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Why Should I Visit Poros?

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Poros at a glance

With its “Little Venice” setting, the scent of pine trees and citrus fruits, and a picture-postcard seaside town, Poros is an island with a timeless charm.

 

Poros is known as the “Bosporus of the Saronic Gulf” because it is separated from the coast of the Peloponnese by a channel that is only 350 metres wide at its narrowest point, a calm lagoon crossed daily by innumerable boats carrying visitors to the wonderful lemon forest of Galatas opposite. All these are good reasons to search for tickets to Poros.

The island’s indented coastline and the pine-covered hills complement the idyllic landscape, a source of inspiration for great poets and writers who have sought a refuge of reflection and tranquillity here. To this day, Poros is a paradise for nature lovers and romantics a stone’s throw from legendary sites of the ancient world.

10 reasons to visit Poros
  1. To stroll around one of the most picturesque towns in the Aegean. Built in the shape of an amphitheatre on a hillside above the harbour with a view of the coast of Troezen, Poros town is a jewel of austere beauty, with narrow streets full of bougainvillea, traditional whitewashed houses, and imposing neoclassical buildings in pastel colours.
  2. To visit the excellent Archaeological Museum, which has finds including sculptures, inscriptions, and architectural members from Troezen, Methana and the Temple of Poseidon in Kalavria.
  3. To explore the famous Lemon Forest of Galatas. This fragrant setting with 30,000 orange and lemon trees, old watermills and streams, is just a 10-minute boat ride from Poros.
  4. To stroll along the cosmopolitan seafront with its picturesque little bars, a beautiful spot for evening cocktails and laid-back nightlife with a view of the beautiful sailing boats.
  5. To see the sunset from the historic Clock Tower, a landmark that has adorned the island since 1927. The famous attraction, located above the Kasteli area in the centre of Poros town, offers a unique view of the harbour and the coast of the Peloponnese opposite, and is well-worth the 146-step climb.
  6. To admire the remains of the magnificent Temple of Poseidon at Palatia. Built in the 6th century BC out of blue limestone, it was once a refuge of shipwrecked sailors and fugitives. This was also where the ancient orator Demosthenes fled and committed suicide when pursued by King Philip of Macedon. The arcades of the marketplace and the assembly are still visible here.
  7. To explore the historic Russian Naval Base, west of the port of Poros. Declared a protected monument on account of its stone buildings, the base was constructed in the late eighteenth century for use by the Russian fleet as a supply station in the Aegean.
  8. To see the legendary Villa Galini, known by locals as the “Red House”, an elegant neoclassical residence built in 1892 with breathtaking views of the lagoon, where great writers and artists such as George Seferis, Henry Miller, Mark Chagall, Greta Garbo and M. Karagatsis once stayed.
  9. To admire the superb frescoes (1907) by the great painter Konstantinos Parthenis in St George’s Cathedral.
  10. To watch the events of Naval Week, one of the most impressive celebrations on the island. This splendid festival takes place in the first ten days of July every two years, and includes impressive naval displays.
The top 5 beaches

Kanali: One of the most popular beaches on the island, thanks to its proximity to Poros town. It is sandy, with crystal-clear waters, and offers all the amenities of an organised beach, with great views of the Aegean.

Askeli: The island's largest and most lively beach is a paradise for lovers of water sports and beach volleyball. Its long stretch of sand mainly attracts young people, as it is surrounded by bars and nightclubs that are famous for their parties.

Monastiri: This tiny but beautiful tourist beach below the Monastery of the Life-giving Fount offers peace and quiet, crystal-clear waters, and plenty of opportunities for water sports. Its underwater rocks make it an ideal destination for snorkelling enthusiasts. If this is what you are after, it is a great opportunity to book a ferry to Poros.

Neorio: A natural paradise of golden sand, clear waters, and pine trees that come right down to the sea. It is not an official tourist beach but there are some traditional tavernas and a club for water sports. A pretty path leads to the beach of Mikro Neorio.

Love Bay Poros’ most romantic beach, lapped by turquoise waters in a sandy cove and hugged by pine trees, is well organised. The small church at one end and the view of the tiny island of Daskalio create an idyllic setting. One of the most beautiful spots for a night swim.

Don’t leave Poros without…
  • Stopping at Grivas’s (1890), a shop in a listed building on St George's Square. Its impressively well-preserved interior includes a painted ceiling, decorated floors and authentic furnishings.
  • Booking a day trip to historic Mycenae or the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus to see a production at the summer festival.
  • Visiting the Monastery of the Life-giving Fount (18th century), with its healing spring beneath the tall plane trees and its carved wooden icon stand (17th century) made in Cappadocia. Built on a green hillside with a view of the sea, the monastery is the burial spot of historic admirals of the Greek War of Independence.
  • Swimming to the nearby island fortress of Bourtzi. Built in 1827 by the Bavarian philhellene Carl Wilhelm von Heideck to protect the port of Poros, its small castle was once used to keep watch for ships.
  • Passing by the Folklore Museum to learn about folk culture on the island through excellent examples of local art from the early 19th century. The collection also includes household objects, a loom, textiles, embroidery, costumes, photographs, and other items.
  • Getting organic cosmetics or aromatherapy products made from olive oil and local beneficial herbs.
  • Exploring the island’s impressive inland by hiking or horse-riding along old trails through pine forests and the countryside.
  • Gliding over the tranquil waters of the lagoon in a rowing boat or kayak for an unforgettable experience.
  • Swimming in Vagionia bay, famous for the sunken city where you can see paved streets and the foundations of ancient houses.
Tasty experiences
  • Book a table at one of the excellent fish tavernas near Kanali Beach to savour fine seafood and fresh fish. Be sure to try the island’s famous linguine dishes with lobster or shrimp, spaghetti al pesto with octopus, and pasta with sweet and sour chicken.
  • Sample anchovy in a vinegar marinade, a delicious meze for ouzo or raki.
  • Seek out the local Fousaitiko red wine from the vineyards at Fousa.
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with the island's famous amygdalota (almond sweets).
  • Take the ferry to Poros and try the local citrus liqueurs, especially the one made from clementines (a variety of mandarin).
  • Cool off with local lemonade or orangeade.
Trivia

“Poros has something of Venice about it: the canal, communication between the houses by boat, opulence, languor, sensual temptation, a place for distinguished international lovers…”

George Seferis, Diaries (Tuesday 13th August 1946).

I don’t know which affected me more deeply—the story of the lemon groves just opposite us or the sight of Poros itself when suddenly I realized that we were sailing through the streets. If there is one dream which I like above all others it is that of sailing on land. Coming into Poros gives the illusion of the deep dream. […] You enter the harbor of Poros swaying and swirling, a gentle idiot tossed about amidst masts and nets in a world which only the painter knows and which he has made live again because like you, when he first saw this world, he was drunk and happy and carefree. To sail slowly through the streets of Poros is to recapture the joy of passing through the neck of the womb.

Henry Miller, The Colossus of Maroussi

MAP OF POROS
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