Pine trees and waves
A destination not too far from the country’s capital, ideal for a weekend escape – and more – since it seems to have it all: rich vegetation, architectural interest, cosmopolitan hot-spots and romantic corners.
If you detest sea voyages, you can reach Poros by car through Galatas(190 km from Athens) and from there the ferry will cross you over in just 10 minutes. If again you don’t enjoy driving, the regular scheduled ferry from Piraeus will take you straight to the island. The island of Poros, is virtually two different islands of the Saronic Gulf linked to each other by a narrow strip of land. Sfairia of volcanic origin, is the smallest where the city of Poros is built, while Kalavria has a rough, mountainous relief, covered by lovely pine forests and hidden beaches.
History at a glance
In ancient times Poros was named Kalavria. It was home to the powerful Kalavrian Naval Amphiktyonic League that included the ancient cities-states of Epidaurus, Aegina, Ermioni, Athens, Nafplio and Orchomenus. The renowned at the time sanctuary of Poseidon was considered its religious centre (archeological site tel +30 22980 22896).
Walks in town
From the port, you will soon find yourself wandering through the quaint cobbled alley-ways, among the old island houses. Despite the growth of tourism, Poros appears to keep its memories alive and many of its aspects untouched. The neoclassical building once home to Prime Minister Koryzis, today operates as a museum. A stroll up the hill to the Clock, built on a granite rock, will reward you with an amazing view.
Among the most noteworthy architectural points of interest are Deimezis building, the old shop of Grivas and the famous Villa Galini – built in 1892 – where the famous American author Henry Miller was accommodated on the island. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the Archaeological Museum (22980 23276), the Folklore Museum (22980 23098) and the very interesting Sea Shell Exhibition (www.poroshellmuseum.gr).
“Mikro Neorio” and “Megalo Neorio” beaches along with rental room, complexes and seaside taverns lie to the west of the Naval Station.
“Limanaki tis Agapis”(“the haven of love”) is a miniscule charming bay with plenty of pine trees offering natural shade. The beach in front of the old Russian Naval Station is a popular mooring point for sailboats.
To the east of the city you will find the organized Kyani Akti and the frequented, cosmopolitan Askeli next to it. Monastiri beach offers a more idyllic setting, with its sandy arc flickering through the pine trees. Higher up, in the midst of the forest, stands the monastery of Zoodohos Pigi (18ος αι).
Following the road to Poseidon’s temple you will end up at Vagionia, a quite popular beach with a canteen, lost inside pine-forest vegetation but exposed to the north-eastern winds.
Poros is considered “paradise” for water ski, rowing, jet ski, parasailing (www.passage.gr) and diving (www.porosdivers.gr), thanks to its numerous beaches.
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Copyright photos & text: Germaine Alexakis/ Views Of Greece