If your yacht charter was conditional on including some retail therapy for your nearest and dearest, then Spetses could be the answer. There’s a choice of beaches for the youngsters, fine restaurants, and a good choice of bars to party the night away. The town centre is car free, there are excellent walks, so why do so many bareboat charter skippers sail on by?
Spetses was once a major trading centre, and the ship owners brought great wealth to the island. Many of their 18th and 19th century mansions survive today, often as holiday homes.
The islands merchant fleets played a major role in Greece’s war of independence in the early 1820’s. Rapidly converted to fighting ships, they provided a ready made navy. The ships included those belong to war heroine Bouboulina, who’s house is now a museum.
Spetses was once a popular package tour destination but in the 1990’s it decided to move up market. It’s now a popular destination for rich Greeks and very much a place to be seen. Ideally of course one should arrive by yacht!
The problem for bareboat charter yachts is where to moor. The recently extended quays in front of the town are often kept clear for the ferries and cruise ships. So most yachts head for Baltiza Creek, south of the town, only to find the quays jammed packed with local boats.
It is possible to anchor in Baltiza but the water taxis that whiz in and out during the day can make it a roly experience. And if you go ashore on the east side it’s bit of a hike in to the town centre.
However if you can get in, the town is a nice place to promenade, and for the more energetic, there are some good walks around the island.
Tourists are prohibited from bringing cars and even the locals are forbidden from taking cars into the centre. The result is there are even more scooters than in the average Greek settlement so watch out as you wander around!
Bikes and scooters are available for hire but donkeys are also available, or you can try to find one of the fairly limited number of taxis.
Then all you’ve got to do is watch your wallet. No, not because of thieves; if you promised your beloved not just a trip to the shops but an actual purchase, you’ll find there are some seriously expensive boutiques!