Greek Guide

 

Poros Island Greece Greek Holiday Destinations

Poros is one of the Greek Saronic Gulf Islands located just 55 kilometres south west of the mainland port of Piraeus. The island is only a five minute boat trip from the coastline of the Peloponnese and its proximity to mainland Greece makes it a favourite weekend getaway for Athenians as well as a longer term holiday destination for north Europeans. It offers several good beaches, pine clad countryside, some excellent traditional tavernas and a lively nightlife in high season.

The word Poros means "ford" which describes the narrow strait that separates the island from the Peloponnesian port of Galatas. The strip of water separating the two is only 360 metres at its narrowest point. Car ferries and water taxis run frequently between the island and Galatas in high season but most visitors arrive by ferry or hydrofoil from Piraeus or one of the neighbouring islands. In the summer months there are at least eight ferries a day from Piraeus which is two and a half hours away but you can cut your journey time down to an hour by taking a Flying Dolphin.

Poros is actually two islands connected by a road bridge the tiny volcanic island of Sferia, dominated by attractive, tourist orientated Poros Town, and the larger island of Kalavria with its interior smothered with pine trees and beaches awash with package holidaymakers.

Weekenders, island hoppers and backpackers stay in and around Poros Town whereas the apartment blocks and hotels which dominate the most popular beaches of Kalavria tend to be block booked by the tour operators in the summer months.

Some "sun, sea and sand" holidaymakers never venture beyond their hotel complexes but Poros offers other attractions including the 18th century Monastery of Zoodhohou Pigis, the 6th century BC Temple of Poseidon and the picturesque main harbour where you can relax over a leisurely meal at one of the many waterfront tavernas or take a fishing trip with one of the local boatmen. Nature lovers and hikers can enjoy some lovely walks through pine forests and olive groves to small, deserted beaches.

Poros is also a good base for exploring the nearby Peloponnese which offers some fascinating day excursions within easy reach of the island. There's the famous Lemon Forest (Lemonodassos) with its 30,000 lemon trees about three kilometres south east of Galatas near the beach at Aliki. Elegant Nafplio, which was the first capital of Greece after independence from the Turks, is well worth a day trip with its imposing Venetian mansions and impressive Palamidi Fortress.

Epidaurus, 30 kilometres east of Nafplio, is one of the most important ancient sites in the whole of Greece with its 3rd century BC theatre which still pulls the crowds during the annual Hellenic Festival in July and August.