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Porto Heli:
Affordable luxury

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Porto Heli: Affordable luxury

Lacy coastline, idyllic landscapes, wonderful beaches, cosmopolitan atmosphere. Porto Heli is undoubtedly the holiday gem of the Argo-saronic Gulf. Just three hours from the capital of Athens, the town of Argolida is prominently located on the map of the international jet set.

Formerly a fishing village, Porto Heli is built around a natural harbor, next to the ruins of the ancient state of Alieis, from which it took its name through language change over time. It has all the characteristics of an island resort and is also ideal for family holidays: easily accessible beaches, enchanting Mediterranean views, a luxurious air and lush nightlife.

Very close to Hydra and Spetses but also near top archaeological sites and monuments, the cosmopolitan Porto Heli is ideal for short getaways, explorations and relaxation.

Routes & Attractions

The picturesque harbor is a sea hub during the summer months with regular routes to the nearby islands of the Saronic Gulf. In the evening, it breaths the air of a cosmopolitan island, as representatives of the international jet set walk along its promenades and have fun in its exuberant hotspots.

The lagoon of Ververontas is ideal for strolls and enjoyable dives in its thermal waters.  Here you will admire the migratory birds that find refuge on the banks, as well as the picturesque chapel of Panagitsa. According to legend, the lagoon was named after the Ottoman Berber pirates, who used it as a refuge in the 17th century.

Marvel at the stunning sunset in Agios Aimilianos, in the southeast of the town. At the end of the Ermionida peninsula, the cosmopolitan settlement with the beautiful chapel stands out with its luxury villas, exotic bays and small beaches.

It is worth visiting the small settlement of Costa, with its harbor, wonderful beaches and organized camping facilities. For ancient Greek history enthusiasts, this is the site of the battle between the Athenians and the Spartans in 424 BC.

Do not miss the opportunity to visit Kranidi, a town with island architecture near Porto Heli, amphitheatrically built and tucked into the hills of Agia Anna and Bardounia. From an altitude of 100 meters, it offers spectacular views of the beaches of Ermionida.

You should definitely visit the picturesque Koilada, the fishing village with the small port. One of the most peaceful parts of the area, Koilada has shipyards that still build wooden hulls considered to be among the best in Greece.

Visit the historic Franchthi Cave, where the most important prehistoric findings in the greater Greek area have been discovered. Its paleontological findings indicate that it has been inhabited since the Paleolithic era – around 12,000 BC.

Beaches & Activities

The small beach of Porto Heli, found in the town’s natural bay, has fine sand and blue waters. Fully organized and surrounded by beautiful cafes and cosmopolitan bars, the beach is ideal for water sports. It is located next to the sunken ancient city of Alieis, and the harbor hosts recreational vessels and fishing boats.

Hinitsa is a sandy beach in a pine-covered area opposite the historic deserted island of Hinitsa where royal purple was produced during antiquity. Surrounded by pine trees, olive trees and blooming gardens, the organized beach is ideal for family holidays, with low hills above it offering excellent views.

Almost hidden from the maps and accessible only by a dirt road, Kounoupi beach has earned its designation as "Greece’s Monaco", thanks to its luxury residences. Just six kilometers east of Porto Heli, it has white sand and shallow waters, overlooks the homonymous deserted island and is ideal for enjoyable dives.

Near the settlement of Agios Aimilianos, you will find the small beach of Chrissi Akti, one of the best kept secrets in the area. Not well known or developed for tourism, Chrissi Akti is located four kilometers away from Porto Heli and has golden sand and shallow waters that deepen smoothly.

Tastes of the island

Gastronomy in Porto Heli combines local oven-baked dishes with seafood. Here you will find picturesque tavernas with fresh fish and delicious seafood, as well as more family-friendly restaurants offering home-cooked dishes.

In the village of Koilada you can enjoy the famous koilada shrimps, which are fished at a depth of 300 meters and are known for their bright red color and taste. They are grilled and ideal with ouzo.

Traditions & Events

Porto Heli has remained for years a favorite resort of celebrities and was adored by Sean Connery and his wife, who visited it unceasingly the last summers of his life. The villa they bought became one of the city's landmarks after his death.

At the end of November, the town celebrates the custom of "Tseta", an old feast with dances and songs dating back to almost half a century, held in honour of the fishermen who would return to the village after a long time at sea.

Every summer, the fishing port of Koilada holds the Fisherman's Festival, gathering tourists and residents from the greater region of Argolida. During these lively events with concerts and shows, you will also have the chance to enjoy fish and seafood that make this village famous.

Every summer, for the past 10 years, the local authorities host a Taste & Culture festival (known as “Gefsis & Opsis"). At the end of August, a specially designed area of the port hosts local traditional products,introducing the visitors to the flavors of Porto Heli.

Don’t miss

Visit the ruins of the ancient temples and the stadium at Alieis, the ancient Greek city on the south side of the bay, where excavations began in the early 20th century.

MAP OF PORTO HELI
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