Tag: Saronic islands

Saronic island sojourn: Photos from our holiday week on Poros

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One of our first views of Poros Town, seen during our short ferry ride to Poros island from the town of Galatas on the eastern Peloponnese coast

 

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And here’s how Galatas looked from a vantage point beside the white clock tower shown in the previous photo of Poros Town

 

Postcard pretty:  If we had to pick a theme to describe our 2018 spring holiday in Greece, “something old and something new” would suit perfectly.  The “something old” was a repeat visit to the historic town of Nafplio, one of our most favourite places in Greece, followed one week later by “something new” — our first-ever trip to Poros, one of the Saronic Gulf islands off the coast of the eastern Peloponnese. 

 

Nafplio and Poros proved to be an ideal pairing, not just because we enjoyed both destinations tremendously, but because it was so easy to use local transportation to move from the Peloponnese to the island (as usual, we did not rent a car for our holiday).

 

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The red marker pinpoints Poros island’s location in the Saronic Gulf archipelago between Athens and the eastern Peloponnese. We reached Poros by taking a bus from Nafplio (shown at the center-left side of the map) to Galatas, followed by a quick ferry ride from there to the island.

 

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A 250-meter-wide strait separates Galatas, bottom left, from Poros Town and the Sferia peninsula of Poros island. The area at the top of this image is Kalavria, the largest part of the island. Sferia and Kalavria were distinct, individual isles in ancient times, and now are divided by a short, narrow canal.

 

The regional bus system KTEL Argolida operates two daily bus trips  (except Sundays) from Nafplio to Galatas, a coastal town separated from Poros by a narrow strait.  The 5:30 a.m. departure was far too early for our liking, so we bought tickets for the 2:30 p.m. bus instead (at a cost of just €9 per person).

 

The bus left Nafplio on time, stopping en route at the entrance to the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus as well as at several villages before arriving at a crossroads where we transferred onto another bus for the remainder of the drive to Galatas. This part of the route was the most interesting and enjoyable, particularly as the road climbed through mountains and then emerged hundreds of meters above the scenic coast. As the bus descended the hillside highway, our seats on the left side of the vehicle gave us terrific views of the Methana peninsula, the Strait of Poros, and eventually Poros island itself.

 

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One of the coastal views from our bus trip from Nafplio to Galatas.  I shot this photo when our bus was about 10 minutes from Galatas.

 

The bus reached the Galatas harbourfront shortly past 4:30 p.m. , and let us out near the pier from which we could take a ferry to Poros Town, a mere 5-minute or so trip across the narrow Strait of Poros. We had time to purchase our ferry tickets (€1 per person one way), admire the excellent views of Poros Town, plus take a peek at some of the tavernas along the Galatas seafront before catching the next boat. The traditional Greek food being served to customers on the patio at Babis Taverna looked so delicious, we were tempted to stay for an early dinner and catch a later ferry to Poros instead (the boats ran every half hour, and water taxis also were available), but we decided to leave dining in Galatas for another time.

 

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Hotels and restaurant buildings along the waterfront strip at Galatas 

 

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One of the ferries that shuttles vehicles and passengers between Galatas and Poros each half hour throughout the day

 

The ferry crossing was as quick as expected, with superb views of Poros Town and its extensive seaside strip lined with shops, restaurants and hotels. When we disembarked at the Poros Town port,  we instantly spotted our accommodations, Dimitra Hotel, on the hillside overlooking the town’s waterfront street. It was just a short walk away, so within minutes we were settling into our room and checking out the great views. 

From a window and our balcony, we had good views of Poros Town, the edge of the island’s Kalavria region,  and the long string of mountains along the Peloponnese coast at the far end of the bay. The extensive panoramic views from the hotel’s large rooftop terrace two floors above us were even more striking, especially at sunset.  We could have sat and watched the scenery for awhile, but we were eager to get out and about to explore Poros Town. Since we would be staying at the Dimitra for three nights, we would have loads of time to enjoy the views. 

 

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Dimitra Hotel in Poros Town, where we stayed in a sea- and sunset-view room during our first three nights on the island

 

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Evening view of Poros Town from the rooftop terrace at Dimitra Hotel

 

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Sunset view from the terrace at Dimitra Hotel  

 

Please click the link below to continue reading and to see a random selection of photos from our week-long stay on Poros.

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An aerial tour of Aegina

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Take an exhilarating aerial tour of Aegina island in this 3-minute video from the AeginaGreece.com travel & information website

 

Want to see a Greek Island while visiting Athens, but don’t have time for an overnight trip? Consider hopping over to Aegina for a day.

Situated in the Saronic archipelago, Aegina is one of several islands that can easily be visited on a daytrip from the city. It’s just 20 kilometers from the Athens port of Piraeus, and can be reached in a mere 40 minutes on a Flying Dolphin ferry. (If you’re not keen on riding a hydrofoil, you can get to Aegina in around 75 minutes or so on a conventional ferry ship.)

But since there’s so much to see and do on Aegina, it’s a great spot to spend several days or longer, if you’ve got the time.

 

Explore the island in tours, on foot or by bicycle

The island is famous for its pistachio nut production, but it also boasts beautiful beaches, charming villages, and numerous historic sites and museums.  Organized sailing and on-land tours are available, but many of the island’s attractions can be visited on foot or by bicycle.

You’ll see many of those places in the video posted above, which was produced by the AeginaGreece.com travel website in the summer of 2014.

Directed, filmed and edited by Alexander Berg, the video shows the harbour at Vagia, the top of Mount Oros, the famous Aphaia temple, a small church in Vathi, the ancient site of Kolona, the areas around Portes, Agia Marina, Souvala and Agii, as well as “the waters south from Agia Marina, the view from top of Moni island towards Marathonas and Vrochia, Perdika, the cathedral and monastery of Agios Nektarios, the hill side of Palaiachora, the area around Mesagros, fields around Vagia, view from top of Moni island towards Perdika and area around and view towards the port of Aegina town.”

Consult AeginaGreece.com for comprehensive information on how to get to Aegina, where to stay, and what to see and do there.

 Aegina island

Aegina Town, the port and commercial center of Aegina island. The photo is from the website for Gritzas Cruises, one of numerous companies offering daytrips from Athens to Aegina and other Saronic islands.

 

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