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The island of the poets

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Poros: The island of the poets

Poros, also known as the "Bosphorus of the Saronic Gulf", is an island whose charm has been praised by renown poets and writers such as George Seferis and Henry Miller.

It consists of two islands, Sferia and Kalavria, connected by a small bridge.

Endowed with unique natural beauty, dense pine forests, scented lemon trees and wonderful beaches, the island of Poros and the mainland across it offer many options to visitors: swimming in crystal-clear waters, fishing, and water sports, cycling and endless hikes in lush trails.

Routes & Attractions

Full of neoclassical mansions and whitewashed alleys, the town of Poros is amphitheatrically built above the harbour and is ideal for walks. Stroll along the cosmopolitan waterfront with its picturesque shops, bars for refreshing cocktails just before sunset overlooking the sailing boats bobbing in the bay.

Visit the majestic Temple of Poseidon in Palatia (6th century BC) in the north of the island. The Doric moat that you will see in the central Temple, the galleries of the Agora and the bouleuterion still stand, inviting the visitor to a primordial ritual. This is the place where Demosthenes breathed his last, drinking hemlock to escape the hands of Macedonian king Philip.

Explore the ruins of the Russian Naval Base, located in a small harbor in the northwest of the island. The Russian fleet was using the bay as its supply station since 1834, and its stone-built buildings bear the official designation of "historical listed sites " by the Ministry of Culture.

It is worth visiting the famous Clock Tower of Poros at the highest point of the hill, which has been the most famous attraction of the island since the beginning of the 20th century. The view to the harbour and the coast of the Peloponnese is panoramic, while the 146 steps leading to the clock tower are a challenge for every visitor.

Do not forget to visit the Archaeological Museum, with findings from the excavations at the Temple of Poseidon and ancient Troezen. Don’t miss the plaster cast with the text of the Athenian resolution on the Persian invasion, proposed by Themistocles in 480 BC. Also, the pedestal of the bronze statue of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, which demonstrates the geographical importance of the island in the Roman era.

Walk in front of the neoclassical “Galini” mansion, which the locals call the "Red House". It is a legendary residence that hosted important figures of literature and arts since the 19th century, such as Seferis, Karagatsis, Chagall, Miller and Greta Garbo, the Hollywood diva.

Stop at the Folklore Museum to see an unparalleled collection of everyday objects, clothing, furniture, and agricultural tools that represent the living conditions of the inhabitants of the island over the past three centuries.

Finally, it’s worth visiting the metropolitan church of Agios Georgios, with the impressive frescoes by the excellent painter Konstantinos Parthenis, as well as the permanent shell exhibition at the Municipal Library.

Beaches & Activities

Askeli, on the southeastern side of Kalavria, is the most famous and busiest beach of the island, with fine sand and clear, blue waters. It is organized with beach bars and is ideal for sand games, diving and other water sports.

Kanali, very close to the city center, is an organized beach, which is preferred by families. It has shallow, sandy, blue waters, picturesque tavernas and cafés as well as free umbrellas.

The Monastery is a relatively isolated beach, just beneath the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi. It has a small canteen, excellent views of the Peloponnese and is suitable for serene swimming. The bay also attracts underwater explorations enthusiasts.

Megalo Neorio is a long, sandy beach with many swimming spots, some organized and others free but embraced by lush pine forest. It is located in a bay with anchored boats, where you can also find a water sports school. Right next to Megalo Neorio is Mikro Neorio, an organized beach with a beach bar.

Hidden in a dense pine forest, the Love Bay is one of the most famous beaches of Poros. As its name implies, it is suitable for love birds. There you can also visit the chapel of Agia Sophia, overlooking the islet of Daskalio.

Tastes of the island

The famous fish tavernas in Kanali offer fresh fish and delicious seafood pasta – with lobsters, shrimp, or octopus al pesto.

Enjoy your ouzo with anchovies marinated in vinegar, and taste the Fousaitiko, the island’s traditional red wine.

In Poros you will taste delicious almond sweets as well as many local liqueurs, the most famous of which comes from a variety of tangerines, known as clementines.

Traditions & Events

The two islands of Poros, Sferia (named after Pelops’ charioteer, Sferos) and Kalavria (that stands for “kali avra” meaning “good aura") have a rich mythological history. Kalavria was granted by the god Apollo to Poseidon in exchange for Delphi.

The Nautical Week, organized every two years in the first ten days of July, is one of the most famous events on the island, offering impressive nautical shows.

Don’t miss

Swim or take a canoe to the islet of Bourtzi located at the eastern entrance of the port of Poros. Τhe small castle seen on the islet was built in 1827 by the Bavarian philhellene K. Heideck to serve as a ship observatory.

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