Spetses may have drawn key figures of Greek political life and shipping tycoons to purchase summer villas here, but package tourism hasn’t yet caught on and the island is still a treasure trove of beauty.
Narrow flagstone streets lined with cafés, restaurants and traditional tavernas are home to beautifully restored Venetian mansions.
1. Poseidonion Grand Hotel
An ode to Greek island elegance, this hotel blends French Riviera style with breezy Greek hospitality. Grand but never stuffy, the rooms and suites seamlessly merge original features with contemporary furniture and state-of-the-art facilities. A palm-filled garden surrounds the Hockney-blue pool, while the stylish lounge – complete with comfy sofas and a grand piano – and various restaurants spill onto the sweeping terrace overlooking the startlingly blue Aegean Sea.
Built in 1914, Poseidonion was the vision of Sotirios Anargyros, a philanthropist who used his fortune to improve the island of Spetses, planting it with pine trees and building a Harrow-style boarding school that edified local kids from 1927 until 1983. It soon became one of the country’s most famous resorts, attracting high society and royalty who brought with them a sense of glamour to this tiny island.
Its stately facade overlooking Dapia Port and the sweeping bay of the Argolic Gulf, is complemented by a spacious open square dedicated to local heroine Laskarina Bouboulina, who amassed wealth and naval skills to help Greece achieve independence from the Ottomans. The hotel’s elegant interiors are adorned with works from the 19th and 20th centuries.
A full service spa is at your disposal, offering everything from body wraps to ayurvedic treatments. You can also recharge by the palm-lined pool or enjoy a cocktail at the bar.
The hotel’s restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. You can dine in the main restaurant, with its neoclassical decor and wooden floors, or at the library-style restaurant serving Greek food with a modern twist.
The hotel offers free Wi-Fi and a 24-hour business centre with a Xerox machine and desk. There’s also a gym and a sauna. Other amenities include babysitting or child care, concierge services and laundry facilities. Parking is available on site for an additional charge. The hotel can be reached by car (a free shuttle bus runs to the port in summer) or by ferry from Kosta, a 20-minute drive from the property. Private transfers and helicopter flights are also possible, though you’ll need to book in advance.
2. Lianos Hotel Apartments
Lianos Hotel Apartments is a lovely option for those who want to stay in Spetses’ historic town centre and are looking for a hotel with a swimming pool. The hotel has been recently renovated and it offers comfortable rooms with a kitchenette and a balcony or patio overlooking the sea. The staff are also very friendly and helpful.
The hotel has a swimming pool and an outdoor terrace with lounge chairs where guests can relax. There is also a snack bar where guests can enjoy a drink or a light meal. The location of the hotel is ideal, just a short walk from the main street of the old town. It is also close to the port of Dapia, making it easy to get to.
It is a great choice for couples, families with kids, and those who are looking for a romantic holiday. The rooms at the hotel are spacious and have a modern design. They have a balcony or patio with furniture, and they are equipped with a TV, a radio, air conditioning, and a refrigerator. The bathrooms have a hairdryer and a shower.
A variety of services are available at the hotel, including luggage storage and a concierge. In addition, there are bicycles that guests can borrow for free. The hotel’s restaurant serves Greek cuisine, and there are several bars where guests can enjoy a drink.
The island is criss-crossed with footpaths that take you to picturesque villages, ancient chapels, and hilltop viewpoints. Some of them lead to secret beaches where you can swim in calm waters and spend a relaxing day under the sun. In the town, visitors can explore its narrow streets on foot or by horse-drawn carriages, while ferries connect it with nearby islands like Poros and Hydra.
For such a small island, Spetses has quite a buzzing nightlife and gorgeous beaches. Private cars are banned on the island, but regular buses run between the main towns and there are a number of water taxis to access hard-to-reach beaches and coves.
3. Toula’s House
Located in the New Port district, Toula’s House is within easy reach of Bouboulina Museum and features an outdoor terrace. Guests can also visit Ekklisia Anastasi Church and Bekiri’s Cave.
This charming apartment boasts a fully equipped kitchen, as well as air conditioning and TV. It also offers a private balcony with scenic views.
There are a range of facilities available to guests of Toula’s House, including a laundry service and free parking on site. There is also a garden for relaxing in, and a restaurant on the premises that serves tasty Greek dishes.
The beach on Spetses is just a short stroll away from Toula’s House, while guests can find numerous cafes and restaurants in the vicinity. The capital of Spetses is under a 30-minute drive away.
One of the best things to do on the island is explore its fascinating history. Many of its most famous buildings are neoclassical, and the old port of Dapia is a great place to start. There are also plenty of quaint bars and shops to discover along the way.
Spetses has quite a buzzing nightlife for such a small island, and there are some beautiful beaches to enjoy too. The best time to go is during the summer, from late May until September.
For those who want to get around without a car, there are regular buses to the main beach, as well as a water taxi for accessing more remote beaches and coves. There are also plenty of cycling routes, and if you’re not up for cycling, an E-bike tour is a good alternative.
The best places to stay on Spetses include everything from luxury grand dame hotels overlooking the harbour to chic villas for families and friends. Whether you’re looking for something traditional or cutting-edge, the Hotel Guru has the perfect choice for you.
4. Aria Apartments
The best place to stay on Spetses is in the capital, Chora (or Spitses Town), which offers an authentic Greek island experience. Here, the streets are lined with tavernas and cafes that offer a variety of drinks and food, as well as traditional souvenir shops that add a dash of color to the town’s cobbled walkways.
The town is also a hub of activities, and from the center of the town, it’s easy to take buses to the islands’ most famous beaches. There is a long asphalt road that circumnavigates the island, which makes it easy to access most of its beautiful shores.
For a more intimate feel, choose to stay in one of the many boutique hotels in Spetses town. These hotels range from modern, stylish hotel rooms to private villas that can sleep up to ten guests. They are ideal for couples and families and provide the perfect base from which to explore the rest of the island.
Alternatively, you can rent an apartment in Spetses, such as Aria Apartments, which provides a comfortable, spacious living area with a full kitchen and balcony. These apartments are located in a great location just a short walk from the beach and main town. They have everything you need for a relaxing holiday, including air conditioning and Wi-Fi.
Aside from renting an apartment in Spetses, you can also choose to stay at one of the island’s luxury hotels or villas. These places are often a bit more expensive than the apartments, but they include a lot more amenities and facilities. Some of these hotels also have restaurants and bars, which can make your holiday that much more enjoyable.
The best time to visit Spetses is during the warm season, which runs from late May until September. This is when the temperatures are at their highest and when most people travel to the island. However, if you are looking for a more intimate experience, consider visiting the island during the spring or autumn months when the weather is still mild but less crowded. There are also a number of museums that you can visit on the island during any season.