SPETSES



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Spetses - history

HISTORY
The recorded history of the island is confined mostly to the last 300 years; though excavations by Dimitris Theocharis on the promontory of Aghia Marina have shown that there was a flourishing Early Helladic settlement on the island in the mid-3rd millennium bc, with some later occupation in Mycenaean times. In historic antiquity the island is mentioned by name as Pityoussa. The Italians gave it the name ‘Spezia’ or ‘Spezie’—either in reference to the pungent pine and herb-scented air (‘spiced’), or to some perceived similarity with the verdant coast of La Spezia in Liguria. The island was settled during the 17th century by refugees from Turkish rule on the mainland. The abundance of wood both on the island and on the mainland favoured a flourishing industry of boat building. By the turn of the 19th century, the island’s population was c. 18,000, and it possessed a large merchant fleet. The first open call in the Islands to revolutionary arms in the Greek War of Independence, was from Spetses on 3 April 1821. Spetses, together with Hydra and Psara—the three ‘naval islands’ as they are referred to—contributed the uprising’s all-important navy. The island provided a number of prominent and successful naval commanders, and the country’s best-known heroine, Laskarina Bou boulina, who led her own ships in the siege of Nauplia in 1822. After the war, the arrival of steam-ships sidelined Spetses and its fleet, and the island’s economic situation languished. At the beginning of the 20th century, a Spetsiot tobacco magnate, Sotirios Anargyros, returned to Spet ses and put his wealth into projects for the island—roads, aqueducts, an international hotel and an elite school— laying thereby the foundations of a tourist industry which sustains the island today. Devastating forest fires in the 1990s and in 2000 destroyed the greater part of the island’s celebrated pine woods.


Spetses Island is part of the Argosaronic Island Group, Greece.


Rating: /5 ( Votes)
Rating: /5 ( Votes)

access

Spetses Island, the Argosaronic.

By boat: In addition to an (all-weather) car and pas senger ferry which runs daily from Piraeus to Spetses in summer, and 5 times weekly in the winter, Spetses has typically 3 connections a day by Hydrofoil and three by fast Catamaran, which ply the route from Piraeus to Spetses via Poros, Hydra and Ermioni, and on to Porto Heli. All these vessels are run by Hellenic Seaways (www.hellenicsea ways.gr). For the reduced services of the faster vessels between mid-October and Easter, which can sometimes be suspended in bad weather, it is best to visit the company"s web-site. The 15-min crossing from Kosta on the mainland opposite Spetses is made by the car-ferry, Katerina Star, 4 times daily, leaving Kosta at 8, 10.30, 1.20 and 5.
Note: private cars belonging to non residents on the island are not allowed on Spetses.

 

Spetses Travel Guide

eating

Spetses Island, the Argosaronic.

Two traditional tavernas stand out; the fish taverna, Patralis, at the western end of Spetses town in Kounoupitsa, is welcoming with good service and delicious fish dishes, amongst which is the typical "psari á la Spetsiotika".
200m up Botasis Street from the Anargyros Mansion, Lazaros Taverna, behind the church of Aghios Giorgios, is one of the few traditional, neighbour hood tavernas surviving in the town. Fresh goat"s-milk yoghurt and a variety of natu ral products can be bought at "Mandragorás" store, close to the clock tower.

 

Spetses Travel Guide

lodging

Spetses Island, the Argosaronic.

Since the closure of Spetses’ historic Hotel Poseidonion for renovation, the luxury end of the scale is represented by the rather sterile facilities of the Nissia Traditional Residences on the water front, west of Dapia: the residences are not ‘traditional’, but modern luxury apart ments (T. 22980 75000–10, fax 75012, www.nissia.gr). Slightly further west on the sea front is the Archontiko Economou, providing all comforts in a restored, traditional Spetsiot house of 1851 (T. 22980 73400, fax 74074, www. spetsesyc.gr/economoumansion. htm). Simple but comfortable accommodation (medium price) is offered at the Hotel Roumani at Dapia (T. 22980 72244, fax 73061, www.hotel roumani.gr). These last two are open year-round.

Spetses Travel Guide

practical info

Spetses Island, the Argosaronic.

180 50 Spétses or, more formally, Spétsai:
area 20sq. km
perimeter 31km
resident population 3,772
max. altitude 245m.
Port Authority: T. 22980 72245.
Travel and information: Spetses Travel, T. 22980 73400, www.spetses.gr

Spetses Travel Guide

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