Passengers traveling by ferry to Spetses approach a picturesque, almost car-free cosmopolitan island near the peninsula of Argolis, in the Argosaronic Sea!
Spetses is situated on the right opening of the Argolic Gulf, 50 miles in distance from the port of Piraeus in Athens. To the island Spetses belong three more little islands: Agios Ioannis, Mikro Mpourmpoulo and Spetsopoula, the private island of the well known Niarchos family.
According to historical sources the presence of the first inhabitants dates back to the Mesolithic era. Although in ancient times was called Pitiousa because of the pine trees, the current name of Spetses island derives from medieval Catalan, Genoese and Venetian sailors. The Franks called it "Isola di Spezia" (= perfumed island) due to the strong presence of fragrant flowers.
During the Greek Revolution of 1821 the inhabitants of Spetses using their powerful fleet contributed very effectively to the fight against the Ottoman Empire and the revolution, taking part in many naval battles, such as the famous “Armata”. The liberation of Nafplio, Mani, Monemvasia and other places in Greece is also due to the participation of Spetses heroes such as Captain Laskarina Bouboulina who took command of the fleet after the death of her husband. She spent all her fortune in the struggle against Ottoman rule and took part in the secret organization “Filiki Etairia” with the sole aim of liberating the Greeks from Turkish slavery.
Εvery year, in the beginning of September, usually the second weekend, the inhabitants of the island together with the thousands of visitors celebrate the representation of the naval battle in Spetses “Armata” that took place in September 1822. The victory against the Turks was a major event in the struggle of 1821 and the people of Greek island Spetses attributed it to the help of Virgin Mary to whom they dedicated the small church located in the port and named it “Panagia Armata”.
If you are planning to visit Spetses, even for a weekend, it is advisable that you book your tickets to Spetses in advance in order to find availability.
Ferry routes to Spetses
Ferry routes to Spetses are available all year round. On the island, no cars are allowed thus, only high-speed vessels that do not transport cars serve the destination. In the summer period, many daily departures take place. Please check the Spetses ferry timetable through our real-time booking engine in order to see in detail all important information for your Spetses booking and make your ferry reservation in advance
- Ferries from Athens to Spetses operate daily, departing from Piraeus with a trip duration of about 3 hours
- Porto Heli to Spetses is a 10 minute fast ferry ride to the closest seaside place in Argolis in Peloponnese
- Ferries from Hydra to Spetses offer a quick trip of 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the intermediate stops
- High-speeds from Hermioni to Spetses connect the small seaside town of Peloponnese to the beautiful Dapia port in Spetses
- Poros to Spetses is also a daily route of 1 to 1.5h, depending on seasonality and intermediate stops
Spetses ferry port
Spetses Ferry Port called “Dapia” is the main new port that serves all the catamaran and the high- speed ferries arriving from Athens/Piraeus Port and the other islands. The port is the heart of the town with pebbled sidewalks, neoclassical houses with nice house yards with flowers, coffee shops and restaurants, all gathered one next to the other. The Clock Square is on the east side of the port where the bars, shops and local food traverns can be found.
Getting around Spetses
Cars are not allowed on the island and the only way for getting around in Spetses is by several local buses and some few taxis. Bikes are also available and horse-drawn carriages are used either for taking passengers from the port to their accommodation or just for a ride along the island. For the bus schedules, please visit Spetses Buses.
For the beaches, the most comfortable way is to take a water taxi.
Holidays in Spetses
Visitors traveling to the destination Spetses experience a very touristic island which is appreciated by tourists from all over the world but also by Greeks who want to break away over the weekend. Mostly they come from Athens taking the Athens to Spetses ferry and other international big cities. That’s why the island has a cosmopolitan flair. Before leaving with the ferries from Spetses do not forget to visit the many beaches and churches the island has to offer. Most of them though are only reachable by boat, bus or motorcycle. Another big attraction of the island is its nightlife. A vast number of bars, clubs and taverns decorate with their nightlights the northwest seaside of the island.
Beaches in Spetses
Thanks to the Mediterranean climate, Spetses beaches can be visited from the early summer months till autumn for swimming and relaxing. Some of them can be reached by bus or by foot. Others are accessible only by boat.
Bellow is a list of the most famous beaches:
- Agia Marina is an organized beach with clear waters located 2 km away from the town of Dapia. Sandy with pebbles the beach provided sport facilities and nearby a beach bar and some taverns
- Agioi Anargyroi, approached by bus or taxi boat, is one of the most visited beaches of the island. Ideal for swimming and water sports is the largest beach close to an all day open restaurant available during the tourist season
- Kaiki Beach is located close to Dapia, in front of Anargyrios College, organized with sunbeds and umbrellas, a beach bar and a restaurant serving snacks and drinks as well as very delicious meals all day long
- Agios Mamas is the city beach sandy and pebbled, preferable to the locals due to the vicinity to the center, ideal for a quick swim
- Vrellos Beach or Paradise in the north western part of the island, is surrounded by a pine forest and is accessible by bus or by sea. In the well-organized beach bar there is a wide range of cocktails and refreshments, coffees, icecreams and light food
- Ligoneri is an unorganized beach on the north side of the island with rocky sea bottom reachable by the local bus or boat. It is recommended before your visit to carry water and food as there is no bar or restaurant on the beach
- Xilokeriza Beach is connected to Spetses town by boat and as it is not developed, it gathers tourists who prefer a quiet place for swimming and relaxing
Hotels in Spetses
There is a wide range of Spetses accommodation options. Hotels, resorts, apartments, airbnb Spetses welcome during all the year every visitor for a nice weekend or a longer stay for every budget and preference.
Below there is a list of the most visited Spetses Greece Hotels:
- Οrloff Resort
- Poseidonion Grand Hotel
- Nissia Hotel
- Villa Marina
- Kastro Hotel
- Villa Nika
- Faros Hotel
- Bay’s Hotel
- Villa Martha
- Armata Hotel
- Zoe’s Club
- Mare Monte
Worth Visiting Places
The island of Spetses is a favorite destination for Greeks and tourists from all over the world because it can combine relaxed holidays without a car and the traffic of the city but also the interest due to the historical worth visiting places.
Do not miss to visit the following sights:
- Bouboulina Museum, housed in the 300 years old Lascarinas Bouboulinas home, has been a museum since 1992. A guided tour is recommended as while visiting the personal stuff of the furnished mansion it is necessary to hear and learn about the history and life of this heroic woman who resisted against the Ottomans with courage and strength
- Agios Nikolaos Church, the most famous in the island, is located near the port of Dapia and is considered to be the protector of sailors and fishermen. It is said that on 3 April 1821 from this place started the revolution in Spetses against the Turks
- The church of Panagia Armata (Virgin of the Armata) is situated on a hill above the old port of Spetses. The people of Spetses believe that Virgin Mary protected them and gave them victory in the naval battle of 1822 and since then they celebrate it every year on the 8th of September
- Spetses Museum is housed in the traditional villa of Hatziyannis Mexis, the first governor of the island. Sculptures, ceramics, local costumes, weapons and other archaeological findings are gathered in this museum which is worth visiting
- Anargyrios and Korgialenios School was established in 1923 in front of the beach Ligoneri. Today this historical neoclassical building was designed to serve as a multicultural and educational institution
- Old harbor, Baltiza, in a close distance from Dapia is a picturesque place where you can go on foot and have a tasty lunch or dinner at one of the local delicious fish taverns like Tarsanas Spetses. In the evening the club Guzel Spetses is a must for dance and drinks