welcome to the island of Spetses – GREECE
Spetses is a small pine forested island that has proved to be popular with English tourists for many
years. It can be reached via daily ferries from the Athenian port of Piraeus, or by taking a water taxi from the nearby village of Kosta on the Greek mainland. There is at present a limited ban on the use of private cars on the island. Spetses town, sometimes called Dapia after the name of its port, is the only substantial settlement on Spetses island. With the lack of private motor cars, the town exudes a more relaxed atmosphere than can be found on many other islands. The horse and traps that run back and forth along the water front only adds to the feeling that this could be a good place to simply lay back and relax.
Apart from the main square, it is, in many ways not the prettiest of Greek towns, but it still houses many fine old mansions. Around the old harbour can be found the usual mix of tavernas and bars, but as the resort is also very popular with some of the more well to do Athenians who own villas on Spetses island, prices can be higher than you would normally expect to pay on the average Greek island. Some of the best Spetses beaches can be reached via the boats that leave the harbour each morning during the holiday season.
The best beach on the island is usually considered to be Agia Anargiri on the opposite side of the island from the main town, here there are a couple of good tavernas, and watersports in the high season. If you prefer something a little quieter, then not far from Agia Anargiri is the beach at Agia Paraskevi.
Spetses town (aka Kastelli) meanders along the harbor and inland in a lazy fashion, with most of its neoclassical mansions partly hidden from envious eyes by high walls and greenery. Much of the town’s street life takes place on the Dapia, the square where the ferries and hydrofoils now arrive.
The Old Harbor, Baltiza, largely silted up, lies just east of town, before the popular swimming spots at Agia Marina. If you sit at a cafe on the Dapia, you’ll eventually see pretty much everyone in town passing by.
The handsome black-and-white pebble mosaic commemorates the moment during the War of Independence when the first flag with the motto “Freedom or Death” was raised. Thanks to its large fleet, Spetses played an important part in the War of Independence, routing the Turks in the Straits of Spetses on September 8, 1822. The victory is commemorated every year on the weekend closest to September 8 with celebrations, church services, and the burning of a ship that symbolizes the defeated Turkish fleet.
As you stroll along the waterfront, you’ll notice the monumental bronze statue of a woman, her left arm shielding her eyes as she looks out to sea. The statue honors one of the greatest heroes of the War of Independence, Laskarina Bouboulina, the daughter of a naval captain from Hydra.
Bouboulina financed the warship Agamemnon, oversaw its construction, served as its captain, and was responsible for several naval victories. She was said to be able to drink any man under the table, and Straitfaced citizens sniped that she was so ugly, the only way she could keep a lover was with a gun