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The Bosporus of the Saronic Gulf

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Discover Poros

Poros is a lush green island in the Saronic Gulf, separated from the coast of the Peloponnese by a channel that is just 350 metres wide at its narrowest point and then opens out into a lagoon. Its distinctive geography, which gives it the feel of a Little Venice, has led it to be known as the “Bosporus of the Saronic Gulf”.

Poros is actually two islands: the rocky Sphairia, where Poros Town, with its tiers of superb neoclassical buildings, is situated, and the pine-covered Kalavria, with its beautiful hills and idyllic bays.

Its unique charms have been praised over the years by distinguished visitors such as the poet George Seferis and the writer Henry Miller. It is an evocative place, full of treasures and monuments with a long history from antiquity to the establishment of the modern Greek state.

Today, Poros is a popular destination for weekend getaways, as well as for lovers of hiking and water sports.

It also makes an ideal base for excursions to the other islands in the Saronic Gulf, or for a day trip to the neighbouring town of Galatas on the Greek mainland, with its wonderful lemon forest.

4 memorable experiences on Poros
  1. The exciting fiesta of Naval Week, with its spectacular naval displays. The festivities take place every two years in the first ten days of July.
  2. A visit to Saint George’s Cathedral to admire the amazing frescoes painted in 1907 by the well-respected artist Konstantinos Parthenis.
  3. If you choose one of the ferry tickets to Poros you will have the opportunity for a unique rowing or kayaking experience on the calm waters of the lagoon.
  4. A stop at Grivas’s (1890), a shop in a listed building on Saint George’s Square. The island’s former draper’s and grocer’s retains its original features. The period furniture, painted ceiling and decorative floors are particularly worth noting.
Beaches of Poros

Poros is renowned for a crenelated coastline with plenty of greenery and idyllic beaches, most of them on the island of Kalavria. They are easily accessible and tourist-friendly, with beach bars and water sports. Discover:

  • The gorgeous Megalo Neorio, with emerald waters and a pine forest that comes all the way down to the sea.
  • The romantic Love Bay, where you can relax with views of the islet of Daskalio or go for a moonlight swim.
  • Kanali, a sandy tourist beach just a stone’s throw from Poros Town, so it can be reached on foot.
  • Askeli, a magnet for young people with a lively atmosphere, fashionable beach clubs, and parties on the sand.
  • The quiet and picturesque Monastiri, below the Monastery of the Life-giving Spring, which is especially good for snorkelling.
  • The attractive enclosed bay of Vagionia, with the ruins of an ancient city submerged in its waters.
Postcards from Poros: 10 things not to miss

Poros Town
Built on a hillside on the tiny island of Sphairia overlooking the port and with views of mainland Greece, Poros Town is an architectural gem of narrow whitewashed streets and flower-filled balconies, grand neoclassical houses with tiled roofs, traditional homes, and picturesque little shops. All its roads lead to its cosmopolitan and atmospheric seafront.

Poros Archaeological Museum
Occupying a two-storey mansion on Korizi Square, the museum contains finds from Troezen, Methana, and the Temple of Poseidon in Kalavria, including sculptures, inscriptions, tombstones and architectural members (notably capitals) from various ancient sites.

Galatas Lemon Forest
The historic lemon forest of Galatas, near Troezen, is 10 minutes by boat from Poros. It is an area of ​​unequalled natural beauty, with more than 30,000 lemon and orange trees, and was once full of natural springs and watermills. It ceased commercial operation some decades ago, but its fragrant paths are perfect for a romantic stroll.

The Monastery of the Life-giving Spring
The Monastery has stood since the 18th century in a natural paradise full of plane trees, offering views of the sea. With its high walls and battlements, it is an outstanding example of fortified island architecture. The church is notable for its carved wooden icon stand, made in Cappadocia, and its episcopal throne. Celebrated admirals of the Greek War of Independence are buried here.

The Clock Tower
A local landmark since 1927, the imposing Clock Tower dominates the Kasteli district in the centre of Poros Town. The famous sight can be reached from the port by climbing up 146 steps, and is one of the loveliest spots from which to see the sunset and the coast of the Peloponnese.

The Temple of Poseidon
Dating from the 6th century BC, the blue limestone sanctuary of Poseidon is located in Palatia. In ancient times, it was a refuge for shipwrecked sailors and fugitives, including the orator Demosthenes, who committed suicide here. Today, the remains of the assembly house and the colonnades around the agora are visible.

The Russian Naval Base
Situated in a verdant bay with a magnificent view of the island of Daskalio, this ruined stone-built complex was constructed by the Russians in 1834, after the end of the Russo-Turkish War, as a supply station for their Aegean fleet. The impressive structures, originally used as warehouses and bakeries, have been declared protected monuments.

Villa Galini
Also known as the “Red House”, this marvellous neoclassical residence of 1892, which overlooks the channel between Poros and the Peloponnese, has hosted major intellectuals and artists, such as George Seferis, Henry Miller, Marc Chagall, and Greta Garbo.

 The Bourtzi
Built in 1827 on an islet opposite the port of Poros by the Bavarian philhellene Carl Wilhelm von Heideck, this small castle was once used as a watchtower to check on passing ships. It is worth swimming out to it to walk around its walls.

Poros Folklore Museum
A treasure trove of local culture featuring exquisite examples of early 19th-century crafts including textiles, embroideries and costumes, as well as a loom, household objects, and photographs.

Tastes of Poros

Poros is famed for its fine seafood and fresh fish. Make a stop at the popular tavernas in Kanali to try delicious lobster or shrimp linguine, or spaghetti al pesto with octopus or with sweet and sour sauce and chicken. Marinated anchovies and lemon sardines wrapped in vine leaves are just some of the appetising ouzo mezes to be found on the island, while the vineyards of the mountainous Fousa region produce the excellent red Fousaitiko wine. If you choose one of the itineraries to Poros, don’t forget to try the local amygdalota (almond sweets), as well as the various citrus liqueurs, especially one made from clementines (a variety of mandarin).

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