General Information Spetses is a very nice
little island where you get the choice of just relaxing, going
out at night and visiting some interesting sites. It is small
enough to get around by bike in 4-5 hours (the road is not the
best, though) and there are very few cars. After 2AM there is a
ban on driving mopeds, but even until then it is quiet here.
The people here are very friendly, even though the island has
been visited by holidaymakers for many years. A lot of Athenians
also have summer houses here since it is quite close to the
History Spetses was already
inhabited in the 3rd Millennium BC, and archaeological excavations have
revealed an important past on the island. Because of its many pine
trees, it was called Pytiousa in ancient Greece, and the islanders seem
to have been skilled in making and repairing ships, since Spetses was a
place for the ancient ships to get new stock and careening.
The Macedonians had conquered almost the whole of Greece in the 4th
century BC, and after them followed the Roman and the Byzantine empires.
In the beginning of the 13th century AD, the Venetians took over the
Aegean, only to be followed by the Turkish invasion in 1490. It was
during the Venetian rule the island got its current name, since the
Venetians called it Isola di Spezzie - "Island of Aromas" because of the
many flowers that grew here.
The most important time on Spetses was during the war of Independence
against the Turks that started in 1821. A Greek heroine called Laskarina
Bouboulina lived here and through her organisation skills, warship
"Agamemnon" and financial support, the island was able to hold back the
Turks both here and on the mainland. The "Armata" festival on Spetses is
the celebration of a naval battle just outside the port where the Turks
were defeated on September 8 1822. Tradition holds that the Greek flag
was first hoisted here.
What to See
The capital of Spetses is very pretty, and has many old
buildings where a strong sailing tradition can be discerned. The
house of Bouboulina is a private museum today which is open to
The monastery of Ag. Nikolaos (St. Nicholas) is situated just
outside Spetses town, and is open to visitors. Note: you'll have
to dress eight in order to visit the nunnery: long trousers for
men, and covered shoulders and long skirts for women. The patron
saint of this monastery is also a patron of sailors, and it was
here the Spetsan leaders took the oath of freedom when the war
of Independence was about to break out in 1821.
What to Do There are water sports on
some of the more organised beaches, and the island also has some great
spots for snorkelling.
Because it is close to the mainland, there are also daytrips offered to
Athens and ancient sites like Mycenae and Epidauros, as well as to the
Beaches in Spetses You can find both
pebble and sand beaches on Spetses. The most popular ones are Agia
Paraskevi and Ag Anargyri, but there are many more to enjoy.
Nightlife For such a
small island it is not bad. Spetses town has several bars and
clubs, and there are many lovely little cafes by the harbour as
Food The restaurants serve mainly Greek
food, but there are also a few international alternatives. Explore the
town and find your own place, and remember that the best places are
those that are crammed with Greeks.
Shopping You can get jewellery,
art, icons, rugs, textiles, clothes and leatherbelts in one of Spetses
town's many shops.
Getting Around The more
popular ones can be reached by small boats that leave the harbour
several times a day, but there are also road connections. You can rent
mopeds and bikes, but cars are prohibited. There are also horse
carriages and a few taxis.
Getting There There are several
boats between Pireus and Spetses every day, so the easiest option is to get
a flight to Athens and then take the ferry boat. Spetses is also connected
with the other Saronic islands
|Size:23 sq. km
||International code: 0030
|Population: about 4.000
||Local code: 22980
|Cash machine: Yes
||Port Police: 72245
||Tourist Police: 73744
| Tour Operators JMC,
||Telephone company (OTE)
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