Spetses is a Greek Iisland that is sometimes included as one of the Saronic Islands. The island is an independent municipality. The town of Spetses is the only large settlement on the island. The others have small to no population. There are no private cars allowed within the town of Spetses. Only taxis and delivery vehicles are allowed. The common ways to get around aside from walking are bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles, and horse-drawn carriages.
The island of Spetses was first inhabited during the Mesolithic Age, around 8000 BC. At the time, the island was connect by an isthmus to the island of Argolida, which is now called Costa. Pieces of flint have been found in area and other archaeological finds have been made in the area of Saint Marina. Three natural harbours of Spetses served as refuge for ships carrying goods to and from the Argolis Gulf around 2300 BC at the peak of the State of Lerna. These natural harbours were: Saint Marina, Saint Paraskevi, and Zogeria. After the collapse of the State of Lerna, Spetses would suffer a period of decline.
During the 15th century, the Venetians called the island Spezia meaning “spice,” referring to its position on a trade route that dealt in spices. Gradually the name of the island would become Hellenized to Spetsai (or Spetses).
Starting in 1821, the island of Spetses would play an important role in the Greek War of Independence. The island was home to celebrated war heroine Laskarina Bouboulina. Spetses was one of the first islands to raise the flag of Revolution in 1821. Spetses’ fleet consisted of merchant ships that would be key in the struggle. They would participate in raids against the Turkish coast and the exclusion of fortresses in the Peloponnese. The fleet would also be involved in sieges of the fortresses of Monemvasia and Nafplion as well as the naval battles of Samos (1824) and Kafireas (1825). Spetses captains, it turns out, had become so wealthy that they hid their gold in wells, which they would use to fund the war of liberation.
Administrative Region of Spetses Island, Greece
Area of Spetses Island, Greece
27.121 km2 (10.471 sq mi)
Population of Spetses Island, Greece
Top Attractions in Spetses Island, Greece
Church of Agia Paraskevi – Located in Agia Paraskevi. This little chapel is located right on the beach of the same name. A traditional style church that has its name day on July 26th.
Monastery of Agioi Pantes – Located in Agia Marina on top of a hill, which offers a great view of the sea and town. Built in the early 19th century. There is a cemetery in front of the monastery with the tombs of important local people.
Bouboulina Museum – This private museum is located in the tradition Spetses mansion of Bouboulina. View the collection of personal items and household furniture of the heroine. The mansion also features a wood-carved Flourentine ceiling.
Agia Marina Beach – Located near Dapia, this is one of the more popular beached on the island. The beach is surrounded by greenery, which adds to its beauty and makes shade easy to find. There is a small chapel you can visit.
Kaiki Beach – Located 2 km from Dapia. A pebbled and partly organized beach. There is a lively bar during the summer months.
Church of Panagia Armata – Located in town. This church was built between 1824 – 1830 by Spetsiote captain Ioannis Koutsis. He built it to commemorate the the defeat of the Ottoman fleet in 1822.
Church of Agios Nikolaos – The most well-known church in Spetses. The church is made of Tinian marble and features a tall bell tower. The church is located in a picturesque area just a short walk from Dapia.
Vrellos Beach – 6 km northeast of Spetses Town. A long sandy beach that can be reached by bus or boat. This is a long, sandy beach that is family friendly and partly organized.
Zilokeriza Beach – 8 km from Spetses Town. A family friendly beach surrounded by a lot of greenery. This beach is organized and a wonderful choice if you’re looking to relax.
Cave of Bekiris – Accessed either through a path from Agioi Anargyroi Beach or by boat. This cave features a small, sandy beach inside. There are also formations of stalactites and stalagmites in the cave.