An elegant island that oozes an aristocratic allure, Spetses has forever been an aristocratic island. Located in the regional unit of Attica, the island was called Pityussa in ancient times - its new name comes from Italian “Spezia” and stands for “spices” for its position on a major trade route. The azure oasis is like a time capsule of old-world sophistication and no private cars are allowed on the island. The lack of traffic creates a soothing aura, without any distractions from the natural beauty and crystal-clear coves. Different rulers all left their legacy, including Ottomans, Arvanites, and most importantly Venetian, whose neoclassical villas are a trademark of the chic harbors that emit a very curated vintage appeal.
If you’d like to spend a luxurious charter cruise away from the touristy crowds, yet don’t want to sacrifice any of the comforts the most glamorous destinations offer, Spetses is the perfect place to drop your anchor. With affluent marinas, superb restaurants, intriguing museums, and heavenly beaches, Spetses is the perfect place for your next blue adventure just 2 hours away from Athens.
Proudly retaining its 19th Century luster, the island is a hidden jewel where you can feel like a member of old European nobility, riding in horse carriages from one star-studded restaurant to another.
Best Beaches in Spetses
A favorite of iconic celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Robert Kennedy, and Elizabeth Taylor, the island of Spetses offers several enchanting coves where you can spend a beautiful summer day. During your luxurious yachting cruise, you’ll discover a myriad of no-name beaches, but when it comes to more established ones, here are our top picks.
Agia Paraskevi Beach
The beach resembles a paysage painting from a Greek antique shop - just 12 km from Dapia, on Spetses west coast, this stunning sandy haven is hidden in a sheltered cove, shaded by lush pine trees. Soft, golden sand and translucent seas are ideal for a tranquil day of swimming and snorkeling. Nearby, you’ll find a cubic chappel after which the beach is named after, and a taverna that serves some snacks and refreshments.
Agioi Anargiri Beach
Lined with a thick pine forest, the mesmerizing beach is among the largest on the island and boasts endless stretches of fine golden sand and deep sapphire-colored seas that make it perfect for testing out the large array of water toys you charter yacht carries. If you need a break from the sun, you can order a refreshing Mojito in one of several tavernas here, or grab a bite with family and friends.
Agia Marina Beach
A few kilometers away from Dapia, you’ll find Agia Marina, one of the most organized beaches of the island, that attracts visitors with its gorgeous scenery, glittery seas, and soft, bronzy sand. Shaded by viridescent palm, pine, and citrus trees, this dreamy cove has a few tavernas serving snacks and refreshments but never feels overcrowded or cramped. Perfect for both families and young singles, the beach is named after a pastel-hued chapel of Santa Marina, but that’s not the only historical site Agia Marina is famous for. During excavations in the area, numerous artifacts dating to the Bronze Age were found here, including clay figurines and vessels and the ruins of a fortress. Don your yachts dive gear and who knows - maybe you’ll find more archeological sites in the aquamarine water of this lovely bay.
The name is quite self-explanatory, but this dazzling beach is the closest thing you’ll find to heaven on Earth. Also known as Vrellos Beach, this west coast oasis consists of a combination of sand and pebbles, and is an ideal spot for some summer play with your little sailors. Active charterers might enjoy a hike through the pine forest to the highest point named after prophet Ilias and absorb panoramic views from 248 meters above sea level.
If you enjoy secluded beaches where you can live out your Robinson Crusoe fantasies, Zogeria Beach is the perfect place for you. A gem known to locals-only, Zogeria is a scenic bay that offers both sand and pebbly parts, with water so clean you’ll be able to admire the rich underwater life without even getting a drop of water on your skin. Like its counterparts, it is shaded by thick pine forests and homes a beautiful whitewashed chapel, which makes it a popular wedding destination.
Best places to visit in Spetses
The town of Spetses
The only big settlement on the island, Spetses Town has a tranquil and very romantic ambiance. Surrounded by turquoise seas, the town houses the most important harbor of this Saronic island, Dapia, that enjoyed great importance through the centuries and still does. Here, you’ll find the Spetses Museum with exhibitions that proudly witness the island’s 4 millennia of history. Located in a stunning 18th-century mansion, the museum will quench your thirst for knowledge but make time to visit the Anargyros mansion, one of the best-preserved examples of 20th Century architecture. Girl power was always big in Spetses, and the villa of Laskarina Bouboulina, the world’s first female admiral is a superb reminder of what women can do. After a pleasant stroll through this charming town, you might want to pick up some souvenirs at Isola Di Spezie, or update your wardrobe at the upscale boutique On Deck. Interior aficionados will love the decor-themed Ratih Ethnic Collection, while for a great selection of Greece’s best fashion labels, head to Soho Soho, located right there in the Dapia Marina.
One of few settlements on the island, Ligoneri is adored by Athinieans in the know, many of whom own summer houses in this lovely Greek village. The atmosphere here is quite serene - days go by in a haze of slow dining and swimming, with an impressive beach perfect for snorkeling, that will dazzle you with its rocky, dramatic sea bed and fine sand that surrounds its entrance. The population of this village? Just 7 people. But after a few hours here, you’ll wish to become the 8th resident.
A picturesque village situated in a natural harbor, Balitza was the shipbuilding center of the island since the 18th Century. The quiet fishing village turns into a cosmopolitan hub for yachties that moor in Balitza to explore the romantic scenery and gorgeous bays. Walk around the Old Lighthouse or visit the lemon-hued chapel of Virgin of the Armada, Balitza is a breathtaking village that serves as a time capsule into the heyday of the island’s glory.
After an afternoon stroll through the old harbor, enjoy a refreshing drink and some delicious baklava in one of the traditional tavernas on the waterfront. A few souvenir shops on the way offer Greek products like honey and wine to buy and enjoy later on the sundeck of your luxurious charter superyacht under the starry skies, or take home to savor after your Saronic escapade comes to an end.
Best Restaurants in Spetzia
Dining in Spetzia is a sublime experience. Although the island feels like nothing has changed significantly during the last few centuries, the modern restaurants will quickly make you feel in the loop. Whether you prefer traditional tavernas or ritzy diners a la vogue, you’ll find your perfect spot after a quick romantic horse carriage ride.
Located in a historic hotel frequented by the likes of Ingrid Bergman, the Belle Epoque restaurant offers gourmet dishes prepared by celebrity chef Olivier Campanha, who introduced a modern twist to traditional Greek cuisine and a French perspective into the traditional Mediterranean cooking style. Whether you’d like to dine indoors or by the sea, you won’t be disappointed with the old-world elegance and glamour.
To Nero Tis Agapis
A fine dining hedonist hub where you can enjoy the orzo and large selection of fresh seafood, with wonderful vistas and a handsome wine list that will satisfy the standards of any aspiring sommelier.
Fancy some gray lobster? Book a table at this traditional taverna, located right on the Kounoupitsa beach. The prices are surprisingly reasonable for the high quality of ingredients and stellar location of the eaterie. No need to splurge on an expensive bottle of wine, either - their house wine is locally produced and tops the flavor of many well-established labels you’ve had so far.
A charming restaurant with views of the Venetian mansions and stylish superyachts in the harbor, Mourayo Bar is proud of its palatable seafood dishes and freshly caught fish that comes in every morning. If you prefer meat, try the T-bone steak that will have you booking a table for tomorrow, and finish off with a mouthwatering greek dessert. The owner is very hands-on and goes out of his way to provide the best level of service to his guests.
If you feel like dining right there on the beach, head to this casual taverna that offers delicious Greek meals like lamb kleftiko, fried courgettes, and mussels saganaki. The scenery is spectacular, and the food is simple but cooked to perfection.