Once upon a time, two small islands – Spheria and Kalavria – came together to produce a little jewel in the Saronic Gulf, the island of Poros. A short hydrofoil ride from Athens will bring you to a place beloved of Giorgos Seferis, the Greek Nobel laureate, and Henry Miller. A stone’s throw from the mainland, Poros resembles a puzzle piece gone missing from the Peloponnese.
Small boats bearing visitors come and go across the channel. When you land, you encounter quaint tavernas, yacht marinas, neoclassical buildings, a clocktower, pine-tree forests reaching the sea, serenity and relaxation. On foot, by bike or by boat, Poros invites you to discover its charming simplicity.
What to do on Poros
The town’s vintage charm
Poros’ neoclassical buildings ascend the town’s hill like seats in an amphitheatre. Walking through the narrow alleyways, among whitewashed houses wrapped in bougainvillea, you’ll travel back in time. Want to dig deeper? Visit the Archaeological Museum in Koryzi Square to take in exhibits from the Temple of Poseidon, ancient Troezen and Methana.
The lemon forest
Across the straits, east of Galata, and seemingly plucked right out of a fairy tale, stands the lemon forest. Tens of thousands of lemon trees come right down to the shore. In between, small streams trickle by and the occasional watermill and the chapel of Agios Seraphim, built in 1900, make a delightful addition to the scene. If you visit when the trees are in blossom, you are in for an olfactory delight.
Meet me on the waterfront
In the town of Poros, from Stavros to the western jetty of the new harbour, the waterfront awaits with offers of coffee, food and souvenirs. Fishing boats and sailing yachts line the shore. At night, the calm waters reflect the lights from numerous bars and clubs, creating a lovely atmosphere. Hard to resist, it will always be the case of ‘just one more nightcap’ in this idyllic holiday setting, so close to Athens.
The historic clock tower in the middle of town is visible from everywhere. It’s been counting every moment since 1927, but the best time to visit is at the day’s end when you’ll be rewarded with an amazing sunset.
The Temple of Poseidon
Among the pine trees in the middle of the island, you’ll come across the ruins of a Doric temple dedicated to Poseidon, built in the 6th century BC out of blue limestone. Demosthenes, the orator, arrived here as a fugitive and ended his life by drinking hemlock.
Hidden gems of Poros
The Galini villa
Among the people who stayed here were Seferis, Greta Garbo and Henry Miller. These days you will only be able to admire the exterior of the red neoclassical villa as it is a private residence.
The Russian naval base
Admire the buildings that have been listed as historical landmarks and then take a dip right in front of them.
A castle fit for conquerors
Swim to the islet east of the port and conquer its small castle, there since 1827. Back then the locals used it to keep a check on ships coming from Hydra.
- The town’s vintage charm
- The lemon forest
- The Temple of Poseidon
- The Galini villa
- The Russian naval base
- A castle fit for conquerors