Home Destination Guides Accommodation 27th January 2020


     Spetses is the most southerly of the Saronic Islands located to the west of neighbouring Hydra and close to the south western tip of the Argolis peninsular of the Peloponnese. In fact, whilst it is considered to be one of the Saronic Islands, Spetses is actually situated at the southern end of the Argolis Gulf, rather than in the Saronic Gulf. Its Saronic neighbour Hydra is situated between the two Gulfs, and the other islands of Aegina, Poros and Angistri are in the Saronic Gulf proper.   
     Spetses is an attractive, small island clad with pine forests. It has only one settlement of any size, Spetses Town, and has banned all cars.  Whilst this has led to a lack of development elsewhere on the island, Spetses Town has crept steadily outward into the suburbs.   This said, the island’s location, being the furthest of the Saronic Islands from Athens (about 70 miles/115 kilometres by sea), has meant that the bulk of the day- trippers from Athens do not make it this far and your companions are therefore intrepid travellers in the main. 
     Spetses has two claims to fame.  The first has made it popular with the British because the novelist John Fowles set his book ‘The Magus’ on the island and the second has made it popular with Greeks, as it was the birthplace of a noted female admiral, Laskarina Bouboulina, who became renowned for her fighting spirit during the Greek War of Independence.  Her bones now lay in Spetses Museum, along with other items relating to the War of Independence, and the museum is generally open to the public.
     The focal point of Spetses Town is the waterfront, with the new Port at the northern end and the old Port to the south. The town also has many elegant mansion houses dating from the 18th Century.  Due to the ban on cars, horses and traps ply their trade along the waterfront and are a popular way of travelling around the town.  For travelling further afield, local buses operate from two separate sites on the waterfront; the one by the new Port operates a service along the north coast (where most of the hotels are) and the bus stop by the meagre town beach services the east coast.  Spetses Town has good amenities with banks, a supermarket, grocery shops, chemist, bakery, a clinic, moped hire, a variety of other shops and plenty of tavernas, restaurants and café bars.
     Sadly what Spetses generally lacks is beaches, but there is one good sandy beach, the best on the island, located around the coast from Spetses Town at Agia Anargiri.  Local buses leave every day for Ag. Anargiri, but these tend to become very crowded, particularly in high season and a better option is to take one of the beach boats from the new port that offer a shuttle service round to Ag. Anargiri.  Alternatively, with the mainland being so close, many people prefer to take a water taxi across the narrow straits to the sleepy village of Kosta on the mainland, which has a nice beach.  In addition hydrofoils operate on a frequent daily basis to Porto Heli, adjacent to Kosta, and along the Peloponnese coastline to the lovely towns of Nafplion and Tolon. 
     Spetses has no airport and the only way to visit the island is by boat.  None of the mainstream tour operators offer package holidays to Spetses, so this is a do-it-yourself island.  There are many low cost airlines flying into Athens and daily ferries from the Athens port of Pireaus (Zea harbour) to Spetses.  Taxis are readily available at Athens airport to take you to Pireaus and taxi prices are metered, so check that the driver sets the meter when leaving the airport.  Alternatively there are several Greek specialist tour operators flying direct from the UK to Kalamata airport in the Peloponnese and a stay on Spetses could be combined with a stay in the Peloponnese.  As stated above, there are regular sailings running to and from the resorts of Nafplion, Tolon, Porto Heli and Spetses.
     For those seeking to island hop around the Saronic Gulf, there are almost daily ferries or hydrofoils from Spetses to the other Saronic Islands of Hydra, Poros and Aegina.  However, in common with many other Greek ferry services they change like the wind and all schedules should be checked locally.  All timings will be affected during adverse weather conditions and this should be borne in mind when organising an itinerary.
The foregoing information was last reviewed in April 2007. Things change, and whilst we are often travelling in Greece we do rely to some extent upon others to provide updates in order to keep the site as current and accurate as possible!  If you have updates or information that you think should be included here, please mail the webmaster@aguide2greece.com  - thank you.


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