Luxury and local tradition coexist on the beautiful island of Spetses, a favourite of captains and fashionistas, so close to Athens in the Saronic Gulf.
Deriving from a rich historic background, Dapia, the town of the island, is a conglomerate of the past and the present in a unique mixture of tradition and contemporary life.
The island presents many traditional and historical architectural moments that are definitely worth discovering.
Spetses is an island with rich history. First proof of human residence at the 3rd millennium is pottery of this era which has been excavated in the area of Aghia Marina.
The Bronze Age shipwreck of “Dokos”, considered to be on of the oldest known shipwrecks in the world, is placed in 2000 BC. Findings of this as well as of the Mycenaean shipwreck of “Iria” at about 1200BC are exhibited at the Museum in Spetses. Furthermore, there is a Byzantine settlement in Zogeria and basilica churches in the area of Baltiza.
The 18th century marks the beginning of the island’s economical peak up to the revolution of 1821 against the Turkish occupation. It was during this era that the already flourishing fleet of Spetses contributed to the great cause under the command of the heroin Laskarina Bouboulina who devoted her ships and wealth for the liberty of the country.
Bouboulina’s house as well as the house of hero Hatzigiannis Mexis are today turned into museums of local history. It is in honor of all these brave people and of the heroic naval battles that every year at the first fortnight of September the re-enactment of the burning of the Turkish flagship takes place among fireworks, dances and other festivities.
The museum is housed at the three hundred year old Mansion of the national heroine Laskarina Bouboulina – the only woman in world history to hold the title of admiral.
You will see collections of guns, antique books, china, documents and letters of the Revolution, paintings and ship models, portraits and engravings of the heroine, personal items, maps, embroidery, busts, byzantine icons, furniture and objects of 17th-20th century as well as the magnificent Florentine carved ceiling of the great hall.
Spetses Museum is housed in the mansion of Hatzigiannis Mexis-who was among the high society of Spetses, in the years of the struggle for our National Independence.
The mansion was built between the years 1795 and 1798. The ground floor houses an exhibition with the findings of the Mycenaean Iria wreck around 1200 BC. On the first floor the exhibits represent more than 4,000 years of cultural history of the island and cover all forms of art expression.
On the way to the Old Port you will admire the mansions of the great sea captains of the Revolution of 1821 and you will end up in its center where they built the famous “vrikogoletes” (wooden ships).
In these same areas, the traditional art of wooden shipbuilding continues today with tenacity and passion and with the old techniques passing down from father to son.
You should visit the lighthouse of Spetses which hides its own history, since together with the lighthouse of Kea they are the first of the Greek lighthouses with inaugural year of operation in 1837. The lighthouse, which now adorns the Old Port of Spetses is a stone lighthouse that first operated in 1885.
You should not miss seeing the Cathedral of St. Nicholas and the Monastery of All Saints with its unique view. Remarkable is also the historic church of Panagia Armata, built in honor of the victory of Spetses, Hydra and Psara against the Turks.
A combination of forest roads and trails give visitors the opportunity to enjoy the piney mountain ridge ending at various points of the regional road that is approximately 22 km. You can also take a tour of the island by bicycle. Wherever you are you can admire the stunning pebble art, truly works of art and characteristic of the island.
The beaches are quite a few and waiting for you to explore them: Agios Mamas, Kaiki, Ligoneri, Vrellos, Zogeria, Saints Anargyri, Xylokeriza, Agia Paraskevi, Agia Marina, Beach of Kouzounou.