One fine day, on the islands. . .
Ancient Salamis, where the Greeks defeated the Persian fleet in one of history’s most dramatic naval battles, is the Saronic Gulf’s largest island. Its name appeases in Homer and means ‘place amid salt water’. Churches from the 10th to 12th centuries are popular destinations. Its buzy port, Paloukias, is second in size only to Piraeus.
Bicycles are the island’s transportation of choice, together with water taxis. Many travelers love to take a snapshot by the old cannon near the harbor and then visit historic homes, Dakis Joannou’s art museum and nearby monasteries. After a swim in the island’s crystal-clear waters, don’t miss the famous amygdalota, locally made almond sweets.
This fascinating old town contains the Spetses museum, the house of revolutionary heroine Bouboulina, the Anarguros Manor and the old harbor with its iconic lighthouse. If you’re here in September make sure to take in the spectacular Armata Festival.
Poros, Methana, Troezen
The Temple of Poseidon, Bourtzi and a lemon-tree grove charm all who visit Poros. Nearby Methana boasts an activite volcano and hot springs, famous since antiquity. Troezen, in the south, is where Themistocles sent ancient Athenian families for safety before the Battle of Salamis.
On these islands the traveler has many options: the Medieval Castle, old churches, lighthouses and vistas of infinite charm. The beaches of Kapsali, Kabonada, Palaeopoli, Chalkos and Firi Ammos are accessible by car, bike or on foot. Also worth seeing is the Castle of Paleochora, ravaged by the pirate Barbarossa. Hire a speed boat to Antikythera and swim at the beaches of Xirotamos and Kamarilla.
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