The lady of the Gulf Islands
Aristocratic and minimal, charming and picturesque but at the same time tiny and enigmatic, Spetses, the lady of the Gulf Islands, will make you love her at first sight.
It is the island of Matrozou and Boumpoulinas, and holds fairly the privilege of the National affirmation for their invaluable and decisive offer, during the Greek Revolution of 1821.
There is something almost therapeutic about arriving to Spetses after the boat journey, from the distinctive pebbled courtyards and mysterious aromas pouring gently from the lush gardens of the houses to the neoclassical captain manors with colorful doors and windows, the little ports and the cobbled streets that make up the island’s most charming ambience, radiating a very romantic yet classy atmosphere at the same time.
Spetses is an ideal destination for lovers of peace, calm and history. Walk along the lovely sea promenade of the town, have a cup of coffee in Dapia with a view of the cannons that used to protect the settlement, and of course swim in the crystal clear waters under the shade of the pines.
The winding, narrow streets of Spetses wouldn’t be the same if cars were allowed. Horses, carriages, mopeds, water taxis and the four taxicabs transport locals and tourists around the island. To enjoy the beautiful surroundings and get some exercise, explore it on foot or rent bicycles and enjoy a delightful ride around Spetses. Your staying on the island could be perfectly combined with watching a play at the ancient theatre of Epidavros, sailing, or a visit to Hydra Island or even Monemvasia.
If you are able to travel late in the season, the glorious Festival of Armata, taking place on the second weekend of September, is definitely worth witnessing. It celebrates the Vergin Mary of the ‘Armata’ and commemorates the great Naval Battle of Spetses. The revival of this historical event is the top of the climax of a weekly celebration with many festivities including cultural & athletic events, traditional dances, theater performances, concerts, art exhibitions and dozens of yachts arrive every year to be a part of this cosmopolitan gathering.
With its easy access from Athens by car and water taxi, or fast and frequent hydrofoils, Spetses stays open all year round making it an ideal choice for off-season visits, when more remote islands can be rather too quiet.