Spetses | One of the Best Saronic Islands
The charming Greek Island of Spetses, part of the Saronic Islands, is a popular weekend destination. It is very close to Athens, making it a quick getaway for residents. The island flourished with trade in Medieval times, and the locals constructed elegant buildings that survive today. The town is large and ideal for long walks.
Spetses is a place of charm, traditional values, pine forest, and many visitors during the summer months. The streets are narrow, with a picturesque harbor and charming waterfront. There are no cars on the island.
The island has a warm, Mediterranean climate. Summer in Spetses is hot and sunny, like in most places in Greece, and temperatures range from 25°C to 38°C.
- Cave of Bekiris: The Cave of Bekiris is renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and serves as a popular destination for adventurous explorers. While getting there can be quite challenging, the effort is undoubtedly rewarding. The cave’s interior has captivating formations and crystal-clear waters, making it an enchanting natural wonder worth visiting.
- Church of Panagia Armata: Perched atop a hill overlooking Spetses’ old port, the Church of Panagia Armata is a picturesque chapel with a distinctive white and yellow exterior. Beyond its charming appearance, this chapel holds historical significance, commemorating naval victories and serving as a symbol of faith for the island’s inhabitants.
- Hatziyiannis Mexis Mansion: Dating back over two centuries, the Hatziyiannis Mexis Mansion is a true architectural gem on Spetses. This stunning building features a high-ceilinged roof and a rich history. It was once the residence of Hatzigiannis Mexis, one of the island’s early governors. Today, it offers visitors a glimpse into the island’s past and the life of its prominent residents.
- Bouboulina Museum: Located within the former residence of Bouboulina, one of Spetses’ heroines. This museum is a privately owned treasure trove of historical artifacts and personal belongings. Explore an array of items that provide insights into the daily routines of Spetsiotes,
- Monastery of Agios Nikolaos: Just outside Spetses Town, the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos stands as a tribute to the patron saint of sailors, Saint Nicholas. While welcoming visitors, it adheres to a dress code. Men should wear long trousers and covered shoulders while women should wear long skirts. The monastery offers a serene atmosphere for reflection and a glimpse into the island’s spiritual heritage.
- Go to the beach. There are many beaches on the island, such as Agia Paraskevi Beach, Agia Marina Beach, Agioi Anargiri Beach, Kaiki Beach, Town Beach (Agios Mamas)
- Horseback ride. Greg’s Spetses Horses provides lessons as well as organized rides.
- Run a marathon. Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the Spetsathlon in April (the most significant triathlon in Greece) and the Spetses Mini Marathon in October.
- Walk. Walking on Spetses is a delight because of its unique architecture, cobblestone streets, and fragrant gardens filled with jasmine and bougainvilleas.
- See Armata. This re-enactment of a naval battle takes place in September.
The best way to taste traditional cuisine is to visit local cafes, tavernas, and restaurants. One popular dish is souvlaki, which includes meats, seafood, or vegetables on a skewer. Try the traditional Horiatiki salad, also known as a village salad.
Note that there are no “Greek salads” anywhere in Greece unless you are at a tourist restaurant. The traditional salad usually includes tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, feta, and olive oil. And, since Spetses is an island, seafood plays a significant role in the cuisine. You’ll find fish, octopus, shrimp, and other seafood.
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