Spetses is not a large island, only 10 square miles, and most of the population lives in the main port of Spetses Town. This means that if you’re looking to escape the town and explore and relax it can be done in about a 30-minute walk. Known as a retreat for wealthy Athenians, it can be reached in less than two hours by boat from Piraeus. In this blog we’re going to go into more detail about the places you should do and visit whilst on the island, and show why, if you’re visiting the Argo-Saronics, you should visit Spetses.
Bike or Moped Round the Island
Cars are banned on Spetses so the only way to get around is via bus or our preferred method, bicycle or moped. Our personal choice would be bike as it allows you to take in the beautiful, serene surroundings as you cycle around. Using a moped, you can follow the track that goes around the island in just over 2 hours, so if you want to take it at a more leisurely pace, bicycle is the way to go. The track running around the island is only partially concreted so a bike may be more suited to adventuring.
The beating heart of Spetses, the town is where the majority of people who live on the island and the hotels and apartments are. A figure you will likely see around a lot in the town is Laskarina Bouboulina, a legendary figure and admiral in the Greek War of Independence. Leading the efforts of the island as part of the Greek independence movement against the Turks, she is commemorated in a statue in the main square as well as having a museum about her, which is based in her old home. Another museum to check out is the Chatzi-Giannis Mexis Museum which tells the history of Spetses. The old port area of Spetses, in the south of the town has less tourists but is still full to the brim with life and packed with restaurants. Spetses is home to a number of churches as well, all of which vary in age but are all equally beautiful.
Andros is an island that is the best of the Ionian islands and the Cyclades thrown into one. With the beautiful, whitewashed buildings and warm, sandy beaches it fits in with its neighbours as part of the Cyclades. However, one half of the island is full of luscious greenery, filled with different types of trees and shrubbery. This mix of the two gives it a very different feel to others in the Cyclades and makes a refreshing change if you’re island hopping or staying for a night or two from Athens. Andros is one of the most authentic Greek islands and is largely unaffected by mass tourism, instead it is a popular spot for many Athenians to go on holiday due to its proximity. In this article we’ll take you through what makes Andros great and why you should make it a stop when visiting the Cyclades.
How to get there
Andros is the closest of the Cyclades islands to Athens and therefore it isn’t too far on the ferry. This also makes it a good first stop if you’re embarking on a island hopping trip of the Cyclades. It doesn’t have its own airport so we recommend flying into either Athens or Mykonos. If you’re thinking of flying into Athens, the ferries will go from Rafina port which is served by a bus service which runs every 25 mins from Athens airport. You can fly into Athens or Mykonos from Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted. Check the individual pages for Athens or Mykonos for other regional airports, but we will advise you of this at the time enquiry.
Ikaria has been identified as a ‘blue zone’, one of 5 in the world where the population lives consistently longer than the average. Maybe this is due to the island’s remoteness or maybe its something in the water. That is very possible as Ikaria is famed for its thermal springs which are unique in their chemical composition and radiation. The only true way to find out is to visit, and with 102km of coastline filled with beautiful white, sandy beaches what a better place to figure it out. In this blog we put forth our argument as to why this is truly a unique place that you must see.
How To Get There
As part of the Northeast Aegean islands, it is just off the coast of Turkey. The southernmost of these islands, Ikaria has a small domestic airport. You can fly into Ikaria from either its neighbour Samos, Athens or Thessaloniki. There are ferry services that run but they are irregular, so we recommend flying into Ikaria. You can fly into Athens direct from the four main London airports, Birmingham and Edinburgh.
14 kilometres from the tourist hotspot of Corfu, Paxos could not be more different. As one of the least commercial islands in Greece, here you can really explore the real Greece and sit back and enjoy everything. In this blog we’ll take you through the areas of the island and highlight the best things to see and do in Paxos.
How to get there
As Paxos isn’t large, it doesn’t have an airport so we recommend you fly into Corfu and then get the ferry over to Paxos from there. You can fly into Corfu from many UK airports including the main four London ones, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham and Bristol. Ferries run multiple times a day leaving from Corfu Town and arriving at Paxos’s main port Gaios.
The capital of Paxos, Gaios is also the main ferry port for the island and this is where the ferry comes from Corfu. From here you can also take the ferry to the smaller island of Antipaxos. Although it is the capital of the island it is still fairly small and operates as a fishing port first and foremost rather than catering primarily to tourists. Despite it’s size that doesn’t mean it is lacking any of the amenities that you need and the narrow, winding streets are packed with cafes, bars and tavernas as well as shops, banks, chemists and more. It is here in the cafes and tavernas of the bustling streets that you can sample the local food and a spread of other cuisines. You can choose whether to sit in the square on the waterfront and take in the atmosphere or you want to get out and explore what the town has to offer, either work equally as well. One of the most recognisable sights of Gaios is the statue of Georgios Anemogiannis, a hero of the Greek war of independence, this statue lies to the south of the town. You can also venture over to st Nicholas’s Island across the harbour, this island what makes Gaios such a great sheltered harbour as it blocks the winds coming across. St Nicholas’s Island which has two churches and the ruins of a 15th century venetian fort on it which are well worth exploring. This is not the only remains of the venetian occupation as many of the waterfronts building are built in venetian style.
Greece is a love affair for The Greek Specialist. Our first visit to the country came in 1997 and since then