Greek Guide

 

Poros Tourist Attractions Day Trips Greece Greek Travel Guide

buildings 237824 1920

Many package holidaymakers who make Poros their two week summer sun destination rarely venture beyond their hotel or apartment complex. But if you take the time to explore the island and the nearby Peloponnesian area of the Greek mainland you'll find some fascinating historic sites and places of interest to visit.

The main town and harbour of Poros, draped across three sides of the tiny volcanic island of Sferia, is well worth a few hours of exploration. It's a picturesque place of narrow streets and 19th century houses with a working fishing harbour where you can buy fresh fish straight from the small boats as they arrive or negotiate a fishing trip of your own with the local boatmen. The harbourfront is lined with bars and tavernas where you can savour delicious seafood specialties and tasty traditional fare.

History and archaeology buffs will want to visit the town's archaeological museum, in the middle of the waterfront, which contains some interesting artifacts from the ruins of ancient Troizen, the legendary birthplace of the great Athenian hero Theseus. Few exhibits are from Poros most of the finds are from Troizen, eight kilometres inland from the mainland port of Galatas, and other archaeological sites.

Six kilometres east of the town there's the attractive 18th century Monastery of Zoodohou Pigis, built around the island's spring (its name means Virgin of the Life Giving Spring). Monks have been drinking the holy waters here since 200 BC but now there's only a caretaker who may be gracious enough to show you inside where you can see a splendid gilded iconostasis (the screen separating the altar from the main part of the church). You can fill up your water bottle with the life giving water from a fountain near the monastery.

Follow the road north of the monastery to the centre of Kalavria where you'll find the hilltop ruins of the 6th century BC Temple of Poseidon, the god of the sea who was the favourite deity worshipped on Poros in ancient times. You won't be able to make much sense of the ruins but the views of the Saronic Gulf and the Peloponnese are spectacular.

If you've "done" the island's beaches, main town and historic sites take a trip over to the Peloponnese which is only a five minute boat hop from Sferia.

Visit the celebrated Lemonodassos lemon grove, four kilometres south east of Galatas, where more than 30,000 lemon trees scent the air each spring. The ruins of a temple to Asclepius, the god of healing, at ancient Troizen make another popular day excursion.

Elegant Nafplio, which was the first capital of Greece after independence from the Turks, is well worth a visit with its imposing Venetian mansions and impressive Palamidi Fortress. It's one of the loveliest towns in the whole of Greece mercifully free of package holiday hordes despite the wonderful sandy beach of Karathona, on the outskirts of town.

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.