There can’t be too many islands where tourism has developed owing to the close proximity of a British Naval Training Base, but Spetses is one of them. During the 19th century officers from the nearby training ground would come to enjoy the island whilst on leave. As a result the neoclassical Hotel Poseidonion, as imposing as it is impressive, was built to accommodate them. Spetses holidays offer grandeur, wealth and are ideal for a more private and low-key getaway than the other Greek islands.
There was, and still remains, much to charm the visitor, naval or otherwise. Just 54 nautical miles from Athens, Spetses boasts a rich history and is renowned for its abundant pine trees, wonderfully sandy beaches, secluded and charming bays, beautiful architecture and its picturesque capital of Spetses Town. Spetses holidays are wonderful way to experience Greek life in a stunning setting. As private cars are not allowed on the island, horse and carriage is the more normal mode of transport, imparting a deliciously laid-back feel to island life.
Boasting a delightful port, pretty cobblestone streets and a wonderful mix of grand Venetian style mansions and supremely elegant neoclassical residences, Spetses has remained unspoiled over many years and through many eras of tourism. With its gorgeous setting it is no wonder that Spetses holidays are a popular retreat for those wishing to ‘get away from it all’.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the island attracted large numbers of wealthy Greek vacationers, predominantly from Athens, owning villas or living on large yachts in the port. Some had children who became students of the Anargirios School. Although some hotels were present, tourists often stayed in purpose-built holiday homes. From the 1980s, these were often supplanted by northern European tourists, especially from the United Kingdom who were attracted by competitively priced holidays. In the 1990s visitors were largely backpackers on a day trip or longer stay from Athens, before the island was rediscovered and reclaimed by the monied Greek classes in the noughties. Nowadays with the exceptional Poseidonion Grand Hotel, that once housed the British Naval officers, holidays to Spetses can be enjoyed by all discerning travellers looking to stay in style, quality and comfort.
Spetses is reached by hydrofoil just a two and a half hour journey from Piraeus Port in Athens. As well as being a holiday destination in its own right, holidays in Spetses can be offered as a wonderful twin centre option when combined with a stay in Athens.