5 Reasons why families LOVE Spetses so much
Spetses is a small island in the Saronic Sea, and is definitely one of our favorite islands for a family vacation in Greece. Read below to find out what you can do in Spetses with the family.
Spetses Town: combining traditional Greek ambiance with a contemporary and cosmopolitan feel.
The small town of Spetses is the only significant settlement on the island. We particularly love the combination of tranquility and cosmopolitan life. It has a selection of traditional and more contemporary cafes and restaurants, where the visitor can sit and enjoy the view of the sea, taste traditional Greek dishes, drink coffee, or perhaps try a glass of homemade local wine.
2. No cars… and we mean it!
Similar to Hydra, there is an absence of automobiles in the main town. Instead, there are horse-drawn carriages which are ideal for a tour around the area, especially if you have children. The horses are all very well-trained and their owners are happy to let people pet them.
3. A historic place
Spetses has a long history. The island played an important role in the Greek War of Independence and it is the home of the celebrated war heroin Laskarina-Bouboulina. Bouboulina, even though a woman, was a Greek naval commander who played an important part in the revolution. She bought arms and ammunition at her own expense, and constructed war ships practically under the nose of the Turkish authorities as she created her own army.
There is a wonderful museum about Bouboulina, hosted at Bouboulina mansion, where the visitor can see where the heroin used to live and to learn more about her life and her contribution to the Greek War of Independence. This museum is particularly nice for children, since the curators are very friendly and helpful, and are ready to make a child interested in Bouboulina’s story with their vivid narrations. The kids can also learn more about life at the Greek islands of the 19th century, by looking at the everyday items of Bouboulina and her family.
4. The easiest island destination for a long weekend, near Athens
If you wish to have an unforgettable weekend with your family, Spetses is the ideal place for families with children. The island is easily accessible either by boat or Flying Dolphin from the port of Piraeus or from Hydra, Aegina and Poros. Specifically, Piraeus to Spetses by hydrofoil is approximately 1 hour 45 minutes.
Another option is to travel by car (or by bus with Argolida Prefecture Bus Company-KTEL) to the Port of Kosta, in the Peloponnese, and to get a boat (water taxi, ferry, small boat) from there to Spetses (the boat trip lasts only 15-20 minutes). There are also connections from Ermioni.
Nafplio to Epidaurus: 22 miles (45 min)
Epidauros to Kosta: 35 miles (1 hour)
Port of Kosta to Spetses: 15-20 minutes
Spetses to Hydra is 30 minutes making a visit to Hydra from Spetses an ideal day trip.
5. A festival not to be missed
A great attraction and a “must see” of the island is of course the spectacular “Armata festival”, which takes place during the second weekend of September every year. The Armata festival was established in order to commemorate the major victory of the naval forces of Spetses against the Ottoman fleet during the Greek War of Independence of 1821. This great exploit was achieved thanks to the act of bravery of the Spetsiote Captain Kosmas Barbatsis, who, with his fire ship, set fire to the Turkish flagship, which was blown up. This act of heroism is re-enacted every September, with dramatizations of this victory. The celebrations culminate by burning a replica of the Turkish flagship, followed by a wonderful show of fireworks and music which the children will adore!
The festival also includes several other festivities such as traditional dances, concerts, theatrical performances, and athletic events. There is also a special mass, which takes place at the church of Panagia Armata, which is located at the Old Harbour and at the church of St. Nicholaos, which is the Metropolis church of Spetses.
Best season to visit
Get inspired by our top ideas for vacation in Greece. Discover our blog full of ideas, insights about Greek destinations, reviews for kid friendly activities, hotels, beaches, museums and so much more!