For fun, we showed you Spetses in winter, (see our facebook page) now back to business:
Expensive real estate. Jet-set summer playground. Yes, Spetses is all that. But if that is all you see, you are missing the whole point of this rather special island.
Spetses was home to a breed of enterprising and successful merchant captains in the 18th century, whose fortunes went into building graceful waterfront mansions and more ships. It raised the Greek flag in rebellion against the Ottoman overlords 12 days before the official outbreak of the War of Independence. In April, together with neighbouring Hydra, it declared its unilateral independence from Turkey. Its most famous child is the legendary Bouboulina – widow of two wealthy Spetsiot captains, (one after the other rather than at the same time..)
Through dint of shrewd management and a forceful personality, Bouboulina ammassed a large fortune, with which she built the biggest warship of the time in Greece, the “Agammemnon”. She led her fleet of 9 ships into battle in the Greek War of Independence, helping to take the ports of Nafplion and Monemvasia from the Ottomans, and took her place amongst Greece’s generals, for the next two years playing a major part in the war.
Her death in May 1825, came not in battle, but during a family dispute concerning her son and his wife – I suppose an extreme come-uppance for what must have been the mother in law to end all mother in laws…
Five Star Greece’s Evi is a Spetsiotissa, who only occasionally behaves like Bouboulina, and has given the following tips for those of you planning to visit, which we urge you to do;
The car-less Old Town with graceful, waterfront mansions, horse drawn carriages, fishing boats, and water-taxis that zoom guests around from beach to beach, offers excellent cuisine, water sports and great swimming to youngsters who drive around on scooters, and to older, more sophisticated visitors who do not. Guests tend to take the same houses year after year, meeting up with their yachting friends who gratefully drop anchor in Spetses’ calm, pine-studded bays after bashing their way through the stomach-churning Aegean.
Try to catch the ARMATA festival: Spetses’ great feast day on the 8th September. It celebrates the heroic win in the battle of Spetses, when a Spetsiot captain charged into the middle of the besieging Turkish fleet, setting their flagship on fire and scuttling the rest. The festival takes place over several days and is a spectacle of fireworks, a re-enactment of the burning of a (replica) Turkish ship, music and dancing.
AGIA MARINA restaurant bar and taverna
SIORAS (Old Port) : on a wooden jetty on the sea. All of Spetses parades from there… so choose a table with a view. Very good Greek food and fresh fish, and vegetables from their vegetable garden.
TARSANAS : Fish taverna, by the seaside (Old Port)
HATZIS : Restaurant with a variety of food, and meat on the charcoal grill, (specialty :chicken cutlets on the grill ).
PADRINO : Italian restaurant. Old port close to the bars with excellent pizza and nice music.
NIHTHIMERON – meaning night and day- run by crazy/fun Nektarios with his long pony tail; good mezedakias (appetisers) and food, and a young, hip atmosphere.
MOURAYO : Elegant restaurant, European food.
TREHANTIRIA: Restaurant, European food.
RAHTI expensive imported Indian and other “haute Boheme” clothes in very good taste. In Dapia main port
Spetses awaits you. We even have a villa for you belonging to one of Bouboulina’s descendants. Just don’t try to pull any funny stuff on her or ask for a discount…