Category Archives: Other Islands

Island of Evia – Euboea

Evia is the 2nd largest island of Greece, after Crete and one of the two islands connected to the mainland Greece, together with Lefkada.

It takes only 1 hour or less of drive from Athens to its gateway town Halkida (ancient Chalkis).

North Evia

Edipso
Agios Giorgios

Central Evia

Halkida
Saint John the Russian (village of Prokopi)

South Evia

Holy John the Russian, Evia

The church of Agios Ioannis Rossos (Saint John the Russian) is situated in the village of Prokopi, in central Evia.

Agios Ioannis Rossos

Church of Agios Ioannis Rossos (Saint John the Russian)

It attracts many visitors not only from all over the Greece, but also from other Orthodox countries like Russia, Roumania, and Bulgaria.

John was said to be born around 1690 in Russia. He was conscripted to the Russian army under Peter the First. In 1711, during the Russo-Turkish war, he and other soldiers were held captive by a Turkish commander, who took them to Prokopio in Asia Minor.
The Turkish commander tried to convert them into Islam, but John persisted in Christian faith, while serving his Muslim master.
He died around 1730. His remains were but his remains continued to perform miracles.
Following the Lausanne Convention of 1923 that decided the population exchange between Turkey and Greece, the Christian inhabitants of Prokopion moved to Evia and there founded the village of Prokopi, bringing the remains of Saint John with them.
The remains were first deposited at the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen and in 1951 were moved to a new church dedicated to him.
His feast is held in 27 May.

From Athens to Prokopi, the distance is about 130 KM and it takes 2 hour drive, going through Athens-Lamia National Road and the ramification toward Halkida. The drive from Halkida to Prokopi is quite pleasant passing through mountains and forests.

One of the tourist shops

Saint John mugs at one of the tourist shops

In Prokopi, religious tourist proliferates. There are many tourist oriented shops, cafeterias and some tavernas. You can leave your car at the car park at the entrance of village, but there are places where you can park around the Church.

Inside the Church

Inside the Church. On the left side is where the remains of Saint John are deposited.

Outside the church, there are places where you can collect holy water and holy oil. There is also a small oratory where deposited a belt and a cap with holy benediction; you can wear these and pray to the Saint.

Reference

Spetses Town

Spetses town is quite extensive from north to south, and not as densely built as other typical Greek island capitals. The small boats are sea taxis.

Either from Piraeus or from Kosta, you will arrive at Dapia Port, which is more or less located at the center of the town.

Below is the Dapia port. On the left end is the ferry “Katerina Star” connecting Kosta and Spetses.

Dapia Port, Spetses

Dapia Port, Spetses

If you have large luggage, you can take taxi or horse carriage from Dapia.

Price of Horse Carriage (2014)

Price of Horse Carriage (2014)

Most of the hotels are around Dapia port, but some – like Spetses Hotel or Orloff Resort – are distant. You would like a transportation, if your luggage isn’t particularly small.

There are some points that you can swim inside the town, like Agios Mamas Beach (also known as Mama’s Beach). Kaiki or Scholes Beach is also in walking distance.

Agios Mamas Beach, Spetses

Agios Mamas Beach, Spetses

If you want to go to distant beaches, options are KTEL bus, rental bike, rental buggy, or taxi boat. You can use bicycle, but it is pretty exhausting and time consuming, if you want to go to the other side of the island (but Vrellos or Ag. Marina are well reachable).

The bus to Scholes/Kaiki Beach, Ligoneri and Vrellos Beach leaves from the square in front of Poseidonio Hotel and the bus to Ag. Anargyrii and Ag. Paraskevi leaves from Ag. Mamas.

If you are interested in visiting the Museum of Bouboulina (her Mansion), it is very close to Dapia Port. Find a sign board like this to check out the visiting hours.

Bouboulina Museum

Bouboulina Museum

You can enter only at particular time with guide. But if you are in a largish group of friends of family, they might arrange a tour for you. Entrance is 6 Euro (in 2014).

The restaurants in Spetses are located mostly along the coastline. However, if you are interested in fastfood like pizza, crepe, burger or souvlaki, you’d want to visit the Clock Square in the centre of town. Generally speaking, the restaurants are expensive in Spetses; better be prepared.

Clock Square, Spetses

Clock Square, Spetses

Spetses
Spetses Town

Spetses

Spetses, ancient Pityoussa, is a small island with rich vegetation.

Spetses

Spetses

Together with Hydra, the island is famous for its contribution to the Greek War of Independence. Many rich maritime marchants of the island – including the millionaire woman fighter Bouboulina – used their means and ships to fight against the Ottomans.

Now the island is a resort attracting visitors from Athens and Peloponnese as well as from abroad.

 HOW TO GET THERE
Spetses is the most distant of the 4 main Saronic Islands from Athens. From Piraeus by high speed boats – Flying Dolphins and Flying Cats – it takes about 2 hours. One way ticket costs 35 euros (in summer 2014). It is also possible to reach by combination of car/bus and ferry: there are ferry, boat, and sea taxi from the port called Kosta in Peloponnese (it takes about 15 minutes), costing 1.50 Euro, 2 Euro and 20 Euro (sea taxi price is per boat) respectively. KTEL bus goes to Kosta from Athens. By car from Athens to Kosta, expect 2.5 to 3 hours. 

Spetses Town Seen from Distance

Spetses Town Seen from Distance

 

Spetses Town is unexpectedly ‘extended’. Now the boats from Athens arrive at Dapia Harbour, around which there are many hotels and pensions. To the other end of the town is Old Harbour quarter where there are old buildings and some restaurants. 

Hybiscus

Hybiscus

TRANSPORTATION
Old guidebooks might tell you that there is no car in Spetses. It does not hold true any more. At the port, four transports are available. 1) taxi rank is on the quay, 2) taxi boats are in Dapia port – which you can see in the top photo – , 3) horse-carriges are also around the port, 4) bus stop is also on the Dapia port. Otherwise, you can rent a car or bike from one of many shops and offices near Dapia port.

Taxi boats are pretty expensive, as you have to hire one entire boat and there is no ticket system. It costs, for example, €30 (in 2010) to Agia Marina Beach, which is just behind the Old Harbour. However, if you are in a big group, you might not mind so much.

 

Spetses

Spetses Town

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