A Walk to Scholes
The second classic coastal walk of Spetses heads from the Poseidonio to Scholes. (The first was in the opposite direction, to the east, toward the Palio Limani (Old Port).) The total journey to Scholes is 1,600 meters.
We will visit two major Spetsiot mansions in the center of Dapia (the Bastion, by the cannons) before heading left toward the Poseidonio. Behind the parish church of Agios Antonios (Saint Anthony), we find "Ta Pefkakia" (Little Pines) Square, where we can see the Sotirios Anargyros Mansion and, across from it, the Bouboulina Museum.
The neoclassical mansion of the great benefactor of Spetses, Sotirios Anargyros, was built in 1904. Anargyros named it after the Egyptian goddess Neith and decorated it with Egyptian motifs. During the time of the occupation by the Axis forces, the building functioned as the Town Hall. The Bouboulina Museum is across from the Sotirios Anargyros Mansion. It is housed on one floor of the Bouboulis mansion, which was listed on the historical registry in 1925. In the summertime, nice cultural events take place in the courtyard.
We return to Agios Antonis, at the Dapia (Bastion), and we pass in front of Politi, a traditional confectionery that produces the famous marzipan of Spetses.
Going down the road to the right, we see the traditional coffee shop of Kardiasmenos on a corner, in one of the oldest buildings on the island. The Hotel Acropol is located above the coffee shop. The Poseidonio is situated between this building and the residence of the industrialist Daskalakis.
The imposing Poseidonio is the most distinctive building of Spetses, bringing back memories of other times. A luxurious hotel, it is comparable to the palaces of the French Côte d'Azur. Initiated by Anargyros, its construction was completed in 1914. It became the summer haunt of rich and fashionable Athenians in the early 20th century and the interwar period.
In front of the Poseidonio, the large square is dominated by the centrally located brass statue of Bouboulina, a creation of sculptor Natalie Melas, whose sculptures we also encountered in Armata Park near the lighthouse in the Old Port.
The corner building with red windows right after the Poseidonio beach was the house of the industrialist Daskalakis, owner of the factory that was housed in the building today used by Nissia.
On the pier in front of the Poseidonio, many yachts are moored, especially on summer weekends. On the edge of the pier, in the cove immediately after the turn, there is a small beach with sand and small pebbles. It is favored by residents of Kounoupitsa, a neighborhood that we will see as we continue our walk.
Behind the beach, on the opposite side of the road, we can see the house of Admiral Fokas, a navy officer who supported the prominent Greek statesman Venizelos. In this house Venizelos used to meet with Fokas and Pagalos, and from this house Venizelos departed in 1916 for Thessaloniki. The house was built in 1870 by the family of Lazaros Orlof.
Less than 100 meters beyond the Fokas house, we see the mansion of I. Kastriotis, a descendant of a historic family of ship owners from Spetses. Objects and furniture from this house are exhibited in the beautiful restaurant "1800," which is located on the building's ground floor.
For many years the building that now houses the elegant hotel complex "Nissia" (Islands) was the abandoned remnant of the prewar spinning factory of industrialist Dimitris Daskalakis. The factory was in business from 1920 until 1959, when it was confiscated by the National Bank of Greece. The current, restored building has preserved the façade of the factory.
120 meters beyond Nissia, we find the house of the Giannouzas family. Bouboulina was killed here during a family brawl. Her son, Giorgos Giannouzas, had adbucted Evgenia Koutsi, and during the altercation that ensued with her relatives, someone shot and killed Bouboulina.
The next house, before the Town Hall, is a beautiful house built around 1846 by C. Kastriotis, a descendant of the historic Kastriotis family of Spetses ship owners. The initials KXA and the year of construction are engraved on the iron railing of the central balcony.
The next building is the Town Hall of Spetses, a historic house with the name "House of Nikolaos Kyriakos." Andreas Kyriakos, Mayor of Spetses, lived here; his daughter Mina donated the house to the Municipality. The poet Odysseas Elytis was a guest here during many summers.
In the next 100 meters, we encounter the residence of the naval officer Kostas Tsallis, captain of the famous sailing ship Kreoli, which was owned by ship magnate Niarchos. The house was built around 1830 by the ship owner Nikolaos Kyriakos, whose daughter was married to someone from the Lebesis family. Across from it, the house of the merchant Tsoulouchopoulos is a prime example of the neoclassical architecture of Spetses. In the yard, we can see a pebble mosaic forming the letters ΝΣΤ (for Nikos Sarantou Tsoulouchopoulos), and beneath these letters the numbers 908 915 (to indicate that it was built between 1908 and 1915).
At this point, the neighborhood of Kounoupitsa begins. Kounoupitsa was a fisherman's neighborhood, rather impoverished in comparison to the Old Port area with its grand mansions. Today it features hotels and restaurants; it lacks a cosmopolitan air, but it preserves its simple beauty.
Next to the Yachting Club, we see the mansion of Michalis Oikonomou. He was a captain and the owner of a merchant ship, and he became the mayor of Spetses in 1862. He was assassinated by Bouboulina's family in 1872.
Just after the Oikonomou mansion, and before the Patralis fish tavern, we will leave the coastal road for a bit, taking a left at the junction and climbing about 200 meters to the church of Ai Yannis or Agios Ioannis (Saint John). Bouboulina was buried by this church before her bones were carried to Agios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas), and then to the Spetses Museum. The summer estate of Bouboulina was next to the church.
From the church of Agios Ioannis (Saint John), climb 500 meters to the hilltop and the church of Agia Anna (Saint Anne), with its wonderful view of the island. In the old days, it served as the church of the Petroutsis family of mariners. The church that exists today was built by the sculptor Byron Keses, who used it to embody his Byzantine visions.
We descend again to the main road at the Patralis taverna, one of the most traditional fish taverns in Spetses. This area used to be the home of low-income people, mostly fishermen and carpenters specializing in ship construction. The building opposite the tavern once housed the Kanavos shipbuilders' workshop.
160 meters from the Patralis taverna, in the background on our right, we will see the Boukouri house, the residence of the first famous Greek female painter, Eleni Boukouri Altamoura (1823-1903). She studied painting in Italy (and one notices the traditional Venetian lamps at the entrance of the house). Near the end of her life, she secluded herself and burnt all her works.
Just past the Hotel Spetses, on the site of the residential complex "Anemoi" (Winds), the famous Epavlis Neraida (Fairy Villa) used to stand. It was owned by Polyvios Lekos, merchant and mayor of Spetses during the occupation. He was a very active and persistent politician, which led to his demise.
The final stretch of the tree-lined road to the schools lies ahead of us. On our right at the beginning of the road, we will see the beautiful red chapel of Anastasis (Resurrection), which belongs to the Moni ton Agion Panton (All Saints' Monastery). Next to the chapel of the Resurrection, there is a small pebbly beach across from the ruins of the old olive press. It is a remote and peaceful, but otherwise unremarkable, beach. The olive press was incorporated into Anargyrios School when Anargyros appropriated the area.
A fishing boat (kaiki) marks the location of the organized beach of Scholes, which is on our right, opposite the entrance to the school. The bottom is rocky, and access to the sea is easier from the left side of the beach. The distance from the Dapia (Bastion) is about 1,600 meters.
On our left 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 operated until 1983. It comprises five large buildings over an area of 100 hectares (247 acres).
The modern A. O. Bouboulina soccer stadium of Spetses is on school property.
Including links of interest to tourists and in general basic texts by third parties about the Saronic Gulf area on Exploring Greece