Spetses

The island of Spetses (sometimes called Spetsai) (pop. 3,916) administratively belongs to the Prefecture of Attica, although its proximity to the Peloponnese mainland puts it geographically in Argolis. It is extremely popular with Athenians, who swarm the place during Easter and summer weekends. Due to the nature of available accommodation, package tourism has not caught on much. In the past Spetses has had a reputation as a quiet island, but more recently there have been complaints from both residents and return visitors that the noise level from cars and motorbikes has been reaching the level of cacaphony of other, more touristed islands.

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Hellenic Seaways Flyingcat in the port of Spetses.

The preferred method of travel from Athens to Spetses is by sea from the port of Piraeus. In high season several passenger-only hydrofoils and catamarans of Hellenic Seaways depart the port of Piraeus daily, calling at the islands of Poros, Hydra and Spetses, as well as the mainland ports of Ermioni and Porto Heli on the Peloponnese. Depending on the ports of call, trip duration from Piraeus to Spetses is between 1 hour 45 minutes and 3 hours 15 minutes. Passenger tickets cost €35 one way. From Porto Heli, as of 2014, a one-way passenger ticket is €1.50 by ferry boat or €5.50 for the airfoil.

Only the regular ferry carries motorcycles and bikes to Spetses. Private cars are not officially allowed on the island.

Winter sees a major reduction in service, with only four hydrofoils daily. These are subject to cancellations when the weather turns nasty.

Due to its proximity to the mainland, many choose to travel to Spetses overland, parking their cars (€4 per day) at Kosta on the Peloponnese and then crossing over either on one of the four daily landing-craft ferries (15 minutes, €0.85) or by sea-taxi (3 minutes, €15). Public Inter-City (KTEL) buses[dead link] connect with the ferry at Kosta, to/from Athens and Nafplion daily year-round.

Local transportation on Spetses Island

With private cars officially banned from the island, local transportation is very expensive (although most attractions are within reasonable walking distance). In high season there are two buses connecting the town with the beaches of Aghioi Anargyroi and Aghia Paraskevi on one side and Ligoneri on the other side. Other land transportation includes four taxis and several horse-drawn buggies (high season only). Plenty of bikes and motorcycles are available for hire.

In summer tourist boats provide day trips to the beaches of Aghioi Anargyroi, Aghia Paraskevi and Zogeria. Water taxis are also available year-round, connecting Spetses Town with any beach on the island or the coast of the Peloponnese, just across the narrow straits, but these can be very expensive.

Low-season options are restricted to water-taxis and the four land-based taxis, with the horse-drawn buggies withdrawn from circulation and the buses assigned to transporting students to and from schools.

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