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Quick Facts: Spetses
Pronunciation Spet-sehs
Transportation Regular ferry and hydrofoil service
Main Attractions Cannons in Dapai Square, pebble mosiacs, Bouboulina Museum and statue
Food Good and plenty of choice
Accommodations Plentiful

Spetses Characteristics

spetses spetses greek island Spetses is southern most of the Saronic Gulf Islands and in the entrance to the Argolic Gulf. Two-thirds of the island is covered with fragrant pine trees, giving Spetses a charm all its own. Spetses is popular with Athenian tourists, but tends to remain uncluttered except in high season.

Tourism is the mainstay of island life. There a thriving industry using the pine tree's resin in the production of Greece's favorite wine: retsina. Almost hugging the mainland, Spetses' many excellent harbor restaurants afford views of red and white water-taxis streaming across to the Peloponnese's Dapia harbor.

Like Hydra, no private vehicles are permitted on the island but the public is served by public bus. There are several pleasant beaches on the southern and western shores reachable by bus, bike, horse-drawn carriage, caique (water-taxi) or donkey.

The small island of Spetsopoula to the south is privately owned and doesn't allow visitors.

Island Features

spetses greek island

Oval in shape, Spetses has a land mass of 22 sq. km and 29 km of coast. The population is about 4,000. It lies within 2 km of the Prefecture of Argolida Peloponnese and is 53 km from Piraeus. Like Poros, Spetses is a good jumping off point for exploring the Peloponnese and especially Naufplion or even Monemvassia. It is 2 miles from the larger mainland port of Kosta.

In addition to the pines, other trees share the islands gently rolling slopes. You'll enjoy the Pistachio, Oleander and Fig trees whose fruit ripens in late August and early September. This lush paradise also is home to several varieties of spring blooming orchids.

The entire coast offers pebbly beaches and rocky swimming coves. There is a road all the way around the island, so most swimming spots are easy to reach by bike or motorcycle. Some spots have watersports facilities.

The bay at Ag. Anargyri is rimmed with trees, bars, and taverns. It's a short walk or swim from the bay to Bekeris Cave. It's best to visit the cave in the afternoon when the sun lights up the interior.

The cove at Ag. Paraskevi is more peaceful. You'll see a church and a cantina plus the Villa Jasemina, the setting of The Magus.

At the northern end of the island you'll find the official nudist beach. There are several other good beaches around the rim of the island.


Spetses TownSpetses Town, the only island town, stretches along the coast for 2 to 3 km. It isn't densely packed like most Greek island towns, but stretches about and hides among the greenery.

Black and white pebble mosiacs dot the landcape. Look for the one commemorating the revolt of 1821 just as you disembark at the Dapia (square).

Dapai Square is cannon studded focal point and a pleasant reminder of days past. It was once the island's first line of defense, but now is home to many cafes and a statue of Bouboulina.

spetses greek island Spetses town's mosaic-like pebble studded streets transport visitors far from the hectic bustle of big city life.

From Dapia, boats visit several of the islands beautiful swimming coves: Aghios Georgos, Aghia Pereskevi and Vrellos or the tiny islet of Petrokaravo.

Drinking and Dining

The limani (port) is festooned with strings of many colored lights making evening dining at a harbor side taverna festive and delicious. Good food including lobster, fish, lamb, and Italian dishes can be found.

The bars really start to come alive around 1 AM.


In Ancient Times Spetses was called Pityoussa or Pine Tree Island. Inhabited as early as 2500 BC its ancient city was at Kastelli a short distance from the modern harbor although little remains and less is know about it. Today Kastelli is home to several notable churches.

More recently Spetses, like Hydra, arose as a naval power and contributed greatly in the War of Independence under its female Admiral Laskarina Bouboulina who has become a legendary heroine to the Greek people. She was personally responsible for a number of Greek battle victories. Greeks say she was so ugly she could only keep a lover at gunpoint, yet she had six chldren. She was also reputed to be able to drink any man under the table. Her house (The Bouboulina Museum) is available for public view just beyond the harbor. You can see her weapons and headscarf, a model of her ship the Agamemnon and her portrait.

Spetses' Museum is in The Chatzi-Yanni Mexis mansion a short distance from the docks. It houses exhibits which include heirlooms of the revolution and folklore material relevant to the past and present. This museum has a box holding Bouboulina's bones.

spetses greek island The bay of Aghio Anargyroi is home to the Bekri Cave, a haven for freedom fighters during the revolution. The scenic bays of Xokeriza and Aghia Marina are of note also. Ship owner Niarchos owns the island of Spetsopoula and has made it a nature preserve.

John Fowles' The Magus is set here. The novel describes Spetses in luscious terms that often bring visitors to the island.



Be sure to try the delicious figs if you are on Spetses in August and September when they ripen. In September, catch the festival and battle reactment in the harbor commemorating the Spetsiots victory over the Turks in 1822.

Look for the blooming orchids if you are there in the spring.

If you are interested in traditional caique construction, the shipbuilders of Spetses still do it the old way, and you may be able to see caiques in various stages of completion around the old harbor.


spetses greek island

The Complete Details

Helpful Information
Transportation Facts
  • Ferry Boats and Hydrofoils come and go often and regularly winter and summer. About 6 and 22 Eu respectively.
  • No private cars allowed: use buses, horses, motorbikes, and water taxis to move about the island.
  • Connect from Spetses to Hydra, Poros, Aegina, Kosta and Piraeus.
Island Resources
  • Tel. code: 2298
  • Port Authority: tel: 72245
  • Tourist police: 029 807 3100


Ikaria - Armenistis
New Maisonettes

Price: €209,000
 -  125 m2
Bedrooms: 3  Baths: 2


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