Spetses’s quaint capital shares the same historical heritage as Hydra, but has a much less crowded and more relaxed vibe. A stroll along the cobbled streets is perfect for a glass of wine or retsina, as well as people watching.
For a more relaxed evening, head to Yayaki Spetses – the island’s first and only plant-based hotel. Spend the afternoon relaxing and sipping on a cocktail at the garden terrace.
1. Mourayo Bar & Restaurant
This charming island packs a culinary punch. Enjoy a unique fusion of Mediterranean-Asian dishes at Liotrivi, set in a former olive press, or sample the succulent seafood mezedes served at Akrogialia or Patralis. You can also find a range of delicious tavernas in the old port and on the coast.
On the seafront, in Dapia, is Mourayo, housed in a one-time pirate warehouse, where you can lounge in a veranda’s cosy armchairs surrounded by maritime antiques and savour predominantly Mediterranean cuisine. This renowned restaurant also offers dinner on the water.
Mourayo is an all-time classic for cocktails and music, but it’s also one of the best spots to get a good meal on the island. The menu is varied and affordable, and the food is fresh and tasty. The fried koutsomoures (crab dumplings) are delicious.
Another place to try is Clock Eatery Pizza Pasta & Burgers, which is a great choice for travelers who want a hearty burger and a decent pizza dish on a budget. The restaurant is open all day and is suitable for families.
College Beach is a large sandy bay, popular with families and children because it’s shallow, safe, and seldom affected by winds. It’s also an excellent location for water sports such as kayaking, windsurfing, and sailing. There’s a restaurant and bar on the beach, which is open during peak season. You can also explore Bekiris Cave, which is an interesting archaeological site located near the beach. You can visit the cave by foot or take a tour on a boat. It’s worth paying the extra money for the guided tours. It will help you understand the history and culture of the island better.
2. Clock Eatery Pizza Pasta & Burgers
Clock Eatery Pizza Pasta & Burgers serves affordable fast food including burgers, sandwiches, pizza and pasta. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating. The restaurant is located in Spetses town center near Mourayo Bar & Restaurant.
In the 19th century, Spetses was one of Greece’s wealthiest ports, its Old Harbor crammed with tall-masted sailing ships like a modern-day Coney Island amusement park. Today, it’s still one of the very few places in Greece where traditional kaiki, or schooners, are built and docked, their skeletal hulls and ribs painted orange, sandwiched incongruously among restaurants and bars deep inside the harbor.
The best time to visit Spetses is from May through September, when temperatures are perfect for swimming and the townsfolk are at their most convivial. At this time, the seaside cafes in the harbor and Dapia are packed with visitors, many of them Athenians, nursing frappes or scoffing excellent sweets. The quaint little shops behind the main cannon in Dapia are also busy, and a visit to the Old Harbor’s kaiki wharf is a must.
Those seeking more refined dining should head to Liotrivi, a taverna tucked within a historic olive press, or Patralis Psarotaverna, a lively fish taverna. If you’re a Spetses resident, try to avoid these popular restaurants on weekend evenings, when they are filled with Athenians, especially if you want to dine at a place that serves the local specialties of makaronada tou psara (fish and pasta) or mayiatiko a la Spetsiate (fish stewed with tomatoes). For a more casual meal, consider the family-owned Stambolis, on the upper right side of the main square in Dapia. This is where young and old Spetsiotis come to buy the daily newspapers, do their shopping, and hang out.
3. Patralis Psarotaverna
Founded in 1935, Patralis Restaurant is the oldest tavern on the island and still runs by the sons of its founder, Barba Panos. Expect fresh seafood and crisp white wines – the perfect accompaniment to that Saronic Gulf backdrop.
The menu here combines classic Greek recipes with wider Mediterranean flavours. Try the fried atherina (anchovy) and grilled sardines, as well as the sea bass or lobster pasta dishes. This lively fish tavern faces the sea and draws crowds throughout the summer, so come here earlier in the evening if you prefer a quiet meal.
