Σπέτσεσ – Argo-Saronic

Spetses is a blissful island close to Hydra, with which it shares one other trait, a lack of cars. There are a few here though, and unlike its neighbor, the islanders do try to make up for it by the use of bikes and even (my worst hate) some quad bikes. This makes the town itself a bit noisy, but elsewhere even the main roads are virtually car free!

Another similarity with its neighbor island is the presence of some really wonderful and up-market lodgings that can make your stay very comfortable and help provide a great island experience. I stayed at the Niriides Guesthouse, which was top notch for me, great value for money. I have maybe never seen a higher rating at Booking.com either, so it seems others like it too. Breakfasts are huge.

Eating is also generally very good, and I found all the fairly traditional looking tavernas I tried close to Dapia harbor good to excellent. However, most are conspicuously absent on TripAdvisor. Now I have come to think this is actually a good sign, so one more nail in that particular coffin… If I have to make just one pick: Try the Spetsiotiko at the waterfront, their food is absolutely delicious. Do not even bother to read what that “other website” has to say. Another favorite: Argiris (Ο Αργυρισ) at the Clock Square.

The landscape on Spetses is mostly greens hills, no dramatic mountains. That does not mean that all walks on the island are necessarily easy. More details follows below.

Selected walks: For walks on Spetses take a look at the very good Anavasi (1:12500) hiking map (see above), referred to below as /Anavasi/. Possibly the best map I have ever used on any of my walking holidays!

•1 SPETSES TOWN – VIGLA – GOURI – LIGONERI – SPETSES TOWN (my total time 3h09; 417a 412d; net walking time 2h17): This begins as trail C2 in /Anavasi/.

The ascent is pretty easy, the descent not so much. Originally I had intended to descend to start point D, but just continued ahead without seeing it. That almost 180 degree turn back to your right is almost impossible to spot, and lucky I did not, as YOU SHOULD NEVER EVEN THINK ABOUT DESCENDING THERE. For more see walk 4 below. Descending directly to Ligoneri is much easier, but tough enough, even if the track is wide. It is very steep and gravelly, only the ultimate in walking boots with superb grip please!

•2 SPETSES TOWN – SYNTANTISI KYNIGON – PANAGIA ELONA – PILEMI – SPETSES TOWN (my total time 2h25; 330a 335d; net walking time 1h51): This begins as trail C1 in /Anavasi/.

An absolutely delightful walk, and rather easy this time. Noisy dogs at the spring at Pigi Sykia, I just hope they are always tied up.

•3 SPETSES TOWN – PANAGIA GORGOEPIKOOS – “CHARA” ESTATE WINE PRESS(?) – PANAGIA MYRTIDIOTISSA KAI NEOMARTYRES – (RACHI MADII) – SYNTANTISI KYNIGON – SPETSES TOWN (my total time 3h12; 417a 419d; net walking time 2h22): This begins as trail A1 in /Anavasi/.

A wonderful walk with a bit of investigation/experimentation. I was looking for the marked “Wine Press” near Chara. I found some tiny foundations, too small to have ever been an actual house, so I guess that was it? Note that on the approach, on the Kylimeno Lithari, what on the map is a “narrow earth road”, is now actually a very narrow field growing some sort of grain! This can confuse your navigation, but otherwise the map is excellent.

To find your way towards Panagia Myrtidiotissa Kai Neomartyres you can either take the shortcut track/path passing the entrances to the Chara estate, and just before you hit the gravel road again fork right through and opening in the stone wall. This way you will also pass the Threshing Floor marked on the map. Or, facing the main entrance to the estate, go through an opening slightly to your right, walk left of the buildings, and find the delightful alley leading to the church.

On my return I tried out the Rachi Madii, but the going was just too tough, so I had to give that one up. The path was very eroded and where it crossed the ridge it was overgrown with thorny bushes, too much for this old guy. I investigated from below in walk 5 below, and I guess I was again just lucky, because the last part of this path was so steep I did not even care for it going up!

•4 SPETSES TOWN – GOURI – KARAOULI GIORGI – LIGONERI – SPETSES TOWN (my total time 3h21; 404a 396d; net walking time 2h51): This begins as trail D in /Anavasi/.

An insanely steep ascent towards Gouri. Not really recommended. Grab on to all the bushes you can find, because this is going seriously uphill. If you attempt it, do not miss the small detour to the amphitheater! And please: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DESCEND HERE!

•5 SPETSES TOWN – SYNTANTISI KYNIGON – NIKAS – SPETSES TOWN (my total time 3h15; 373a 368d; net walking time 2h25): This begins as trail B in /Anavasi/.

This is a more relaxing walk, not so nice on the return along the main road, but includes possible swimming. My total time includes a small dip in the ocean.

Again, note that on the Kylimeno Lithari, what on the map is a “narrow earth road”, has been dug up, and is now a very narrow field!

The ascent is steep though, so DO NOT RETURN THIS WAY. I even checked out the ascent of the Rachi Madii ridge for a few minutes, but that was just too much!

• Good starting points: • Spetses town

• How to get there: • Excellent ferry/hydrofoil connections from Piraeus’ Great Harbour • Car ferries and taxi boats to the Peloponnese

• More info: Spetses Diadromes (mostly in Greek)

This page was last modified at May 27, 2017.

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