Spetses, Greece is the name of both the island and the town on it. It is situated off the Peloponnese coast and has a long and illustrious shipping history dating back thousands of years. Although the island's fortunes have waxed and waned, it has long been the playground of the rich and famous. In the 1960s and 70s, it was the premier destination of wealthy Athenians who built second villas and moored their yachts there. There are no private cars allowed in the town so walking, cycling and horse-drawn transport is popular. The main tourist season is only two months long, in midsummer, but plans are underway to extend it.
The new harbor at Dapia is the latest development on Spetse. The cobblestone road has a church at each end. At one end there is also a piazza which leads to the Spetses museum and the Bouboulina statue. Halfway along the coastal road are the tourist shops, stylish boutiques, cafés and snack bars. All the commerical buildings in the area are painted white and blue, symbolizing the maritime culture of the island. The Anargyros and other mansions are also visible from Dapia.
© Bouboulina Museum
The Laskarina Bouboulina Museum in Dapia Village is a tribute to Greece's only female admiral who came to prominence in the 1821 Greek War of Independence. The museum depicts 1800s Byzantine and post-Byzantine life. The building is an excellent example of the architecture of the wealthy of the period. On show are weapons, documents, old books, porcelain, paintings and scale model ships. The admiral's personal effects include her embroidery and costumes. The heroine's family established, and still runs the house which is open from March to October. There are 4-5 guided tours per day.
18050 Dapia, Spetses, Phone: +30-22-98-07-24-16 or 72077
3.Spetses Old Harbour
© imagIN photography/stock.adobe.com
Balitza, the old harbor of Spetses, lies about a mile from the new harbor and Dapia Village. During the 18th and 19th century, shipbuilding was an important economic activity at Balitza. The lighthouse, built in 1837, and the cannon battery attest to historical protection of the port and the ships. The chapel of the Virgin of the Armada overlooks the harbor and the bronze statue of Kosmas Babatis, an island hero, is in its courtyard. It is spectacular all year round but is a busy tourist destination in summer. Yachts and other sailboats moor there and small fishing boats come and go. The road is closed to vehicular traffic allowing pedestrians and cyclists to make use of it on the long evenings.
The Spetses Museum is situated in the Hatzigianni-Mexi house which was built in the 1700s. The first floor is open to the public. The museum showcases 4000 years of archaeological, historical and cultural history and folklore, dating back before Roman times. Coins, ceramics, sculptures and figureheads are examples of goods traded by Greek shipping throughout the ages. The kitchen is restored to circa 1800 and Russian and Byzantine icons are on display. Costumes, portraits and tombstones give insight to life on the island. The 1821 revolution is also remembered with weapons and documents from the time. The museum is closed on Mondays.
© Orloff Restaurant
At the entrance to the old harbor, in the old port authority building, next to the Agios Nikolas monastery, is Orloff Restaurant. The views from the terrace of the post-Byzantine building extend over neighboring islands and the Peloponnese coastline. The balcony décor is traditional, with wicker seating and marble tables. Orloff restaurant specializes in Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, especially meze platters which are made to share. There is also a list of Greek wines to choose from. There is a choice of five set menus for large groups and private functions. The restaurant is open from May until October each year.
180 50, Old Harbour, Spetses, Phone: +30-22-98-07-52-55
© La Luz
La Luz restaurant, club and bar provides night time entertainment in the old harbor district. It is situated on the top floor of an old wood and stone building. There is a choice of seating, either indoors at the bar or outdoors on the terrace, overlooking the harbor. On Saturdays there are live music shows and on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays a DJ entertains the guests. The music is classic and contemporary Greek favorites. The seafood and cocktails are renowned. La Luz is a short, romantic walk away from most hotels.
Old Harbor, 18050 Spétses, Greece, Phone: +30-69-74-47-49-50
7.Seafood Tavern, Patralis
© Seafood Tavern, Patralis
Panos, a fisherman, founded the tavern in 1935. His son and grandchildren now run the restaurant. Portraits of local personalities adorn the walls. The tavern overlooks the sea and from the terrace it seems as if fish can be hand-picked from the sea. The lobster, seafood pilaf and fish soup come highly recommended but the menu also lists Greek lamb, moussaka and a number of other seafood dishes. A Greek salad would go down well with most meals. Baklava, fruit and other desserts round off the meal. There is an extensive wine list to choose from. The restaurant is closed in November and December.
Kounoupitsa - Spetses, 180 50, Phone: 22-98-07-53-80 and -72134
© NTA Restaurant
Nero Tis Agapis means Water of Love. This former traditional Spetsian café has been remodeled into a seafood restaurant for fine dining. It overlooks the sea, away from the busier parts of the island. Decades of expertise and experience in cooking seafood, pasta and other Mediterranean dishes are brought to the table. Olive oil, fresh seasonal vegetables and cheeses complement the fresh fish and other seafood that is caught daily. Guests can enjoy their meals inside, on the roof or on the balcony. The restaurant is open daily, from midday to midnight, all year round.
Kounoupitsa,180 50, Phone: +30-22-98-07-40-09
9.The Church of Panagia Armata
This church was built between 1824 and 1830 by a Spetsiote captain, Ionnis Koutsis, in order to celebrate the defeat of the Ottomans. It is dedicated to Mary to mark the miracle of 'The Armed Virgin'. An annual festival is held in September to mark the occasion and garlands are laid on the monuments surrounding the church. The yellow building with white trim is set on a hill overlooking the old harbor, on the headland where the lighthouse is situated. The views, and in particular the sunsets, are spectacular when viewed from the church.
9 Best Things to Do in Spetses, Greece
- Dapia Village, Photo: stock.adobe.com
- Bouboulina Museum, Photo: Bouboulina Museum
- Spetses Old Harbour, Photo: imagIN photography/stock.adobe.com
- Spetses Museum, Photo: scaliger/stock.adobe.com
- Orloff Restaurant, Photo: Orloff Restaurant
- La Luz, Photo: La Luz
- Seafood Tavern, Patralis, Photo: Seafood Tavern, Patralis
- NTA Restaurant, Photo: NTA Restaurant
- The Church of Panagia Armata, Photo: milangonda/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: MaratYakhin/stock.adobe.com