On a nearly car free island, biking to the beaches of Spetses gave me incredible fresh air, great exercise and the most memorable views of verdant forests meeting the turquoise sea.
Biking to the Beaches of Spetses
One aspect that makes Spetses unique is the fact there aren’t many cars permitted. It’s a small island and much of the action is centered in the port area so if you’re staying there, much is reachable by good ‘ol walking. Lots of locals zip around on motorcycles and scooters or cruise about on small boats to get to where they want to go.
Besides walking, visitors can hire an island taxi, of which there are a few. Otherwise, motorcycles, scooters, 4X4s or bicycles are the next options. There are also a few horse drawn carriages to rent in the harbor.
My good friend Jelena explored the island with me and we originally wanted to rent a 4×4, known in Greek as a gourouna (piggie), but we didn’t have a motorcycle license between us. So we decided to get some exercise and extra fresh air and go biking to the beaches of Spetses. Here’s why we loved the experience.
Day One Biking to the Beaches of Spetses
With our home base from the Poseidonion Grand Hotel, located centrally by Dapia Port, we had two ways to go: left or right.
On the first day with our bikes, we started off left (north). Our goal was to head to a few beaches: Kaiki (1.4 km/.9 miles away), and Ligoneri ( 1.6 km) and Vrellos ( 4.1 km/2.5 miles).
Why We Loved Biking on Spetses
Besides the fact there is minimal car traffic, the other attribute that makes Spetses unique is its gorgeous nature.
The Venetians once called it Isola de Spezzie meaning the island of fragrances. Way before that era, the ancient Greeks called it Pytousa which translates to full of pine trees.
The perfume of island flowers, the thick woodsy scent of pines and the refreshing breezes from the sea swirled around the paved beach side road where we gingerly continued on biking to the beaches of Spetses.
The striking contrast of turquoise and forest greens called for photo opportunities along the way.
There was a bit of hill on the way to the last beach stop called Vrellos. Having “survived” (it wasn’t bad at all!) we were even more so excited to reach the Vrellos Beach entrance.
In mid-September, Vrellos was almost empty. After biking in fairly warm autumn temperatures, the beach’s clear water was extra inviting.
Day Two Biking to the Beaches of Spetses
The second day we hopped back on our trusty bikes and headed right (south) from Poseidonion Grand. Our destination this time was Agia Marina Beach (3 km).
We breezed past the Dapia Port area and some of the area town beaches including Agios Mamas (700 meters/.4 miles). I loved the view of the island’s elegant whitewashed homes.
We turned at the old harbor on a smaller road and easy enough we made it in time for a beautiful swim at Agia Marina before we had to head back and catch our ferry back to Athens.
Biking to the Beaches of Spetses Tips
- The two routes we took from Dapia are ideal if you don’t have too much time to spare.
- From Dapia, head north and bike along the coastal road to three different beaches: Kaiki, Ligoneri and Vrellos. There is a hill before Vrellos. Total length: 4 km/2.5 miles one way.
- From Dapia, head south and stop at the town beaches and then turn at the old harbor to head toward Agia Marina Beach. Total length: 3 km/1.9 miles one way.
- If you are considering biking on Spetses a lot more than we did — you can bike the whole island! The road is 26 km around and you’d get a complete view of the coastline. Locals advise that Zogeria, Agia Paraskevi and Agia Anagyri are beautiful beach stops to make if you make the round of the island.
- We rented our bikes from the nice folks at Bike Center Spetses (+30 22980 72209 or +30 6977 640 777) located in Dapia.
- For the more experienced cyclist, the island has more than a dozen different off-road trails that crisscross the island. Ask the Bike Center staff which one is best for you to take.
How to Get to Spetses Island
There are several ferries leaving daily from the Port of Piraeus. The ferry takes about 2 to 2.5 hours and costs 35- 40 euro one way. Hellenic Seaways operates the ferries and buy your ticket online. You can also check general ferry schedule at www.openseas.gr.
Ferries also connect to Spetses from the neighboring islands of Hydra, Aegina and Poros.
You can also travel by car until Kosta in the Peloponnese, leave your car, and take a 15-minute ferry ride across the sea to Spetses.
Where to Stay on Spetses Island
I highly recommend the Poseidonion Grand Hotel in Dapia. This historic building was elegantly refurbished to its present state, one of the fine landmarks on Spetses. A full Greek island stay review coming soon.
What to Do on Spetses Island
Stay tuned for more on what to do on Spetses. Besides renting out bikes, there are museums to discover, great restaurants to dine at and historical sights to take in. Don’t miss a post! Be sure to sign up for my newsletter.
Have you ever gone biking to a beach?