An introduction to Spetses Island
Spetses Island is a small and richly verdant island in the Saronic Gulf. It is an island of picturesque villages and architectural surprises, of abundant vegetation and natural beauty. It is famous for being the island where John Fowles once lived and the island which served as the basis for the fictional Phraxos island in his 1965 novel The Magus.
Spetses Island was once Pityoussa in the ancient years, an island of no particular fame or fortune, but one that archaeological findings show was inhabited as far back as 2000 BC. In recent history, the island of Spetses played a significant role during the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman powers and is where Laskarina Bouboulina, the infamous war heroine, lived and from where she organised help to defeat the Turks.
Today, Spetses Island is simply a lovely and unassuming island to visit. A great place to relax, offering a quiet night-life, natural charm and few, but worthy sites. Most locals own a bike and travel around the island that way, after all, Spetses is tiny and easy to navigate. Modern day island locals are friendly and hospitable and very proud of their unspoilt island home.
The Spetses Island landmarks are the traditional villages scattered about the island along coastlines and coves or amongst pine forests, mountains and valleys. They are some of the most charming villages in all of Greece, with characteristic two-story mansions, some well-preserved, others dilapidated, but all completely charming and atmospheric. Explore the island on a rented bike and note the varied architecture and succumb to the traditional hospitality of the people on this island that enjoys a kind of quiet fame.
Spetses Island is a rather idyllic and untouched island and offers a true Grecian escape. There are excellent beaches here which offer perfect opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling, diving, and sailing. Situated close to the Spetses town centre are the beaches of Agia Marina, Agios Nikolaos, Agios Mammas, Kounoupitsa and Scholes. If you choose to head off a little further away you will discover even greater delights on the beaches of Xilokeriza, Vrellos and Ligoneri.
Some of the beaches, like the beach of Agioi Anargiri, are situated in gentle and enchanting coves with deep blue waters and tiny pebbles. Others, like Agia Marina, are more touristy and well organised with excellent facilities for tourists. Most of the beaches combine stunning coastlines with natural and rich vegetation, plus the added bonus of archaeological ruins and other hidden surprises.
Before you leave Spetses Island, do visit the home of war heroine Bouboulina, which houses an excellent private museum open to the interested public