Spetses is one of the islands of the Argosaronic Gulf which are closer to Athens. You can get there by boat (~3 hours from Piraeus) or by getting to Porto Heli by car/bus and then take a small boat from there to get you to the other side. It’s not often discussed within the Digital Nomad community but it can pleasantly surprise you.
What to expect
The town of Spetses has a population of about 4 thousand people and it is the only town on the island. You probably should not expect to find the jaw-dropping views of Cyclades or the perfect secluded beaches of Crete but the island has to offer a very strong local character that is being preserved besides the tourism, few excellent pristine beaches (most of them organized) and a busy nightlife and gastronomic scene. Keep in mind you cannot bring your car on the island and also it wouldn’t make much sense. The cars on the island are very few (there are only 7 taxis!) but in the high season there is quite a number of motorbikes and scooters going around which can be annoying at times. Please if you decide to rent one, don’t be part of this and choose an e-bike or e-scooter! Also there is a bus making the round of the island and stopping at popular places a few times a day. Thankfully during the evenings traffic is not allowed in the center of the town.
For Digital Nomads, the 4G connection is really strong almost everywhere on the island (confirmed at least for Vodafone which has been tested by us) and wherever we went Wi-Fi connections were strong as well. There is a vast amount of comfortable cafes and bars where you can work from, even on the best beaches of the island like Agia Paraskevi and Agii Anargiri.
How to move around
As mentioned, Spetses town is the only town on the island. There is a ring road going around the island and that’s it. There are a few taxis and a bus on the island that you can use and you will see countless motorbikes and squads going around which can be noisy and release an annoying smell of petrol sometimes. Thankfully we also saw a serious amount of e-bikes and electric scooters as well and even traditional bicycles which is our preference. There are only a few uphills and the total length of the ring road is just about 28 kilometers.
What to see
The best beaches are Agia Paraskevi and Agii Anargiri where you can also find the Bekiri’s Cave – a great place to snorkel. Both are organized with sets of umbrellas and sunbeds and there is also a restaurant and cafeteria on each.
Other than these two, there is Vrellos which is also beautiful but the beach is full of sets of umbrellas and sunbeds which we found a bit unattractive. Finally Zogaria is a known place but we didn’t have the time to visit that one.
Moreover if you are interested in the history of the place you should definitely visit the house and museum of Laskarina Bouboulina one of the great heroines of the Greek Revolution against Turkey in 1821 who lived in Spetses.
Finally the Old Port (Palio Limani) is a very popular part of Spetses town with many restaurants and bars. There is a small stroll up to the Lighthouse of Spetses from where you can get nice views of the town. Keep in mind though, the lighthouse is not open to the public.
Day trips can be organized also to other beautiful places nearby like Hydra or Port Heli.
The perfect day
Our suggestion for a perfect day is Spetses is a bicycle tour of the whole island. If you feel like working out and depending on your physical condition we suggest to get a traditional bicycle. The island is more or less flat and there are only a couple of times that you will probably need to walk uphill pushing your bicycle. The downhill following will make up for it in anycase! Otherwise for a more relaxing experience go for an e-bike or an electric scooter.
The total length is about 28 km. Agia Paraskevi and Agii Anargiri are half way in the middle of the tour which makes them the perfect stop. It took us around 3.5 hours of pure cycling to complete the whole round. Obviously you can expect this to be a lot less with an e-bike or e-scooter.
You can expect extraordinary views all around the island, a lot of green, the smell of pine everywhere and of course you can stop wherever you want for as long as you want and make your own itinerary of what to see.
How long to stay
Spetses is a small island. If your goal is just to see the island, probably 3 days are enough. But it is a place where you can enjoy a great quality of everyday life as the touristic life is still balanced with the people permanently living on the island. So the place would be appropriate for longer workations as well or even for living here short or long term.
Spetses is great if you are looking for a nice, less known island that is not overtaken by tourism and it keeps its character and authenticity. You will still find all the amenities you need for a comfortable workation not too far from Athens and you will definitely get to enjoy the perfect sea of the Aegean.