebbled beach with glassy waters. Zogeria: This beautiful beach boasts a sandy bay and crystalline waters. The idyllic chapel of Agios Georgios sits close to the beach as does a small selection of traditional tavernas. Agios Mammas (Town Beach): This long blonde bay lines the main town of Spetses. It is a pebbled beach with beautiful shallow waters. Due to it’s location and array of facilities within the area, it is a very convenient spot to relax in. Just around the corner from the beach is the lovely church of Agios Mamas.
Like the other Saronic islands, Spetses is known for it’s locally made Amigdalota; almond cookies. The island is also known for it’s Fish a la Spetsiota, which is a white fish; preferably bream, grouper, cod or halibut, in a tomatoe sauce with potatoes and various spices and herbs.
Notable events and festivals
There are many wonderful festivals and celebrations that take place on the island, but no other is as romantic and as touching as the Festival of Agios Mamas. On the 2nd of September after the evening mass has finished in the church of Agios Mamas, children meet at the shoreline of Town beach; each with a paper boat filled with a tea light. Each child then places their boat into the water and pushes them into the distance. The beautiful image of a sea filled with candle light is just breathtaking.