Saronic Gulf and Peloponnese Islands, Greece

Poros
A beautiful green island, laying at the southwest the Saronic Gulf and opposite to Argolid in Peloponnese. Poros consists of two smaller islands, connected by a bridge, Sferia, a small rocky island and Kalavria, a larger and lusher island with green hills and beautiful coastlines. Its main town and port of the island is built in amphitheatre form on the slopes of a hill. Along the port there are a lot of cafeterias, restaurants, tourist shops and many bars with foreign or Greek music. At the center of the town is worth visiting the Archaeological museum and the island’s trademark the “clock-tower”.

Hydra
Today, Hydra is one of the most cosmopolitan points in the Mediterranean. The fact that Hydra has a unique beauty in its architecture and its landscape, taken together with its proximity to Athens and its important historical interest, have gradually raised the island to the level of an international tourist centre. Undoubtedly, Hydra is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece with a unique atmosphere. Cosmopolitan, vibrant and lively, with trendy discos, bars and clubs. Must see places: The Monastery of Pofitis Ilias (found in the early 19th century) at an altitude of 500 meters has an excellent view, Kamini the little fishing village, Episkopi Hydra’s pine forest (beginning to recover after a fire), popular Molos for swimming, Bisti, Ag. Nikolaos and Limioniza for swimming, Dokos an islet (1 hour’s caique trip) made of a kind of marble where Jacques Cousteau discovered a 3,000 years wreck.

Spetses
Spetses is a beautiful island with rich vegetation and many pine trees. It has various wonderful sandy beaches and lovely secluded bays. Its villages are picturesque and authentic and its capital is a real architectural beauty full of two-storey neoclassical houses with wooden balconies and coloured walls, and narrow stone-paved alleys. Archaeological findings indicate that Spetses has been inhabited since Early Bronze Age (also called first Hellenic Era, about 2500 BC).
One of the most famous heroes of the Greek Revolution was the Spetsiote female captain Lascarina Bouboulina who took the command of her husband’s fleet when he died, fought in many important battles and spent most of her fortune to finance the war.

Nafplion
The lovely little town of Nafplio is situated in the lush Argolid prefecture, which in ancient times was once considered the very center of Greece. Unfortunately though, from about 1600 to 1100 B.C, under the rule of the Mycenaeans, it gradually declined. After that, the Dorians came along and controlled the fate of the region until the conquest of the country by the Romans. the old city with its neoclassic houses, picturesque streets, wooden balconies with cascading flowers, Turkish fountains, Constitution (Syntagma) Square with its fascinating mosques and outdoor cafe tables is like a fairy land. Here, after centuries of struggle, happiness seems to have finally settled. Take time to see some of the sites, whether you’re climbing up the 857 steps to the Venetian fortress of Palamidi which crowns the city or wandering round the battlements of Acronafpia.

Porto Heli
Porto Heli Hotel is located in one of the most picturesque regions of eastern Peloponnese just across the beautiful island of Spetses. The ruins of the ancient city of Halieis are on the south side of the bay, opposite the modern day village of Porto Heli. Some of the ruins (both on land and in the sea) are still visible. As interest in the area grew and the diggings tailed off, more independent travelers began to discover Porto Heli. Hotels were built in the area, more bars, tavernas and shops and the boom was on. During the 1980’s Porto Heli became a very popular package holiday destination which, in turn, led to people falling in love with the place (as I did) and buying summer homes in the area but it still retains much of its small fishing village charm. This is why Porto Heli is ideal for both quiet breaks or activity holidays.

Ermioni
The name of Hermioni was given from the only daughter of Menelaus and Helen, who in order to carry out her father’s promise towards Achilles got married to Neoptolemus. Hermioni is a quaint little Greek village. Being on a little bit of land jutting into the sea it is only 4 blocks wide at the largest part and about a mile to a mile and a half long. The lack of any thing resembling a sandy beach has saved it from the mass impact of tourism but that doesn’t mean there is not great swimming there, or tourists. The swimming is great and there is a night life in this little town.

Aegina
First, like the other islands in the group, Aegina is the top of a sunken mountain. It is also the largest of the group. It is said that Aiakos, son of Zeus and grandfather of Achilles and a nymph named Aegina were the first to settle on the island. It is known that there have been people on the island since around 3000 B.C. On the Southern edge of the island lies the small fishing village of Perdika. This is one of the most picturesque spots on the island and still has the characterictics of the Aegean Sea-style of square houses and narrow streets. Many restaurants to eat fresh fish, surrounded by a beautiful landscape full of big pine-trees and calm beaches.

Athens
The Capital of Greece. Within the sprawling city of Athens it is easy to imagine the golden age of Greece when Pericles had the Parthenon (the most eminet monument of the ancient Greek archtitecture) duilt. Athens is built around the Acropolis and the pinnacled crag of Mt. Lycabettus, which the goddness Athena was said to have dropped from the heavens as a bulwark to defend the city. The suburbs have covered the barren plain in all directions and the city is packed with lively taverns and bustling shops.

ITINERARY

Day 1 Athens – Poros Miles 31
Day 2 Poros – Hydra Miles 14
Day 3 Hydra – Spetses Miles 17
Day 4 Spetses – Nafplion Miles 27
Day 5 Nafplio – Porto Heli Miles 26
Day 6 Porto Heli – Ermioni Miles 15
Day 7 Ermioni – Aegina Miles 40
Day 8 Aegina – Athens Miles 18

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