With beautiful nature, wonderful sandy beaches, charming seclude bays and a reach history, Spetses is a picturesque island that exudes cosmopolitanism at its most refined. Located in the Saronic Gulf, it is an idyllic get away for international travelers, a mere two hours away from Athens. With its unique atmosphere, Spetses entices you the moment you set foot on the island.
Spetses is famous for its traditional architecture. Beautiful Venetian mansions with tiled roofs, wooden balconies and bright colored walks stand next to superb neoclassical residences and 19th century two-storey houses with tiled roofs on which stone sculptures stand adorning it. Many historical buildings have, in fact, been preserved and renovated, with the rusted cannons speaking volumes of the island’s important role during the Greek War of Independence.
Its scenic harbor and quay showcase a long and prosperous maritime tradition, surrounded as they are by handsome 18th and 19th century mansions built by the wealthy sea captains who made the island their home.
The town spreads along the graceful coast between Dapia, the new harbor and center of activity par excellence, and the Old Port with its scenic beauty. Both in Dapia and the Old Port you will find an array of taverns and cafes filled with tourists but locals too. In this booklet you will also find a selection of the best restaurants and night-clubs.
Bougainvillea, hibiscus, plumbago, jasmine and trumpet vines thrive everywhere, spangling white walls with pink, mauve, red, baby blue and orange petals. As you walk down the stone-paved alleys to get to one of the trendy bars or charming restaurants, the horse-drawn carriages, the island’s emblematic means of transport, will pass you by. With car circulation restricted, this is a unique opportunity to get on your bike and explore. The island inside is full of treasures, be they the old villas hidden in their lush environments or the beaches beaming with fun.
The island is noted historically for its leading role in the Greek Revolution against the Ottoman rule and the subsequent birth of the modern Greek State. When the Greek Revolution broke out in 1821, Spetses was the first of the Greek islands to raise the flag of the Revolution on the morning of April 3, 1821 in the church of the patron saint, St. Nicholas, located in the old harbour. Every year, the second weekend of September is dedicated to commemorating the events of the battle of September 8, 1822 in which the Turkish flotilla was torched. The events culminate in a re-enactment of the burning of the Turkish flagship in the harbour. Even today, most traditional fishing boats and sea-taxis hoist the blue and red flag of the revolution. The blue signifies freedom and the red signifies blood, along with the words “Freedom or Death”.
“The island of perfumes”, as it was named by the Venetians or “Pityousa” (which in ancient Greek means “full of pine-trees”), is the right place to see and to be seen. Enjoy a long coffee in the chic cafés, soak in the sun in a private boat, or simply walk around in your big, black sunglasses. Then return to one of the Beyond Spaces villas, where more beauty and new experiences await you.