Spetses! A cosmopolitan island, with an aristocratic aura and historical significance. It is one of the most beautiful islands of the Saronic Gulf, or as they call it the jewel of the Saronic Gulf. An ideal destination for short getaways, or for summer vacations. It combines elegance with picturesqueness, and the historic city with beautiful beaches.
Spetses celebrates every year the Greek overwhelming victory over the Ottoman fleet in 1822, where the legendary heroine Captain Bouboulina and other captains from Spetses set fire to the Turkish flagship.
Upon arrival at the old cannon – port, you will see the large mansions, the heavy cannons and especially the mosaic of round pebbled paths. On this island you can, within 2 days, live romantic moments, with manorial experiences and be filled with memories and beautiful images.
Our weekend getaway to Spetses was exactly what we needed, away from the rhythms of the city and everyday life. The weekend we spent in Spetses, together with our close friends, filled us with images and experiences so pleasant that we promised to visit the island again. In our guide below you will find all the important information you need before your first visit to the island.
Table of Contents
- Spetses belongs to the islands of the Saronic Gulf.
- The island population is around 3900 inhabitants.
- The island got its name from the Venetians, because of its fragrant flowers (isola di spezzie), meaning the island of perfumes.
- In ancient times it was called Pityousa, because of its many pine trees.
- Every second weekend of September, the anniversary of the Battle of Spetses is celebrated. The culmination of the celebration is the representation of the Battle of Armata, the burning of the Turkish flagship and the burning of fireworks.
How to Go
There are many ways to go to Spetses and each route will reward you accordingly.
From Piraeus: There are daily itineraries from the port of Piraeus to Spetses with Flying Dolphins that carry only passengers. You will find these ships on the Tselepi coast, at gate D. The schedules change depending on the time period. The journey is about 2 hours and there are intermediate stops in Poros, Hydra and Ermioni.
By road: If you are travelling by car, follow the National Road to Corinth and exit at Ancient Epidaurus. Then follow the signs to Kanidi, Porto Heli and Costa. This journey takes about 2.5 hours. Costa is the coast opposite the port of Spetses. In Costa there is also a parking area to leave your car, since cars are prohibited on the island.
An alternative way to get to Costa is by KTEL, from the Kifissos KTEL. There are daily itineraries to Kranidi from the KTEL Argolidas. Travelling from Kranidi to Costa, you reach the port to go to Spetses.
From Costa you can go to Spetses in the following ways:
By Ferry Boat: Spetses – Costa: 07:20-10:00-13:00-16:30
Costa – Spetses: 08:00-10:30-13:30-17:00
By boat: In this traditional way you can cross over to Spetses. There are very frequent boat trips, that during the tourist season run from morning until night.
By sea taxi: Sea taxis run 24 hours a day and take you anywhere around the island, upon booking.
More information on ticket prices and availability can be found here.
For those who wish to travel to Spetses by car, we must point out that they are prohibited on the island and this is subject to the special regulations of the Municipality of Spetses.
With the traditional boats, apart from the route Costa – Spetses or Spetses – Costa that we mentioned above, there are itineraries to Agios Anargyros, Agia Paraskevi and Zogeria (famous beaches on the island). These boat trips start early in the morning and stop at sunset, with the port of Dapia as a reference point.
As also mentioned above, with sea taxis you can visit any beach, 24 hours a day, upon booking.
There are land taxis in Spetses, the phones of which can be found in various places in the port.
What we would suggest for you to experience is a ride on the picturesque horse drawn carriages of the island. During the summer, the open horse and buggy will take you to most parts of the island, from early in the morning until late at night. Their two starting points are in the port of Dapia and in the square of Poseidon. The prices of each ride are posted at the starting points.
An alternative transportation to the island is by bicycle or scooter.
Only in the months of the tourist season there are two buses. The route of one starts from the beach of Agios Mamas in the direction of Agia Marina, Kouzounos, Xylokeriza, Agios Anargyros and ends at the beach of Agia Paraskevi. The route of the other bus starts from Poseidon Square, with the direction of Kounoupitsa, Patrali, hotel “Spetses”, Kaiki beach, the Schools, hotel “Xenia”, Blueberry Hill, Ligoneri and the settlement of Ligoneri and it stops at the beach of Vrellos.
