Tour of Spetses
Perhaps the most enjoyable way to fully experience Spetses is to tour the island by whatever means you prefer. We recommend biking or walking (especially on moonlit nights); the tour has recently been established as a sporting event. The road, which is now all asphalt, is 24 km long, with many hills. Along the way, we will get to know the whole island, its natural features, its beaches, and its beauties.
The following description starts with Agia Marina and ends, after touring the island, at Scholes.
Our tour can also begin at the beach of Agios Mamas, where a bus route begins, heading for Agios Anargyris and Agia Paraskevi. The distance from Agias Mamas to Agios Anargyris is 12 km.
1900 meters from Agios Mamas, we arrive at Agia Marina. The nightclubs (bouzoukia) of the island used to be here. In the late '80s, the Disco Fever club was popular here (and so was the Disco Figaro club in the Old Port).
The Agia Marina Beach has developed into a cosmopolitan beach. Water sports, food, and drinks are available. In the past, the beach had large pebbles; today it is much easier on swimmers' feet. The water is crystal clear, and the seabed is relatively sandy.
The small Agia Marina church stands proudly on a little hill to the left of the beach. An early Hellenic settlement of the third millenium BC was discovered here, and the findings are on exhibit in the Museum of Spetses.
The cove behind the hill of Agia Marina Church is an ideal place for peaceful swimming. A little path that begins to the left of the church leads to the cove. There is a small, pebbly beach, with some small rocks. Just opposite the church and high above the beach, we can see the Moni ton Agion Panton (All Saints' Monastery), which we will visit on another trip.
About 800 meters from Agia Marina on the way to Agioi Anargyroi, we find a small, peaceful, pebbly beach with a rocky seabed on our left. Although otherwise unremarkable, it offers a spot for quiet, peaceful swimming. Right next to it we will also pass the helicopter landing pad of Spetses.
On our left, the green Spetsopoula, the famous island of the shipowner Stavros Niarchos, is clearly visible in the background. It belongs to the Leonidas family, but it was rented to Niarchos with a ninety nine year contract. Niarchos converted the island into a hunting refuge.
Kouzounos is a very beautiful beach 1.7 km from Agia Marina. Access by land is limited to a small path that is not easy to find because of the houses that have been built close to the sea, but it is worth the effort to find and visit this beach.
On the left side of the road from Kouzounos to Xylokeriza, we will see beautiful coves with small beaches (more easily accessible from the sea). The view toward Spetsopoula is unique, and we can enjoy it at various points along the way.
The dumping and incineration site for waste generated on the island is a short distance before Xylokeriza on the road to Agioi Anargyroi (and 4.5 km from Agia Marina). Currently there are no plans for a sanitary landfill.
6 km from Agia Marina, we can pause above the beautiful beach of Xylokeriza. This is the starting point for the 550-meter descent toward the cove and beach. The descent to the beach is easy, but the uphill return is more difficult. The public bus on the Agioi Anargyroi line stops here. The beach was landscaped and organized relatively recently (in the last 15 years). It is long and pebbly, with a rocky seabed.
The next point of interest is the area of Xokeriza (8 km from Agia Marina). A short distance after Xylokeriza , a dirt road on the left leads to the area of Xokeriza and, eventually, to a beautiful cove with pine trees, villas, and the lovely little Eleni Beach (1200 meters from the point where we turned left for Xokeriza).
9.5 km from Agia Marina, a long downhill road begins (perfect for bicycle lovers). After about 400 m, it leads to the Agioi Anargyroi area, with the largest beach in Spetses. There are also hotels and restaurants in this area. From this point, we have a very beautiful view of the Agioi Anargyoi Beach.
In the area of Agioi Anargyroi, there are two churches in honor of Saint Anargyros. One of the two churches is located next to the beach. The name "Anargyros" was very common in Spetses, as was the name "Paraskevi."
The beach of Agioi Anargyroi is the largest one in Spetses. It is a beautiful, organized, pebbly beach with a sandy seabed; it also offers water sports. The bus from Agios Mamas stops at the entrance to the beach, next to a restaurant. The beach is also accessible by boat from the Bastion.
A path that begins at the right end of the Agioi Anargyroi beach leads 500 m from the church to a small sea cave, the Bekiris Cave, with a little sandy beach inside it. According to legend, during the Orlof uprising women and children from Spetses took refuge from the Turks here, but they were betrayed and slaughtered.
We continue toward our next stop, the gorgeous Agia Paraskevi Beach, 11.8 km from Agia Marina. Many consider the Agia Paraskevi Beach, with its lush pines, the most beautiful beach in Spetses. It features large pebbles and lovely crystal-clear water. It is accessible by bus and by boats that make day trips.
