Poros Island. Three destinations in one journey.
If you want to take a trip to a Saronic island but are not sure which one, it has to be Poros. Why? Read on. By Rowena Harding
It’s true that there is something for everyone on all of the Saronic islands but the real reason for choosing Poros is that you get three destinations in one journey. Don’t believe us?! Read on!
Poros is the furthest island that Saronic Ferries travels to, which means as you take the leisurely relaxing journey, you get to peep at bustling Aegina’s pretty port, then spend a brief moment at the very tranquil Methana before slipping past uninhabited islands and arriving at your final destination.
On arrival at Poros you are actually situated perfectly for three places: the small island of Spheria which everyone knows as Poros; the larger island technically known as Kalavria; and just a short distance across from where our ferry drops you is the Peloponnese mainland village of Galatas.
Let’s start at the beginning. You’ll arrive at Spheria, a cluster of beautiful traditional buildings on a small, rising hill topped with an iconic clock tower. The waterfront itself is lined with cafes, restaurants, shops and those with weary legs can take advantage of a free minibus service taking you around this part of the island.
You can wander the small hilly streets between the port and the clock tower, and you will always find something new: a beautiful garden, a small cafe, a tiny chapel. Active visitors can hike along the top of this part of the island, from the clock tower to Agioi Anargyroi and on to the windmill, with great views across the bays and below, before taking steps back down to the waterfront cafes.
From the waterfront at Spheria you’ll notice lots of caiques. Ask who is leaving next and for a few coins you will be whisked across to the mainland of the Peloponnese to the village of Galatas. The journey only takes a few minutes but be sure to look out the rear window of the caique for the perfectly framed view of Poros’s Casteli as you retreat.
Is it really worth going to Galatas? We think so, if only for the wonderful baked goods from La Frianderie and other bakeries on this side. There’s also beaches off the beaten track such as Aliki beach and the chance to hike in the beautiful paths near Lemonodasos.
Caiques run all day and night to get back to Poros and there are larger boats able to take bicycles and motorbikes too.
So onto the third destination to visit from Poros and we think it’s the jewel in the crown: Kalavria. Kalavria is technically another island, separated from Spheria by a narrow channel and joined by a road bridge that is so small you won’t even notice it! This island hosts some of the most beautiful beaches and in summer you can reach the more popular beaches via caique from the waterfront of Spheria. The beaches are easily accessed by bicycle or motorbike too.
Our favourite beaches include the organised beaches at the small but beautiful Love Bay with its cute instagrammable signs, the more spacious beach at the Russian Dockyard or the sweepy sandy bay of Askeli. If you prefer to swim in solitude, there are many quiet little bays you can claim as your own as you explore the coastline past the Russian Dockyard.
The roads are quiet in Kalavria, perfect for hiring a motorbike or electric bicycle, as you’ll have only the occasional car or goats to keep you company. The views as you make your way around the island are simply stunning, with emerald seas fringed by pines. It’s worth stopping at the ruins of the sanctuary of Poseidon in the middle of this island, for beautiful views as well as the history. Entrance is free.
The Ιερά Μονή Ζωοδόχου Πηγής is also worthy of a visit; there's a cafe just outside again with trademark views of Poros’ turquoise seas. The Monastery dates from the 18th century when the Bishop of Athens was cured from disease after drinking water from the island’s spring. It is also where Ioannis Kapodistrias founded the first orphanage of the liberated Greek nation and is a refuge used by Saint Nectarios. Nowadays, the Monastery also provides a place to escape the sun, find some solitude and take a moment of gratitude for this wonderful three-in-one destination.