|A car ferry links mainland Peloponnese with Spetses|
Santorini and Mykonos are the Greek islands that get the headlines and the tourists. And yes, we've been to both. However, Greece has several thousand islands and a couple hundred of them are inhabited. Many of those inhabited ones are popular tourist destinations -thankfully without the mass tourism plaguing the two islands mentioned above. And those lesser-visited are the ones that we prefer: fewer tourists, better prices and simply enchanting settings!
|Peloponnese to the west of the Saronic islands|
So come along and let me show you the island where John Fowles was inspired to write 'The Magus', a book considered to be the cult novel of the 20th Century. (We had one reader guess it - from the hints in our last post.)
|Poseidonion Hotel Spetses|
This time of year and through early fall, there are many choices of accommodations on the island, ranging from high end hotels to guest houses. The most iconic and picturesque hotel The Poseidonion Grand Hotel, has been welcoming guests since 1914. Its front patio was a perfect spot for people watching while sipping a glass of wine at day's end. Room rates were 200+ euros, so it will be a special occasion getaway on some future trip - we were happy sipping wine for a few hours.
|Economou Mansion - Spetses|
Our room opened to the sea - breakfast (included) was served poolside
Getting Around Spetses
|Taxis, scooters, and public bus are ways to get around the island|
There are many options, however, for getting around and exploring the many beaches and the still somewhat forested hillsides that make up this charming little drop of land. Water and land taxis, horse drawn carriages, scooters, pedal-powered and electric bikes are among the options during high (tourist) season.
|Who said one needs to act their age?|
Our choice of 'wheels' was the 'Quad'; a contraption that seems to be like a riding lawn mower with a spiffy banana seat that made it seem like a motor scooter. Now before I get comments about 'no helmets' let me assure you that at the speed we traveled we didn't even have a hair out of place. Two 30-somethings on pedal bikes passed us twice (circling around and I think they were secretly keeping an eye on us 'old folks'). And with a non-stop trip around the island taking 1.5 hours, I can assure you we clocked in at two hours. We. Were. Safe.
|An action shot: The Scout and The Scribe on the open road|
We last had been on Spetses in late October, 10 years ago (when the only Quad shop still open in town had deemed us 'too old' to rent a 'quad', btw) so we'd walked across the island. We recalled the lush forest that covered most the land thanks to the efforts of island resident Sotirios Anargyros, who bought up 45% of the island and between 1913 and 1923 planted the forests. Upon his death he left the land to the people with the stipulation that it never be built upon. The island's original name was Pityousa, which means, 'pine clad'. Sadly, on our island tour we saw acres and acres of charred hillsides - the results of a forest fire two years ago. The cause of which has not been determined.
|A wildfire two years ago destroyed a huge area of forest|
|Spetses town at night enchants|
Thanks for coming along on this jaunt in what could be our island-hopping summer. We'll be back next week, with another 'taste' of Greek travel (emphasis on taste!) Hope you'll join us once again and bring some friends with you! In the meantime, safe travels to you and yours ~
Linking this week with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday