Poros

Clock Tower

Poros is a green island situated in the Saronic Gulf, 32 nautical miles from the Piraeus harbour of Athens. Has an area of 33 km², a shoreline of 42 km and a population of about 3,650.

In ancient times it was considered the island of Poseidon, god of the sea. This is evident from various literary references and from the traces of the temple of Poseidon, which are to be found in the middle of the island. The word “Poros” in ancient Greek means a small sea passage. Nothing could describe better the island of Poros, since the closest distance between the island and Galatas in the coast of the Peloponnese is 200 m.

The island is divided in two. Kalavria is the bigger part of Poros island and the small one called Sfairia where today is located the town of Poros.

Lush pine trees vegetation, crystal clear beaches, a lively waterfront adorned with shops, cosy cafes and restaurants, a picturesque capital (it has been declared protected settlement) with grand traditional mansions and picturesque cobbled streets, as well as a wide selection of entertainment venues are the ingredients of this quiet, yet cosmopolitan, destination that attracts visitors from all age groups.

As you approach the island of Poros by boat, the historical clock prevails on the hill’s highest peak smothered by prickly pear and pine trees. From here, the view of the port and the coastal areas across is magnificent. Constructed in 1927, it was clearly visible from all angles and is characterised as the main attraction of the town.

Understand

Aerial view

Poros is the isle of serenity and relaxation, where one can enjoy taking romantic strolls.

It's full of pine trees which reach the shores and sandy beaches. The residents of Poros are no different from other Greek islanders in spontaneity, dignity and hospitality. The large homes on the beach have a neoclassical style in contrast to the common duplex houses in Brinia, Milo, Pounta and Kasteli. The first dwellings were built in 1463 and are located around the famous clock.

In the centre of the town you can find the town hall, the archaeological museum, a public library along with a reception hall for exhibitions and other cultural events.

Many tavernas are sparsely located among the picturesque alleyways and the whitewashed houses of Poros which are surrounded by bougainvillea . Visitors can enjoy souvenir shops, cafeterias, tavernas and clubs playing Greek and English music all along the pier.

Along the coast going towards the training centre, we come across the open air movie theatre "Diana" which has premiers of the best films shown this past winter. Right next to it is the exhibition hall of Poros that constantly has exhibitions.

Leaving the centre, you will see the Pregymnasium in the northwest which happens to be Othona's first residence. Today, this area is used for sailors' training and ranking. After passing the field you will come across a small canal separating Sferia from Kalavria.

After crossing the canal you will encounter Sinikismos, the first community of Asia Minor refugees. Towards the end of Sinikismos, if you follow the spiral road surrounded by enormous pine trees, you will end up in the church of Our Lady Agia Zoni where festivities take place on 2 July. It's located between a steep cliff with lots of trees and running water where the Temple of Poseidon is also found.

On your way back to the canal's bridge, towards the left and west, you will see an area called Perlia. The road continues along the coast, passes through Villa Galini and Mikro Neorio and, eventually, reaches Megalo Neorio. Further down is the Love cove, the Russian dockyard along with the islet called Daskalio.

On the right hand side of the canal's road you will pass through Kanali. Heading east leads you to Askeli. As you continue, the road branches out towards the monastery of Zoodohos Pygi, going north you will reach the temple of Poseidon, Vagionia and passing by Agio Stathi and Profiti Elia it goes back through Sinikismo to the canal.

Get in

Hydrofoil
Car ferry

By boat

There are frequent boats between Piraeus and Poros. You can opt for either a slow car ferry (around 2 hours) or a fast catamaran (1h 10m). As of 2007, the cheapest fast option is Euroseas, which has one daily departure at 09:30 (return at 19:00) and sells return tickets for €34. Hellenic Seaways has more frequent sailings (up to half a dozen daily), but also charges more at around €42. Due to the popularity of Hydra, it's possible for some of the Hellenic Seaways boats, which are small, to sell out during peak periods, especially the ones at the most convenient hours. Tickets for all boats may be bought from agencies at the harbour.

There is a daily service, provided by both ferries, which do the trip in two and a half hours, and by hydrofoil (1 hour), from Piraeus, which is 31 nautical miles away. Aegina, Methana, Hydra, Spetses and Ermioni can be reached by the same means, while the "flying dolphins" (hydrofoils) also go to Porto Heli, Leonidi, Kyparissi, Monemvasia and Kythira, and in summer in Tolo and Nafplio. Galatas, which is opposite on the shore of the Peloponnese, is reached by ferries and small craft.

