Postcard from Poros: 5 Things to Enjoy in the Greek Saronic Islands
Back in early October I took a well-earned break with my boyfriend to the Greek island of Poros. It was our first time in Greece so we really had no idea what to expect, but happy to say that our first experience has left us wanting more.
The Greek flag at Poros clock tower
Greece is a vast country comprised of more than 200 islands, spanning the Aegeon, Ionian, Cretan and Mediterranean seas. I have to admit, choosing where to go as a first time visitor is hugely overwhelming task!
We were looking for a week of sun and simple relaxation to escape the city and clear the mind after a busy summer. Put off by the cost of the more popular destinations of Crete and Santorini (although it's definitely on my list!), we started looking for something a little more off the beaten track.
Vista overlooking the sea and mountains from Poros town
Just an hour's boat trip away from Athens, with balmy temperatures into the autumn, we discovered the lesser known island of Poros in the Saronic Gulf. The more we read about this bijou destination situated at the edge of the Peloponnese region, the more it seemed the perfect bolthole for a relaxing short break.
For such a small place there was suprisingly enough things to see and do in the space of a week, in and around the island. Here's my pick of top things to see or do if you find yourself in this special part of the world.
1. POROS TOWN
Catching the ferry boat from Galatas to Poros
Our airport transfer took us on a 2-hour journey around the atmospheric Saronic coast until we reached Poros' neighbouring town, Galatas. Just a stone's throw away from the mainland, Poros town is reachable over the narrow causeway by local ferry boat.
Pomegranate trees bursting with fruit
Here you can get lost in its warren of pretty streets and painted houses where you'll find pomegranate trees bursting with fruit and fragrant jasmine bushes.
Picturesque streets in Poros Town - wearing Stylecamp's Ginger Dress in red
Being a port town, the main visitors to Poros come from yachts drifting from port to port, exploring the calm waters of the Saronic coast. Look on with envy at the array of sizeable luxury yachts and fishing boats that dock at the harbourside daily. Cafes and restaurants thrive in the area as a result, serving up lots of delicious Greek cooking.
Grand yachts line the harbourside in Poros
Up some steep steps is situated the town's clock tower, providing great views out to sea and the mountains. With the proximity of the mainland so close, Poros really feels like you're sat on the edge of a lake, even though it actually overlooks the Saronic Gulf.
Stunning views out to sea from Poros
Poros offers some of the most spectacular views of the Saronic region, with ever changing colours as the sun rises and sets. We never tired of the views from our apartment and terrace. It's what many of the famous artists and writers who have frequented the island rave about when they recount their time spent in this special place.
Beautiful scenery from around Poros town
2. GET ACTIVE
Cycling around Poros
With the island being barely big enough to have any real need for a car, we decided to rent a couple of mountain bikes to get get around for, you know, 'health' benefits. We set off with a picnic in tow to find the various beaches dotted around the island.
Love Bay, Poros
Feeling pumped after cycling past picturesque Love Bay and taking in views of the island round to the old Russian Naval Base (once used during the Greek Revolution, now an eerie ruin), I had the brilliant idea of cycling the entire loop of the island. For the non-infomed, it turns out Poros is quite hilly and mountainous in places.
The eerily deserted beach at Russian Bay
Despite the hard leg work, a journey around the back roads of the island is well worth it. We discovered a farmland plain at the island peak, lots of hidden bays, stunning views over the Peloponnese mountain ranges, and that we did have the stamina for mountain biking after all.
Cycling to Monastiri beach in Poros
Our favourite spot to cycle to was the sandier Monastiri beach, located on the coastal road heading farthest east. A beautiful olive grove leads up to the crystal clear waters, looking out towards the mainland. A lovely spot for an afternoon's swimming.
Monastiri beach, Poros