Situated off the coast of the Peloponnese, Spetses is a small island of just 27 square kilometres (10.4 square miles) and has a population of a little over 4000.
Yet despite this rather diminutive size, it has a rich history dating back millennia and has been a favourite of well-to-do Athenians for over a century, now hosting a handful of wonderful boutique hotels.
Spetses Town, on the northern coast, is the main settlement here, where super yachts bob up and down in the natural harbour alongside traditional wooden fishing boats.
Neoclassical buildings – most impressively the centenarian Poseidonion Grand Hotel – are flanked by quietly buzzing cafés, stylish boutiques and quayside taverns overlooking the expansive piazza. Locals drink espressos and play backgammon, watching new arrivals stepping off their water taxis.
Unusually, and somewhat welcomely, Spetses lacks private automobiles within the town. Walking, horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles are the most common form of transport.
The rest of island is surrounded by a number of rustic beaches, secluded coves and wonderfully clear waters all connected by trails. Migratory swallows, turtledoves and quails flit between the fragrant pines and ancient churches in the interior.
Most hotels and restaurants are open from Easter until October, with seasonal highlights being June’s Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta,a number of athletic events and the spectacular ’Armata’, an enactment of an 1821 naval battle during Greek War of Independence.
When to go
The spring, summer and early autumn months are the most rewarding time to visit Spetses, with warm weather and sunny spells gradually increasing from late March through to their peak in august. Low season sees the reduction of many ferry services into the island, while during the core Easter and summer periods, many holidaying locals from Athens choose to descend on the island, making it much more crowded than other times of year.
What to do
- Admire the traditional fishing boats in Spetses Town harbour
- Discover beautiful Neoclassical buildings in Spetses Town
- Take a horse and cart ride around Spetses Town
- Visit Spetses Museum for an insight into the island's history
- Take a tour to the stunning Cave of Bekiris
- Tick off some of the island's blissful beaches
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Accommodation in Spetses
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