Συγκρότημα Ξενών

 

Spetses 

 Useful tips!

A list of useful tips that will make your staying in Spetses as relaxing and unforgettable as possible.

1. Diversity is a unique advantage.

Spetses town is very pretty, with narrow, cobbled streets, many old buildings and mansions with pebbled courtyards and aristocratic architecture, where the strong tradition is most strongly felt. Unlike the style of Cyclades with simple white houses with blue windows, on Spetses the "captain’s houses", influenced by the architecture of Florence and Venice during the Renaissance, attract and amaze visitors. Everywhere, in all the picturesque streets of the island, the scents of flowers justify the roots of the island’s name: the Italian spezie , which means pleasant smells! In the old port you can admire the small traditional boatyards that still exist very much as they were long ago.

2. Other attractions within, and outside of, the town of Spetses:

Two of the main attractions in the town of Spetses are the home of Bouboulina, (now a private museum which is open to visitors), and the museum at the home of Hatziyiannis-Mexis, two of the local heroes from the War of Independence against the Turks. There is also the monastery of St. Nicholas which sits majestically above the road between the town of Spetses and the Old Harbour. This is also open to visitors. Saint Nicholas is the patron of sailors, and here was the place where the leaders of Spetses took the oath of freedom when the war of Independence was about to erupt in 1821. On the opposite side of the island is Bekiri’s cave at Anargyri. It is easily accessible and by land and by sea, a site of natural beauty and a protected national treasure. Finally, the island is widely known for the incredible pine forest, which occupies about a third of the entire island, and is also a protected area. It shades the entire coastal road that surrounds the island and gives another dimension to the already beautiful beaches of the island, when the tall trees reach almost to the water’s edge.

3. Spetses and gourmet paradise:

Spetses has a variety of options for quality restaurants. It is important to know exactly where to go to find fresh fish and lobster, where the best place for meat is and where you can sample traditional dishes of Greek cuisine. Each season, this list of restaurants is updated with new arrivals, changes to existing restaurants and changes in ownership. It is therefore advisable to ask us, if you wish to make a reservation at one of these, in order for you to have sound and "fresh" information. The same thing applies to the varied nightlife options on the island, which is full of choices for all tastes, and opportunities for fun!

4. Short and easy walks around Spetses:

The many routes available for walks in and around the town of Spetses are among the most popular ways to enjoy the island. You may enjoy an evening stroll around any of the following places:

  • The port of Dapia, (meaning “fortified place”), the central meeting place of the island since the time of the great sea-captains of 1821.
  • The wonderful neo-classical structure which was built as a family home, by the great local benefactor, Sotirios Anargyros. It was built in the 18th century, and in its long history has housed the town hall, the French family barons Rothschild , and functioned as a setting for many cultural events.
  • The mansion of Bouboulina which operates as a Museum in the area immediately behind the Dapia. It boasts a magnificent carved ceiling in the main hall, and houses personal items and historical artefacts associated with the life of the great lady.
  • The historic Hotel Poseidonion, built in 1914, with its exquisite architecture and magnificent decorated spaces, is said to be the first hotel built in the Greek islands. It was the holiday residence of many famous politicians, artistes and businessmen, and is now restored to its former glory. In the square at the front of the hotel stands the statue of Laskarina Bouboulina where residents and visitors congregate in the evenings.
  • The Town Hall, with its pretty gardens and traditional pebble-mosaic yard, (another of Bouboulina’s residences, given over to public use).
  • Anargyrios-Corgialenos School, with its rich history, was founded in 1927 (by Sotirios Anargyros) and operated as an English-style public school until 1983. The School gave us many renowned scientists, politicians and artists.
  • Clock Tower Square, whose name comes, unsurprisingly, from the clock standing in its south-western corner.
  • The mansion of Hatziyiannis-Mexis, the first governor of the island. The museum hosts objects that represent more than 4,000 years of cultural history of the island, including important relics of the Revolution of 1821 (the flag of the Revolution, the remains of Bouboulina herself, weapons and portraits of Spetsiot naval warriors).
  • Kapodistrian Cultural Centre, near Ayios Nikolaos. Built as one of the first schools in free Greece, after the war of independence, and now fully restored, today it serves the people of Spetses as a theatre and cinema for local schools and the Cultural Society.
  • The lighthouse of Spetses, which, along with that of Kea, were the first lighthouses of the Greek lighthouse network (1837). What now adorns the old port of Spetses is the same stone structure that opened in 1885.
  • The cathedral of St. Nicholas. The flag of the Revolution of 1821 was hoisted over its bell-tower to spread the news of victory for the Greek forces.
  • The church of Panagia Armata , built in honour of the victory of the fleets of Spetses, Hydra and Psara against the Turks. The interior of the church is adorned by the painting by I. Koutsis, depicting the battle of the bay of Spetses (1887).
  • The boatyards in the Old Harbour.

