Spetses is well known as the capital of the Greek Riviera , with its natural beauty, the beautiful beaches and high quality of night life. There are many cafes, restaurants, clubs and bars.The marina is full of yachts of all kinds from flotillas to the mega yachts of the rich and famous. There are many lovely beaches around the island , ranging from the sandy Zogeria with its cute beach taverna to the larger beaches of Anagiri where you can find a range of water sports and Kaiki with its funky beach side bars and restaurant.
The island is rich in culture and history and played an important role in the Greek war of Independence. In the 15th Century, the Venetians named the island Spezia (“Spice”) for its position on a major traderoute and over time the name was Hellenised to Spetses.
Due to it’s close proximity with Athens, the Greek Riviera is often considered an ideal choice for short weekend breaks with an emphasis on party lifestyle, culture and relaxation. The many events that take place at the Saronic Islands, such as the Armata festival in Spetses, the Spetses Classic Regata as well as the Epidavrous Drama Festival offer fantastic opportunities for holidays all-year round.
The island itself is located 60 nautical miles south of Pireaus, is accessible by both high speed ferry service ( about 2 hours) and also by land taxi to Porto Helii which is 220 kilometres from the Athens airport and a five minute sea-crossing by sea taxi.
Boat trips can also be taken to other parts of the island and to other islands such as Hydra. The Peloponnese mainland is 5 mins by water taxi and from there the ancient sites of Epidavros theatre and the beautiful old city of Naflion can easily be visited.
Extract from The Telegraph , August 2012, ‘Spetses: the idyllic spice island’
From the moment I stepped from the catamaran on to the jetty, I could tell that I was going to like Spetses.
The tiny port of Dapia is overlooked by whitewashed, Neoclassical houses and fringed by smart cafés and stylish boutiques. This is an island where your senses immediately come alive: the air, refreshingly warm, carries the smell of the sea one moment, then freshly baked pastries the next. Locals drink their espressos and frappés as they play backgammon in the shade and eye the latest arrivals climbing out of the red-and-white water taxis.
Around the corner from the port, the winding, cobbled coastal road opens into a wide, expansive piazza that acts as a forecourt for the Poseidonion, a grand, august hotel styled like a château and modelled on the Carlton in Cannes and the Negresco in Nice. There is something almost therapeutic about arriving here after the boat journey, from the cool of the lobby to the airy rooms, and it feels more like the French Riviera as I open the shutters to take in a view stretching across the Saronic Gulf to the Peloponnese coast.
Standing at the end of the square, however, is a statue of Laskarina Bouboulina, a heroine as Greek as you get, who led the islanders’ assault on an Ottoman fleet trying to sail through this channel during the Greek war of Independence of 1821-32. Watching the sun set over mountains in the distance, it is hard to believe this serene landscape once echoed to the sound of gunfire, but cannons used in the battle are still dotted along the promenade, facing out to sea as a reminder of Spetses’s victorious past.
Now, it is the friendly chatter and clatter of glasses from the hotel terrace that echo across the piazza, where children ride bicycles, weaving around a line of lamps.
There is something timeless about the square, and indeed the island itself. It is as close to the idyllic Hellenic picture as you can imagine: fishermen lay out their catch by the seafront as the locals stroll along the promenade, past impressive villas, domed churches and traditional tavernas with tables lining the road. Cars are banned from the town, so instead people travel in horse-drawn carriages, by bicycle or on mopeds, which rattle through the backstreets with elderly women often sitting sideways on the back.
The island has an authentic charm, having remained relatively undiscovered by visitors despite only being a two-hour boat ride from Piraeus. From where I sit in one of the cafés at the old harbour of Baltiza, most of the voices I hear are Greek, sounding convivial, then surly, then impassioned, often within the same sentence. Laughter carries from the back of boats and luxury yachts docked across from the waterfront bars and restaurants, while a short walk away old shipyards clang with sawing and hammering.
The island is particularly popular with high-society Athenians, who retreat to their villas every summer to escape the stifling heat of the city. This is reflected in the prices of meals and the presence of boutique stores such as Ralph Lauren, signs of an island cocooned in blissful affluence away from the economic meltdown on the mainland. Even the stray dogs look healthy and well fed.