The chapel of Agia Paraskevi celebrates its saint's day on July 26, and it is worth enjoying a night-time visit (or even an overnight stay outdoors) on a boat in the moonlight.
After the Agia Paraskevi beach, the road climbs steeply and passes above the Tsakonas Cove (1700 meters from Agia Paraskevi). From the road overlooking the cove, we can see the beautiful, peaceful Tsakonas Beach on our left. A five minute walk down a 150 m path that begins by the road leads to this remote, pebbly beach with its rocky seabed.
3,200 m from Agia Paraskevi, on our left, a dirt road turns off the paved road, leading to the Kamares Promontory and the area of Rematakia. Here we can find the ruins of a Byzantine tower as well as a beautiful, secluded, sandy beach west of Kamares. This dirt road leads to Zogeria, but we will continue for another 2.5 km and then turn left toward Zogeria at the intersection.
The distance from the intersection down to the large bay is another 900 meters. Zogeria Bay is the most beautiful bay on the island. Actually, it consists of two coves: a larger one with the churches of Analypsis (the Ascension) and Agios Georgios (Saint George), and a smaller one with an organized beach, a taverna, and a pier where fishing boats moor.
The church of the Analypsis (Ascension) was built in 1853. In the middle of the nineteenth century, due to the plague and cholera epidemics that had broken out in Europe in 1837, a quarantine station operated for sailors and travelers in the area called Lazareto, located in the middle of the bay.
500 meters from the church of Analypsis (the Ascension), we find the beautiful little seaside chapel of Agios Georgios at the edge of the Zogeria Bay. These days, the chapel is a popular choice for wedding ceremonies among the cosmopolitan crowd of Athens. Not many years ago, the church was crumbling apart, but K. Thymaras and P. Mathios undertook its renovation in 1989.
The little bay of Zogeria ends at a very small, sandy, organized beach with calm blue-green waters, perhaps the best water for swimming in Spetses. Small, more peaceful, beautiful beaches also exist in the larger cove of Zogeria.
Leaving the beautiful Zogeria, we climb again to the paved road, and after traveling approximately 2,000 meters we arrive at a beautiful pine forested coastal area of Spetses, Vrellos. Unfortunately, the fire of 2000 burned much of the pine forest above Vrellos, reaching almost to the sea. Vrellos Beach has evolved over the last few years into a fully organized beach. Ten or fifteen years ago, it was a peaceful, unfrequented beach. Today it is served by public transportation; it is the last stop on the Ligoneri bus line. Vrellos Beach has white pebbles and a rocky seabed.
On the left side of the road to Ligoneri, 200-500 meters from Vrellos, we encounter some very beautiful, small, peaceful beaches with clear blue water and fine pebbles. The beaches are accessible from the road via short paths.
1.2 km from Vrellos, we arrive in Ligoneri and the settlement of the civil engineers. The beach is quite large and is divided into two sides; it is pebbly with some sand, and the sea bottom is rocky. The beach is accessible on foot from the nearby bus stop.
Returning to the road, and looking to our right amidst the cypresses and pines 350 meters from the beach, we find the church of Zoodochos Pigi (Fountain of Life). It is also known as the church of Elonas (or the church of Lower Elonas, to distinguish it from that of Upper Elonas to the east, close to the Hara Estate). We can see a spring gushing from the rocks.
An uphill road leading to the settlement of the civil engineers starts approximately 300 meters from the church of Zoodochos Pigi. Consisting of densely spaced cement buildings, the settlement is a typical example of the prevailing architectural style of the 1970s.
On the left side of the road leading from Ligoneri to Scholes, 250 meters before the old Xenia hotel, we encounter a very beautiful out-of-the-way beach with sand and pebbles. Perfect for those seeking solitude.
Beneath the site of the old Xenia hotel of Spetses by the schools, there is a very small, quiet pebbly beach with a rocky seabed. There is also a jetty where boats can moor. Just past this, beyond the school buildings under the old Xenia hotel, there's a much better beach with a sandy seabed and light blue water.
In front of us lies the organized beach of Scholes, just opposite the entrance to the school, marked by a fishing boat (kaiki) symbol. The bottom is rocky, and access to the sea is easier from the left side of the beach. It is about 1,800 meters from the Bastion.
Behind the beach is the famous Anargyreios and Korgialeneios School of Spetses, which was founded by S. Anargyros with the goal of educating leaders of a national caliber. Construction began in 1923, and the school was in operation until 1983. It comprises five large buildings over an area of 100 hectares (247 acres).
The modern A. O. Bouboulinas soccer stadium of Spetses is on school property. The main settlement of the island basically begins at Scholes. It includes the area of Kounoupitsa, which leads to the Bastion and extends to the Old Port.
Spetses Including links of interest to tourists and in general basic texts by third parties about the Saronic Gulf area on Exploring Greece