The bright blue color of the American Tourister Spring Ranch 3-Piece Luggage Spinner Set is reminiscent of the Greek flag, so pack quickly to get to one of the country’s famed islands – Spetses.
Less than two hours from Athens, via a ferry, Spetses’ long naval history is as revered as her part in Greece’s 1821 War of Independence.
Visiting during the second week in September is recommended for the famed “Armata,” the reenactment of an 1822 naval battle. The culmination of several days’ outdoor partying occurs on Saturday night when real boats “fight” and one, created just for the occasion, is set ablaze amid a stupendous fireworks display.
Another must see is the house of Laskarina Bouboulina. She was a female freedom fighter during the same war and freely gave her ships and personal fortune to fight the Ottoman Empire. Her home still owned by her descendants, is now a museum and dedicated to her life.
Cathedral of Ayios Nikolaos is another historic site steeped in Greek fight for independence. It was also where Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew, killed on a British ship, had his body submerged in a barrel of rum for three years until his family claimed him.
Cars are banned on Spetses and motorized cabs are expensive. Walking is always an alternative for seeing the past and the present coexist as cafes with WI-FI are housed in old buildings. Choosing a horse-drawn carriage is a relaxing mode of transportation. One of the best places to find them is down by the new port of Dapia. Enjoy the views of whitewashed houses clinging to rocky cliffs or gathered along the shoreline of the Mediterranean.
While in Dapia sip a cool drink on the Poseidonion Grand Hotel’s veranda that faces the glistening blue water. In late June, the acclaimed Spetses Classic Yacht Race with its short offshore racing and buoy racing is also best seen from the Poseidonion.
Catch rays at a variety of beaches.
Take a deep breath at Vréllos and smell both piney woods and salt air. Located on the island’s west side the sandy beach is surrounded by a pine forest. From the beach one can walk up to Profitis Elias – Spetses’ highest point.
If one wants to mix in getting a tan with water sports like diving or sailing head over to either Ayioi Anargyroi, one of the island’s largest beaches or Ayia Paraskevi where a chapel by the same name is a good place to cool off while gathering some history.
Less than two miles from Dapia is the busy beach of Ayia Marina. Ice cream, cold beer, or terrific food is only steps away at one of many beach bars and restaurants. If more seclusion is desired hire a boat for the quick trip to Xylokériza in the southeast part of the island.
Be aware few homes or businesses have street address numbers on Spetses. A good practice is to someone at a hotel, guesthouse, or hostel write down the intended destination in Greek. When in doubt, hold out the paper and smile. Chances are the locals will actually walk to the address.
One place not to miss is the restaurant, Palio Limani, in the Old Harbor area. Fresh seafood lobster, shrimp, and octopus are served in native recipes, along with a bounty of Greek wines.
For an unforgettable vacation, Spetses is the place to visit.
Images thanks to visitgreece.com
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