Spetses

Saronic Gulf Islands

Like Hydra, Spetses became very rich through maritime trade in the 18th and 19th centuries and the resulting grand houses can still be seen around Spetses Town. Many of these are now owned by well-to-do Athenians, who use them as weekend residences and holiday homes. Spetses has become rather fashionable, and is quite smarter in feel than the rather more boisterous Poros, without having the artistic chic of Hydra.

Spetses, Greece

Laskarina Bouboulina

The islanders are proud of their maritime heritage and in particular their most famous islander, Laskarina Bouboulina, whose statue graces the harbour. Bouboulina was a female fighter who became an admiral in the navy and was prominent in fighting the Turks during the War of Independence. Her coffin and bones are displayed in the Chatzi-Giannis Mexis Museum, which takes its name from the former owners of the late 18th century mansion which now tells the local history, especially the War of Independence. Close to the harbour is Bouboulina’s House, which is also now a museum in her memory and admission is by way of a guided tour every half-hour in season.

Spetses, Greece

The Magus

A more recent resident was British novelist John Fowles, whose 1966 novel The Magus (later filmed) became a cult classic among young people in the late 1960s. Fowles turned Spetses into the mythical island of Phraxos, but it was very much based on Spetses and the school where Fowles taught, Anaryiros College, is just outside Spetses Town and features in his book.

Beaches

There are no major historical remains around the island, but there are a number of good beaches such as that at Agii Anargiri, and also quiet villages making it a good island to explore on foot or by hiring a bike or moped. For a long time motor vehicles were banned from the island, save for the ubiquitous Greek moped, although now local residents are allowed to bring cars onto Spetses although they are still prohibited from the town centre. This does make Spetses Town one of the more pleasant of Greek island capitals.

Getting to Spetses

Flights to Spetses
To get to Spetses you must fly to Athens and then take the ferry from Piraeus.

Ferries to Spetses
There are several ferries each day from Athens (Piraeus) to Spetses. The regular slow ferry sails once a day in the morning (reduced service in winter), and takes about 5 hours. There are also much faster flying dolphins and flying catamarans, where the journey time will be 2-3 hours depending on whether it makes stops at some of the other Saronic Gulf islands and at the mainland port of Ermioni on the way. You can also use the Ermioni-Spetses ferry to get to and from the Peloponnese

Ferries in Greece

Ferries in Greece has an excellent and very thorough website where, in addition to checking ferry schedules and times, you can also book tickets and get lots of useful information about travelling by ferry in Greece.

Map of the Saronic Gulf Islands

Where to Stay on Spetses

See our other pages about the Saronic Gulf Islands...

Latest Posts

  1. Greece Looking to Open to Travelers from the United States

    The United States is one of the markets that Greece is eyeing to form a travel arrangement that will open up tourism between the two countries this year.

    Read More

  2. Restaurants in Greece Expected to Re-open for Outdoor Service After Easter

    Restaurants and other food and beverage (F&B) establishments in Greece will most likely be allowed to re-open and serve customers initially outdoors after the Easter holiday, Greek Deputy Development…

    Read More

  3. Norwegian Cruise Line to Sail the Greek Islands in July

    Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. is planning to restart operations this summer with sailings to the Caribbean and the Greek islands.

    Read More

  4. Greeks and Tourists will Abide by Same Covid-19 Rules, Says Tourism Minister

    Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis on Monday clarified that any safety and health rules that apply to Greek citizens – such as mandatory mask wearing and social distancing – will also apply to tourists…

    Read More

  5. Celestyal Getting Ready to Offer Safe Cruise Experiences from May

    Celestyal Cruises is speeding up procedures for the restart of sailings on May 29, aiming to provide its guests with carefree holidays to the Greek islands and the Eastern Mediterranean.

    Read More

  6. Greece will Open for Tourism with ‘Five Lines of Defence’ Against Covid-19

    Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said Greece has set up five lines of defence against the coronavirus (Covid-19) in order to open for tourism safely this year.

    Read More

  7. Greece Unsure About Easing Lockdown Measures for Easter

    Greek Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister Akis Skertsos on Monday told SKAI radio that it is “too soon” to discuss if lockdown restrictions would be eased in Greece in time for the Easter holiday. T…

    Read More

  8. Piraeus Port Authority to Create New Park, Bike Lane

    The Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) has announced plans to undertake the construction of a new playground and a bicycle lane at the port of Piraeus.

    Read More

  9. Culture Ministry: Summer Operating Hours for Archaeological Sites, Museums

    The Ministry of Culture has announced the summer operating hours of archaeological sites and museums across Greece. According to a ministry announcement, the opening hours of archaeological sites, mon…

    Read More

  10. The Guardian Selects 10 Crowd-free Greek Islands and Coastlines

    The Guardian recently announced its selection of 10 crowd-free Greek islands and coastlines that can offer travelers “a taste of true Greek culture”. According to the British newspaper, with the end o…

    Read More