Spetses. Diffuse cosmopolitanism and aura of nobility in the waters of the Saronic Gulf
In the blue waters of the Saronic Gulf, close to Athens and Piraeus, are Spetses, the beautiful Greek island of long maritime tradition and manorial elegance. Pitiousa (pine tree), as Spetses was known in ancient sources, is undoubtedly a manorial island, with a special history and culture and, rightly, enjoy the title of the most cosmopolitan island of the Saronic Gulf, as the island is a pole of attraction and a popular destination for shipowners and Vips everywhere, who parade every year in the enchanting locations of the island.
However, apart from the many secular presences of international fame and the bright flashes of the paparazzi, which reflect the refined and aristocratic character of Spetses, the island is one of the true "diamonds" of the Saronic Gulf, with amazing seas and beaches and an elegant city which radiates from refined nobility. These elements highlight, with more success, the enchanting aura of Spetses and create a travel collage of images and experiences, able to move and enchant everyone.
Dapia and its neighborhood. Aristocratic finesse and nobility
As the ship approaches Spetses, the first image of the island is the beautiful city, with magnificent mansions, built on the waters of the port. Cars are not allowed on the island. Thus, the exploration in the city of Spetses is easily done on foot, through charming routes in the cobbled streets of the beautiful island state, which will begin to unfold, little by little, the thread of the historical memory and the unique culture of the island. Spetses, historically, has always been an island completely connected to the sea and ships. The sailors of Spetses enriched themselves with shipbuilding and maritime transport, making their island, as one of the largest and most predictable naval forces in Greece. Examples of economic prosperity are the imposing captain's houses, which stand proudly on the waterfront, as well as the numerous anchors and cannons of the Revolution, which are scattered in selected parts of the city.
Dapia was a fortress and bastion of the port, at the time of the Revolution and this fact justifies the presence of cannons, which, although today have a purely decorative role, prevented, for centuries, the invaders from conquering the island and are indisputable witnesses of the historical memory of Spetses. In front of the old fortifications of Dapia, there is, protected by the pier, the port, where the characteristic white and red sea taxis moor. Beautiful and extremely picturesque, Dapia is a starting point for the route to the Clock Square, around which is the commercial center of the city, full of all kinds of shops, which give the city a colorful and noisy character. The famous Clock, which dominates the square of the same name, is a trademark of the area and impresses with its beauty.
A series of beautiful mansions adorn the city of Spetses and stand out in front of the eyes of every visitor, among pebble sidewalks, flowered balconies, and carts that cross the picturesque streets, maintaining, among other things, the romantic elegance of Spetses. Wonderful examples of neoclassical architecture, these mansions, which belonged to the most prominent personalities of Spetses and the great benefactors of the Greek nation, impress, with their wooden balconies and well-kept flower gardens, while the decorative motifs on their facades justify the innate elegance of their owners. In the attractive labyrinth of cobbled streets, stands the mansion Neith, of the local patriot Sotirios Anargyros, to whom the island owes, among other things, the presence of the amazing hotel "Poseidon", which stands, to this day, imposingly on the north side in front of the square, with the statue of Bouboulina in the center.
This legendary hotel has won the title of the most cosmopolitan mansion of the whole island and is the most emblematic image of Spetses. Poseidon is undoubtedly an architectural masterpiece, built in 1914, after the sponsorship of Anargyros, clearly influenced by the architectural style of the hotels of the French Riviera. The hotel truly brought new life into the beautiful island, creating an unprecedented tourist flow as it served as a magnet for the cosmopolitan public of its time. Today, completely renovated, with its stunning interior design and famous balconies, it still amazes everyone with its manorial elegance, hosting prominent personalities of the domestic and international jet set.
In Agios Nikolaos, Kounoupitsa and Kastelli
Leaving Dapia behind, through the coastal road, the route leads us in front of the monastery of Agios Nikolaos, in the centre, literally, to the homonymous, picturesque beach. The monastery, associated with glorious moments of Greek history and revolution, is a true gem of ecclesiastical architecture and art. The monastery was founded in 1700 and retains, to this day, its picturesqueness. A blooming, flower-filled courtyard and an amazing pebble floor in the courtyard of the monastery, welcomes every visitor, while the icons, frescoes and heirlooms inside the church, manage to convey the feeling of pervasiveness and spiritual mysticism.
In the neighborhood of Kounoupitsa, the fishermen of the island used to live, so here, the old houses are more simplistic. The popular character of these houses does not detract from their architectural elegance, since most of them are, today, completely restored and host, within them, traditional taverns, picturesque cafes and bars, overlooking the clear blue waters of the Saronic Gulf. The simple facades of these houses give the whole area a genuine and authentic island character, an element that becomes more evident in Kastelli, the old town of Spetses, where the remains of its emblematic fortification lie. The small and simple houses, as well as the all-white chapels that stand out in the area, continue to excite every visitor, with their unpretentious simplicity and grace.
Spetses beaches. Cosmopolitanism painted in blue and green
In Spetses, even the beaches emerge a cosmopolitanism and are permeated by the aura of refined luxury and grace. Stretching along the coastline, the beaches of Spetses appear between coves and rocks, in a harmony of blue and green, as the dense pine forests touch the shore and cast their shadow on the golden, velvety sandy beaches. Busy and organized on the one hand or isolated and deserted on the other, the beaches of Spetses compose the parts of a landscape that with its natural beauty literally takes your breath away, while luxury yachts and sailboats dock in the deep blue waters finding a hospitable harrow on an island, which looks like an earthly paradise.
Agia Marina beach is the closest beach to the city and very popular among the visitors. Perfectly organized, it offers all modern comforts, while its pebble beach and pines, which surround it, highlight more its natural graces. The beaches of Agioi Anargyroi are also of excellent organization, with access to it being achieved by road or by the large boat, which moors at the floating pier. The beach of Agia Paraskevi is probably the most beautiful beach on the island, with pebbles, sand and crystal clear waters. The pines in the area offer the necessary moments of coolness, while the beach is the ideal choice for all those who are looking for endless moments of recreation. Two pebble beaches, separated by a small peninsula, turquoise waters and rocky caves, compose the landscape at Ligoneri beach, while at Scholes or Kaiki beach, the rhythm and liveliness reach their peak, through the abundant activities (sea sports, massage), which elevate the senses.
Finally, the choice of the tour of Spetses at sea, with a boat of your choice, which allows you to visit and discover desert coves and exotic beaches, will ideally complement the travel canvas of the inexhaustible surprises that hide Spetses and make them stand out, in a destination that manages to win all the impressions.