17th Jul 2019 SEE IT

Greek Islands Part 1: Porto Heli and Spetses

Every year my family and I travel to Greece during the summer months. Not only is it the best time to go as the weather is beautiful at this time of year but it’s also time when we spend some quality down time with my husband’s parents. We have been very lucky to travel to lots of areas and islands in Greece but the two we always go back to are Porto Heli and Spetses. These towns are both located just south east of Athens in an area known as the Argolis. Whilst there isn’t an airport in either, they are very easy to get to from Athens and if you are going to one you should most definitely try and go to the other. They are only about 10 minutes apart by sea and there are plenty of boat rentals and also a ferry if you prefer.

One of my favourite things to do whilst in Porto Heli or Spetses is to spend a day on a boat. Whilst other islands in Greece can be dry and barren, these two are lush and full of Cyprus trees, pine trees and other vegetation making them a beautiful sight from the sea. The traditional white villas with terracotta roofs, in Spetses are utterly charming. Every now and then you will see splashes of pinks and oranges from the Bougainvillea that grows wild on the town’s walls.

By taking a boat you will also have access to hidden coves, caves and beaches that aren’t accessible from the land. We have had so many wonderful days in completely deserted areas of these islands. My boys love to go cliff jumping and exploring in the caves. The sea here is crystal clear and electric blue which is totally enticing. You can spend hours bobbing in a bay swimming and eating fresh fruits from the local markets.

For lunch or dinner, there are plenty of great traditional Greek tavernas. My favourite is called Orloffs on Spetses. This little restaurant is right on the sea and the sunsets are stunning if you go in the evening. They serve up traditional Greek food – delicious taramasalata, fresh fish, horta, saganaki and more. The terrace is charming with a soft glow from the lights and blue and white accents. The atmosphere is always buzzing and fun and they have a selection of great wines. I always try to stop here whenever I am in this part of Greece.

Another stunning place to visit if you’re in the area is the Amanzoe hotel just outside of Porto Heli town. The hotel was designed by Ed Tuttle and has breathtaking views of the sea and surrounding islands. It’s modelled on traditional Greek architecture with palatial columns and huge pools. The garden landscaping is incredible and sets the perfect scene. If you can’t stay for long it’s the perfect place for a cocktail. The crickets will be in full force and dusk is the most beautiful time to be here. ​