Poised like a teardrop off the east cost of the Peloponnese, Spetses is considered by Greeks to be the most elegant of all Greece’s islands. It has the quiet veneer of old money and good taste. Trade and astute shipping know-how meant that from the 18th Century, wealthy Spetsiots built gracious historical mansions and town houses, tile-roofed, shuttered, cobbled courtyards behind high walls, wooden floored and hung with flowers. Cars are not allowed in town, and the clip-clop of the horses drawing the carriages that still carry people around, adds to the feeling of a bygone age. Water taxis lie in the harbour to take people to beaches or their villas, or a 5 minute crossing over to the mainland to the beaches and bays there, or to visit the ancient theatre of Epidauros - perhaps to catch a summer performance there, to go further afield to Mycenae, or even down to medieval Monemvasia Neighbouring Hydra is a wonderful day trip with its beautiful harbour and dramatic setting.
Porto Heli on the mainland opposite has a sailing school and world-class waterskiing tuition and paddle boarding.
This island is much cherished by low-key jet-setters who look for somewhere to call their own, where their children can all meet up and do things together on their own, and life is very easy. There are watersports in Aghia Marina, and the calm hot weather in the Argo-Saronic Gulf means that chartering a boat to go with a villa is an excellent idea.
Spetses is rich in events as well:
In May, the “Tweed” is a charming bicycle race with participants dressed in vintage costume. In June, the island hosts a triathlon- swimming, running and bicycling, and very pretty vintage yacht regattas. In September, the “Armata” is a showy festival with fireworks in the bay and the solemn burning of a replica ship to commemorate a victory over the Ottoman fleet in the Greek War of Independence in the 19th Century.
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