5. Besides boating on Spetses we also now have 'biking'!

In recent years, the bicycle has become synonymous with the island of Spetses. The island is ideal for bike rides, being flat for the most part and shady for the rest due to the dense coverage provided by the pine forest. Completing a circuit of the island is a challenge even the most casual of cyclists find hard to resist. It is 26 km, ie not enough to tire ,but just right to see Spetses from end to end and fill your holiday memories with wonderful images. If you rent bikes early in the morning and keep them until evening, it is possible to see it all in just one day. But do beware! Cycling is now so popular on the island, during busy weekends it can be hard to find bikes to rent. Most paths around the town are relatively easy, as are those leading out around 5km in either direction. There are also many interesting off-road experiences to be had, throughout the more mountainous centre of the island. These routes are ideal for mountain-biking and are better suited to the more-experienced rider. In general, the uphill and downhill parts of the island’s paths are mild in difficulty and are indeed worth every push of the pedal, leading you either to beautiful secluded beaches or to some lush green corner overlooking the nearby islands and magnificent mountains far across the sea on the Peloponnese.

6. Beaches Spetses: so many choices make for a difficult decision!

  • Kaiki Beach (School of Anargyreios). . An organised beach on the northwest side of town, it has facilities for water sports and activities, and beach bar and restaurant.
  • Kounoupitsa, Ayios Nikolaos and Ayios Mammas. Located in the town of Spetses, these can be reached on foot. They are without beds and umbrellas.
  • Ayia Marina. Organised, popular beach on the southeast side of the island in a green bay, with facilities for water sports and a restaurant with beach bar.
  • Anargyri. Organised busy pebble beach, in a wooded bay on the south side of the island, it is fully equipped with water-sports etc, and is also the site of the famous cave of Bekiri, a natural site which deserves to be seen. The beach also has a restaurant, and bar.
  • Ayia Paraskevi. Close to Anargyri, it is an organised and popular beach with pine trees down to the crystal edges of the sea, as well as the pretty church on the beach from which it takes its name. There is a beach bar for light refreshments.
  • Cozounos. On the eastern side of Spetses, opposite Spetsopoula.
  • Xylokeriza. Organised beach on the southeast coast. It also has a canteen.
  • Kamares. Steep coves on the west side of the island.
  • Zogeria. In a secluded bay on the northwest side, with pine forest almost up to the water’s edge, it is possibly the sandiest beach on Spetses. There is a charming restaurant, famed for its only two dishes of Soutzoukakia (spiced meatballs in tomato sauce), or Chicken Casserole, cooked by Mama!
  • Ligoneri. Quiet, pine beach on the north side of the island.
  • Vrellos located near Ligoneri. Here you will find an exotic beach bar, mostly frequented by young bathers, who go to enjoy the lively atmosphere.

7. What makes Spetses different from other Greek islands:

Spetses is well known as one of the most beautiful islands in the Greek seas. Historically, it is one of the first islands where the Greeks, especially the Athenians, took their summer holidays and in its harbour was built the first tourist hotel in Greece. So, it follows that our green island saw much glory and grandeur, in its long history, with luxury tourism from home and abroad. Let us take a look in more detail at the points that give Spetses this uniqueness.


First is its distance from the capital of Greece, Athens. Being in the calm of the Saronic Gulf, it benefits from the geographical proximity to the largest city in the country. Spetses also has the added advantage of easy access from the mainland. The small port of Costa, on the Peloponnese, near the famous Porto Heli, operates as a station for the routes by Ferry Boat, with 4-5 crossings every day, and the other, smaller water-taxis and kaikis. The route from Athens or Piraeus, passing over the Corinth Canal and through the picturesque mountain roads near Epidavros, then via the busy town of Kranidi and the seaside town of Porto Heli is beautiful, and an easy drive. The plethora of advantages to locals and visitors alike of being able to come and go from the island as and when they please does not need listing.


Spetses also differs from other islands such as those in the Cyclades, in being so green, with most of its area covered by woodland which are protected against the expansion of the town. Thus, the smell of the pine resin, the coolness created by the branches of these beautiful giants, with their pine cones weighing down the boughs ever-closer to the green, crystal clear water of the sea which mirrors this natural beauty, creating a different kind of paradise to that which is usually imagined when we hear the word "Aegean". Even in the town, the plants and flowers are everywhere, hence the name Spetses from the Italian spezzie which means "pleasant smells".


Regarding the architecture of the island, words cannot always convey real beauty. Spetses is a traditional settlement. The islanders have respected with great sobriety the need for the town to retain its splendid character, building their small or large houses, with the same philosophy and aesthetics. Far removed from the simplistic white and blues of most Greek islands, Spetses architecture is reminiscent of more aristocratic times. The elegance of the architectural style influenced by Italian Renaissance of Florence and Venice, the large shuttered windows, pebbled courtyards, the colours and flowers which encompass them, give the "captains’ houses" and the other houses on the island an incredible beauty. This uniformity and order calms the spirit, and gives much of visual pleasure. The coastal road leading from the central, busy Dapia to the Old Harbour, is perhaps the most beautiful and most traditional there is. Whether walking, or riding in a horse-drawn buggy, the unique beauty of Spetses encompasses you fully, all the way.


Finally, as the Saronic Gulf is the known as the "lake" of the Greek seas and the Meltemi winds of summer almost pass us by, Spetses is heaven to those who like their holidays to include speedboat rides or sailing. Spetses’ beaches are ideal not only for relaxation, but also for snorkelling, water skiing and other sports and games. Here, the temperature of the deep blue waters allows even those less hardy to enjoy the sea for at least 6 months of the year! So all, young, old, families, couples and discerning travellers, will make time every day, even for a quick dip!



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