Yet, there is no sense of the wealth being ostentatious as the Spetsiots place real value in the island’s natural beauty and history: the secluded beaches, pine-clad hills and ancient churches. While a couple of beaches and pretty churches are within walking distance of Dapia, it is well worth climbing into a water taxi or hiring a moped to explore the island properly.
I decide on the latter and head to a rental shop, where I’m served by a man whose hair is matted with the bike oil that covers his face and hands. His black socks are pulled up to his knees even though it must be close to 100F (38C). Having tried two bikes that are faulty, he pats the third approvingly, though not totally reassuringly, makes a token effort to wipe his hand on his T-shirt to shake mine, then bids me farewell.
Spetses Life Photos
Spetses Night Life
Old Port Mourayo
This bar-restaurant opened up the Old Port and established the area as the ultimate fun spot, and more. housed in a 19th centurybuilding.
Old Port La Luz
If you are one of those people who love live music stages, the Greek music that is beyond “labels” and late nights until dawn, then La Luz will definitely be for you.
This is a brand new arrival on Spetses, which managed to win people over before it even opened its doors. Balcony, in the center of the island, is an all day venue.
In an unrivaled central location, in Dapia next to the canons, cafe Roussos has been a reference point on the island since 1968 retaining its traditional.
Old Port Booze
Booze Bar is located in the Old Port and is a hangout with character, which is a new entertainment proposal you should definitely make a stop here.
Take a sweet break during your stay on Spetses at Alfi’s patisserie-gelateria on the pedestrian street of 12 Magazia with a particular emphasis ice cream.
Center Klimis Patisserie-Cafe
This is one of the most authentic and traditional spots on Spetses. You will find the Klimis cafe-patisserie, which is renowned for the traditional Spetses sweets.
Bikini Cocktail Bar
The venue is simple, with an outdoor terrace , surrounded by boats/yachts. Serving cocktails and light Mediterranean food , with late night dancing.
A wonderful pub/bar to start your evening or indeed stay into the early hours , listening to the old classics of the sixties and seventies put together lovingly by the owner, Costas, Spetsa bar has been a fixture of Spetses for many years.
– Spetsa Bar, Agios Mamas
A small , cute bar established a few years ago , serving drinks at several tables on the small beach directly outside, or inside at the bar. Great atmosphere, lovely view into the old harbour, Jinx has established itself as a cool venue.
– Jinx, Old Port
Situated along the inside street running parallel to the harbour , with a view through to the sea front, this small espresso cocktail bar is full of character. Serves great drinks and coffee, and is very popular with the locals.
– Votsalo, Main Town
Location: 10 km west of Spetses Town Description: This is a rather secluded beach on the western side of the island. It has soft sand and crystal water. Type: Sandy, Family Friendly, Partly Organized
Location: 3 km south of Spetses Town Description: This small beach is organized with sun beds, umbrellas and many watersports centres. It can be reached by bus or boat. Type: Sandy, Family Friendly, Organised
Location: 2 km from Dapia Description: Kaiki is the most popular beach close to the town. It is partly organized and has a lively bar in summer. Type: Pebbled, Partly Organized
Location: 9 km north west of Spetses Town Description: Zogeria is a secluded beach on the northern side of the island. A small chapel of Agios Georgios is located on the beach. Type: Sandy, Partly Organized, Secluded
Location: 6 km north east of Spetses Town Description: Vrellos is a long, sandy beach on the northernmost side of the island. It can be reached by boat or by bus. Type: Pebbled, Family Friendly, Partly Organized
Location: 8 km from Spetses Town Description: Located on the southern side of the island, Xilokeriza is a beautiful sandy beach surrounded by much greenery. This is a nice place to relax. Type: Pebbled, Family Friendly, Organised
Location: 500 metres from Spetses Town Description: Located in a short walking distance from Dapia, Agios Mamas is the main beach of the Town. It is partly organized with sun beds and umbrellas. Fresh fish taverns line this pebbled coast. Type: Pebbled, Harbor
Location: 12 km west of Spetses Town Description: This is among the most popular beaches of Spetses. A few hotels are found in the area. A walking path from this beach leads to the amazing cave of Bekiri. Type: Sandy, Family Friendly, Partly Organized