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Overview

Spétses is the farthest from Athens of the several Saronic Gulf islands, and as such it has retained more of the feel of a Greek island, rather than an extended suburb of the capital. Even the high-speed ferry service takes more than two hours from Piraeus, and Athenians tend to settle for one of the closer options. The island has only one town, Spétses Town, but it’s large enough to have several distinct neighborhoods. These include Dápia, the modern port area, where you need to get into the back streets to find some of the impressive mansions that indicate how wealthy the island once was thanks to its maritime traditions. Here you’ll also ...

Spétses is the farthest from Athens of the several Saronic Gulf islands, and as such it has retained more of the feel of a Greek island, rather than an extended suburb of the capital. Even the high-speed ferry service takes more than two hours from Piraeus, and Athenians tend to settle for one of the closer options. The island has only one town, Spétses Town, but it’s large enough to have several distinct neighborhoods. These include Dápia, the modern port area, where you need to get into the back streets to find some of the impressive mansions that indicate how wealthy the island once was thanks to its maritime traditions. Here you’ll also find the island’s two main museums. Also worth exploring is the Old Port, Paléo Limáni, and the Upper Town, or Kastéli. It’s also delightful to get out and walk on the island, especially in the heavily-scented forests of Aleppo pines, for which Spétses is famous. It also achieved fame for being the island featured in the John Fowles novel, The Magus, written after the author spent some time teaching on Spétses.

Mike Gerrard
About the Expert

Mike Gerrard is the author of the National Geographic Traveler Guide to Greece, as well as guides to Athens, Crete, Corfu, the Greek Mainland, and the Greek islands for publishers including AA, AAA, Thomas Cook, Dorling Kindersley, Michelin, and New Holland. With his wife Donna Dailey, he also publishes the Greece Travel Secrets website.

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Mike Gerrard for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Spetses is an island and a municipality in the Islands regional unit, Attica, Greece. It is one of the Saronic Islands
  • Language: Greek
  • Currency: Euro
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Visit in summer when the heat brings out the scent of the island’s pine trees.