This spot may be a bit too hip for some Spetses visitors, but those who love the classy feel of the place should not miss out on the chance to dine at this beautiful location. The interior is a sight to behold, with the bar and tables lined with naval antiques. The food is surprisingly good, too. The grilled sardines and makaronada tou psara (fish, tomato sauce and pasta) are both highly recommended.
One of the Saronic Gulf islands closest to Athens, Spetses hits a slightly different note from its neighbors, thanks to its renowned restaurant scene and historic mansions. A visit here is like an affair with an old flame – it can be mellow and intimate or raucous and fun. But it’s always an experience that leaves you feeling enlivened and rejuvenated. Frequented in peak summer by well-heeled Athenians on city breaks, it’s a softer, more intimate alternative to nearby Hydra. It also offers secluded beaches, rich maritime history, and an exciting nightlife scene. Whether you’re here to take in the views, sample the local cuisine or just have a drink at the bars and clubs, Spetses is definitely worth a trip.
4. Kounoupitsa Beach
Located west of the old port, Kounoupitsa Beach is a lovely beach where you can enjoy sand and pebbles alongside crystal clear waters and scenic natural beauty. It has a beach bar for food and drink, space for small boats and is the perfect place to relax and soak up the unique and cosmopolitan atmosphere of Spetses.
A quaint fish taverna serving up fresh seafood delicacies including shrimp spaghetti, saganaki mussels and red mullet grilled on the spot. The menu is rich with Mediterranean dishes and accompanied by delicious Greek olive oil, garden-grown vegetables and risotto. The restaurant is a beautiful place for dinner with refined standards and a great complement to the island aesthetic.
Known as the “last of the Argo-Saronic islands” Spetses is not only a charming little town but also an ideal vacation destination for families. It has many sandy beaches where children can swim safely and it also offers a wide range of activities that will keep them entertained like horseback riding, hiking trails and cycling.
The island’s best restaurants are scattered throughout the island and offer delicious local cuisine. The Poseidonion Grand Hotel is a classic seafront eatery steeped in old-world elegance and serves classic Greek dishes and desserts, and is a must for those who are looking to experience Spetses’ luxury.
There are also a few cafes and restaurants that serve light meals that are kid friendly and offer great value for money such as the Nero tis Agapis in the old port. In the afternoon, enjoy a glass of wine or retsina and people watch on the picturesque streets of the old port and Dapia. The perfect way to end the day is by riding on one of the traditional amaxakia that are a symbol of the island.
5. Bekiris Beach
A swanky spot frequented by well-heeled Athenians on island getaways, Spetses is a softer, more intimate alternative to nearby Hydra. Its streets are lined with two-story neoclassical houses and fragrant bougainvillea, while apricot trees bloom along the verandas. At night, Dapia the port comes alive with horse-drawn carriages and aristocratic houses lit up for a nightcap.
The beach here is shallow and safe for kids, and it’s rarely buffeted by rough seas. It’s also close to the impressive Bekiris cave, which is a must-see for movie-makers and lovers alike. The bottom is rocky and pebbled, so a good pair of water shoes is essential.
Located in the quaint old port, this is where locals go for seafood and ouzo (a traditional dry anise-flavoured aperitif). The menu changes often as new owners come onboard. Expect innovative upscale Mediterranean cuisine and a thoughtful wine list.
This taverna, with outdoor tables overlooking the old port, serves up some of the best fish on the island. It draws large crowds throughout the summer, so be sure to arrive early to secure a table. The staff is attentive and the prices are very reasonable. Try the sea bass, lobster pasta, or fish carpaccio, but be sure to save room for the fresh “koutsomoures” (fried shrimp).
Located in Dapia, this is a great place to sip cocktails and listen to music while enjoying the view of the yachts moored in the quaint old port. The food is decent, but the atmosphere and music make this a must-see for those who want to party in Spetses.