This beach is nearest the port. With sand and pebbles, it is ideal for families with small children and is preferred by the locals, as it is easily accessible. (not organized)
A small and quiet beach, on the way to the old port. It has sand and fine pebbles and is easily accessible on foot. (not organized)
An organized beach and just 10 minutes from Dapia, is the now cosmopolitan beach of Agia Marina. On this beach you can do water sports and have options for food and beverage. The sea is clean and has sand with a few pebbles.
It is located west of the port of Dapia and has a sandy beach with pebbles and clear blue waters. Around the beach you have the option of walking and eating in restaurants and taverns.
One of the most famous beaches, due to the beach bar “Kaiki”. There you will find sunbeds and umbrellas and you have the opportunity to try some water sports. There are very good restaurants around with tasty food.
This beach is probably the most beautiful beach in Spetses. Green and luscious, full of pines, it has crystal clear waters and thick pebbles and is organized with a bar. It is accessible either by bus or by boat.
Another large beach located in the settlement of engineers. It is divided into two parts and has pebbles with a little sand and a rocky bottom. The beach is not organized and is accessible by bus.
The beach with the most turquoise and calm waters. A small bay is created there, with a sandy organized beach. You will also find beautiful, small and secluded beaches in the big bay of Zogeria.
The largest beach in Spetses. It has pebbles and a sandy bottom and is organized, providing you with activities for water sports. The bus from Agios Mama stops at the entrance of the beach, next to the restaurant. You can also go with one of the tourist boats from the port of Dapia.
What to Do
Spetses, as we mentioned earlier is a picturesque island, with a cosmopolitan air and a history of 5,000 years.
Initially, we recommend the mansion of Captain Bouboulina (a national heroine during the Greek war of Independence), which now functions as a museum in Pefkakia Square. This museum exhibits a number of personal items and historical relics, while you will be impressed by the carved ceiling and the large hall.
Another house-museum, and in fact one of the most special houses of Spetses, is that of Hatzigiannis Mexis, one of the first lords of the island and leader of the National Uprising in 1821. Here lie the bones of the beloved captain, as well as findings from the ancient Shipwreck of the Irias, which dates back to 1200 BC. Also on display are valuable relics from the Greek war of Independence, such as the flag of the Greek Revolution, traditional costumes, portraits and historical documents.
The scenic walk from the port of Dapia to the Old Port is something you should not miss. A romantic ride that you can make either by carriage or on foot. On this route you will be impressed with the old captains’ mansions, you will take many photos and upon arriving at the port you may gaze at the boats.
At the organized beaches you will have the opportunity to test your skills in water sports, rent a jet ski or a flyboard. There is also the Ergo Dive diving center on Kaiki Beach, with which you can book a dive and explore the underwater world of the sea.
Check our article for a weekend in Agistri here.
Food and Beverage
Patralis: Very close to the port of Dapia, with a balcony overlooking the sea. In the fish tavern of Patrali you will find excellent food with prices worthy of its quality. The portions are large and the service is fast.
Roussos cafe: Since 1968 Roussos cafe is an all time classic choice to enjoy a hearty breakfast. Choose outdoor tables overlooking the sea. The store opens at 7.30am and is located in Dapia.
Nero tis Agapis (Water of Love): It is located in Kounoupitsa and has stunning views. Its dishes are Mediterranean and the fish fresh comes straight from the owners’ boat.
Poseidonion Grand Hotel: For a stately breakfast in the elegant aura of Spetses, you can try the rich full American buffet breakfast or the Continental breakfast.
Alfie’s: For delicious ice cream on your afternoon walk, we recommend Alfie’s. It is located in Dapia and there are many flavors of ice cream to choose from.
Mourayo: A bar-restaurant in the Old Port, where you can dine and have a drink by the sea.
Tarsanas: In the Old Port, Tarsanas is an ideal choice for seafood. This restaurant has been operating on the island for 13 years with a growing, steady value and customers.
Useful Sites & apps
Booking.com: With a plethora of choices, traveller grades, and a lot of offers for those who have booked many destinations, promo codes for you and your friends, discounts and many other advantages. Start booking to discover all the available options and offers.
Air Bnb: With more than a million properties around the world and still growing. A very popular choice for those looking for more affordable options even at the most expensive locations. Having the choice to pick an apartment or even a whole villa would make you feel more at home while you travel. Check for available rooms here.
Ferries in Greece: For ferry tickets to all of Greece as well as destinations like Italy and Turkey.Immediate service and cooperation with the largest services in Greece.