By plane

You will probably arrive by plane to Venizelos, the international airport of Athens. It has been rebuilt and now offers spacious air-conditioned halls, shopping facilities, several restaurants and Internet Cafés.

From Venizelos, there is a shuttle bus (Number X95) going straight to the port of Piraeus (Port no8). The buses are also top of the line, very comfortable and air-conditioned. It makes absolutely no sense to take a taxi since it is as fast as the bus but will cost you €30 instead of €3 for the bus ticket. Chances are also very high that the driver will overcharge you, so confirm the price before you get in the taxi. The bus stop “ Karaiskakis Square” is next to Gate 8, from where the ferry boat as well as the hydrofoil boat leave for Poros. At Piraeus, you have the choice of the large spacious catamaran ferry or the flying dolphins (a hydrofoil ferry) to Poros island. Both ferries will bring you there in about one hour. If possible, take the larger catamaran ferry and take your seat on the right-hand side because it offers a better view of the coastline during the trip to Poros. The schedules for ferry boat and hydrofoil/ catamaran vary according to the season.

Alternatively you can get a limousine driver to meet you at the airport – or any other meeting place of your choice, and drive you to Poros. The first 100 km are on the motorway, and then you will continue on country roads through beautiful scenery via Epidaurus to the village of Galatas, from where you will get over to Poros in a private boat in four minutes time. “Door to door” this trip takes about 2.5 hours and costs approx. €300 depending on number of passengers, including tolls and boat.

Since 2004 there is also the possibility to fly to Poros from the airport by helicopter. The price depends on your luggage.

By bus

There are public bus connections (KTEL, phone service 14505, in Greek) between Piraeus and Galatas and as well as between Nafplio and Galatas.

Get around

Ferry boat
Walking in town

Poros in fact consists of two smaller islands, connected via a small bridge: Sfairia island with Poros town and the pine clad Kalavria island. Together they cover 31 km² and have a coastline of 42 km. Vigla is its highest peak with an altitude of 358m.

Bus and taxi terminals are located in the centre of the beach area. Access to boats that go along the shores of Galata is also available there. In general public transport around the island runs smoothly all day. Buses leave every hour while boats depart every ten minutes. On the beach you can find scooter and bike rentals whereas cars are rented right opposite the island, in Galata.

By boat

Small boats connect Poros with Galata (every 10 minutes), the charming Alike beach, underneath the Lemon Groves, and - upon demand - Askeli beach. The ferry boat to Galata connects the island with the mainland on an hourly rate, from 07:10 to 22:10 daily. In summer schedules are every 30 minutes. Taxi service includes cars and boats, both working on a 24 hour base, with an emergency service for the late night hours only.

On foot

Poros is a fairly small island, perfect for hiking and jogging, and lazy strolls through the town’s picturesque alleyways or along the cosmopolitan harbor promenade. A moderately fit person can walk from the town centre to the monastery in approximately an hour.

By bus

Public transport offers two bus lines, both starting from the central square on the harbor promenade. With “Neorion Line” you can explore the south west coast line with the beaches of Cochylia, Neorion, Love Bay and the Russian Bay. The “Monastery Line” drives along the south eastern coast with the beaches of Askeli, Panagitsa, and picturesque Monastery beach. The fares are moderate. They do not, however, tend to run very late into the evening as demand is fairly low at that time. Their timing is fairly predictable except at lunchtime when the schoolchildren break up and buses can occasionally be kept waiting to pick them up.

By taxi

There are also a number of grey taxis on the island - also reasonably cheap to use. Expect to pay about €6 plus tip from the town centre (that is, the port) to the monastery. Mercifully, the island is too small to support a population of rogue taxis.

By car

In case you travel with your own car or motor bike, a ferry boat will bring you over from Galata every hour between 08:00 and 22:00 daily. In summer schedules are every 30 minutes. Ticket reservation is not necessary.

Driving one's own car within the town itself is not recommended as the seafront road is narrow and one way only except for mopeds and motorcycles. It is frequently constricted by pick-ups and vans delivering to tavernas and shops (unavoidable) and the thoughtless who will park their car anywhere to avoid walking a few extra yards (eminently avoidable).

See

Sanctuary of Poseidon
Holy Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi
Russian Naval Base

Do

Love's Bay Beach
Russian Bay Beach
Neorio Beach

Buy

Locally produced ice creams

Eat

Octopus for ever

Drink

Sleep

Go next

Spetses
Epidaurus theatre

Poros is connected with the island of Aegina and the Methana peninsula by ferry boat, as well as with Hydra and Spetses island and the ports of Ermioni and Porto Heli by hydrofoil boat.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, February 08, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.