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Why Should I Visit Porto Heli?

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Porto Heli at a glance

Stretching around a magnificent bay backed by pine-covered hills and embracing clear blue seas, Porto Heli is one of Greece’s most cosmopolitan resorts.

With its long history and unparalleled natural beauty, this earthly paradise in the south of the Argolid Peninsula has become a favourite destination of the international jet set. Book a ferry to Porto Heli to discover an idyllic landscape dotted with luxury hotels, a marina with good amenities, and magnificent villas belonging to the rich and famous. Add in a sophisticated nightlife and a gorgeous coastline with fantastic beaches, and it is easy to understand the timeless appeal of this coastal town to the glitterati and mere mortals alike.

At the same time, Porto Heli is an ideal spot for water sports, endless cycling trips and romantic walks in its verdant surroundings. It also makes the perfect base for short getaways to the islands of the Saronic Gulf or a cultural safari to legendary sites of historical and archaeological interest in the Peloponnese.

7 reasons to visit Porto Heli
  1. To discover one of the most famous and cosmopolitan resorts in the Mediterranean, a favourite destination of the international jet set.
  2. To be introduced to the secrets of fine living and discreet luxury in a setting of dazzling natural beauty.
  3. To see a magnificent sunset with a view of Spetses from the village of Saint Emilianos, a verdant paradise with luxury villas owned by wealthy Greeks and foreigners on a headland at the southern tip of the Argolid Peninsula.
  4. To make a stop at the small settlement of Kosta, on the sea route between Porto Heli and Spetses, to admire its impressive villas.
  5. To wander round Kranidi, an elegant and picturesque town boasting superb traditional architecture exemplified by its neoclassical stone mansions. Built on the hills of Agia Anna and Bardounia, it is surrounded by pine-trees and has views of the Ermioni Peninsula. Make a stop at the excellent Folklore Museum and the three renovated windmills with their colourful roofs, and don’t forget to take a tour of the area’s traditional olive mills.
  6. To explore the beautiful Kilada, a traditional fishing village famous for the wooden caiques built at its historic boatyards – and for the shrimp served at its tavernas.
  7. To visit the historic Franchthi Cave on the northern shore of Kilada Bay, one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe. It is a monument of world renown, as the oldest prehistoric human skeleton in Greece, 8,000 to 10,000 years old, was discovered here. Access is by boat from the port of Kilada.
The top 5 beaches

Porto Heli: A small sandy beach with crystal-clear waters in the bay of the same name, next to the submerged ancient city of Alieis. The beach has good amenities including umbrellas, sunbeds and a café-bar, with opportunities for water-sports.

Hinitsa: Book a ferry ticket and visit a beautiful little beach with pale golden sand and pine and mastic trees between Kosta and Porto Heli. It has views of the beautiful island of Hinitsa and in summer is flooded with people arriving by yacht or speedboat. Amenities include umbrellas, sunbeds, a lifeguard and a canteen, while there are tavernas and café-bars in the wider area. It is also perfect for anyone who wants to have a go at water sports or play tennis or mini soccer.

Ververonda: This pine-covered stretch of coast with a pebble beach and a lagoon with pristine blue-green waters lies 3 km northwest of Porto Heli. It has umbrellas, sunbeds, café-bars and a restaurant, and is a favourite of surfers, owing to its exposure to the wind.

Kounoupi: A beach with sand and small pebbles, clear shallow waters and views of the island of Kounoupi, located east of Porto Heli and next to the village of Saint Emilianos.

Golden Beach: A sandy beach with shallow clear blue waters at Saint Emilianos, overlooked by the church of the same name, with views of the island of Spetses. It has no amenities, so you must take your own supplies.

Don’t leave Porto Heli without…
  • Going on a day trip to the cosmopolitan islands of Hydra and Spetses.
  • Making a stop at the Tower of Elli, one of the best-preserved and most imposing mansions in Porto Heli.
  • Visiting Ermioni, a verdant island-like town with a cosmopolitan atmosphere and luxury villas surrounded by great natural beauty.
  • Exploring the ruins of the half-submerged ancient city of Alieis, across the bay from Porto Heli, where you can admire part of the acropolis (436 BC).
  • Planning a trip to the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, the historic city of Nafplio, or the ancient archaeological site of Mycenae.
Tasty experiences
  • The gastronomic scene in Porto Heli is as cosmopolitan as the resort. Depending on the time of day and your mood, you can enjoy homemade slow-cooked dishes at picturesque family tavernas, classic seafood mezes at the traditional ouzo bars and fish tavernas scattered along the coast, or delicate fish dishes in romantic restaurants with atmospheric terraces overlooking the sea.
  • For lovers of fine dining, the luxury restaurants of the area’s five-star hotels promise unforgettable culinary experiences for demanding palates.
  • Porto Heli is especially well-known as a paradise for fish and seafood.

Porto Heli owes its name to the ancient city of Alieis, which stood for centuries on the spot of today’s town. Over the years, the name “Alieis” was corrupted to “Halieis” and eventually to Heli. “Porto” was added later to distinguish the coastal settlement from the nearby village which shared its name.​

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