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 200m.
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 characterized as the main attraction of the city.
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 city you can find the town hall, the archaeological museum, a public library along with a reception hall for exhibitions and other cultural events.
Many taverns are sparsely located among the picturesque alleyways and the whitewashed houses of Poros which are surrounded by bougainvillea . Visitors can enjoy souvenir shops, cafeterias, taverns 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.
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.
You will probably arrive by plane to Venizelos, the 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 cab since it is as fast as the bus but will cost you €40 instead of €30 for the bus ticket. Chances are also very high that the cab driver will overcharge you. Make sure to check the price before you enter any cab! The bus stop “ Karaiskakis Square” is next to Gate 8, from where the ferry boat as well as the hydrofoil boat is leaving for Poros. At Piraeus, you have the choice to 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 at the right-hand side because it offers a better view to the coastline during the trip to Poros. The schedules for ferry boat and hydrofoil/ catamaran vary due to 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 100km are on the motorway, and then you will continue on country roads through beautiful scenery via Epidaurus to the village of Galata, from where you will set over to Poros in a private boat in four minutes time. “Door to door” this trip takes about 2.5 hours and costs apron €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.
- Helenic Sun Travel (Constantinos Alexopoulos), Askeli, 18020 Poros, ☎ . Limousines from/to Venizelos airport
There are public bus connections (KTEL, phone service 14505, in Greek) between Piraeus and Galatas and as well as between Nauplio and Galata.
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 31km² and have a coastline of 42km. 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. Public transportation around the island runs pretty 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 across the island, in Galata.
Small boats connect Poros with Galata (every 10 minutes), the charming Alikes beach, underneath the Lemon Grove, and - upon demand - Askeli beach. The ferry boat to Galata is connecting the island with the mainland in an hourly rhythm, 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.
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.
Public transportation 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.
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.
In case you travel with your own car or motor bike, a ferry boat will set you over from Galata every hour between 7.00 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 really 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).
- Moto Stelios (Motorbike rentals), ☎ .
- Clock Tower. This clock tower was built in 1927 and is an imposing feature. It is definitely a bit of a climb from the waterfront being the highest point of the island, but when you reach it, the view from there is breathtaking and worth the effort. The clock tower also attracts a number of photographers for the view it offers, the coming together of land, water and sky. Though the Tower has very simple appearance when you watch it closer after 10 minutes going upstairs it really worth visiting because the view from here is wonderful.
- The Archaeological Museum, Korizis Square. Tu-Su 09:00-15:00. Houses findings from the Sanctuary of Poseidon, from ancient Troizen, Magoula, Apathia, Modi and Saint Constantine from Methana are displayed here.
- Poros Shell Museum. Daily 09:00-13:00 & 18:00-21:00. Poros Shell Museum. Founded in 2006, a permanent exhibition of Shells from the Greek Seas is displayed at the Chatzopouleios Library. The Municipal Library is definitely worth a visit, with more than 8,500 titles of books and more than 200 DVDs.
- Sanctuary of Poseidon. In the northern part of the island are the remains of the Sanctuary of Poseidon, the centre of the Kalaureian amphictyony. The exact date it was built is not known, although researchers estimate it to have been around 520 BC. The dimensions of the temple, which is of the Doric order, are 27.4×14.4m. There are six columns on each short side and twelve on each long side. It was here that Demosthenes, the famous orator, poisoned himself with hemlock in 322 BC fleeing from the Macedonian Governor Antipatros.
- The Holy Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi. The Holy Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi, founded in 1720 AD is located 4km east of the main city of Poros island is built on the slope of a pine forest. In 1814, a group of monks from Mount Athos, took refuge in this monastery. A few years later, these monks founded the Zoodochos Pigi Monastery at Longovarda in this island of Paros. Katholiko, is a basilica with a dome and a tower like belfry being the main church of the monastery. The temple is simple without many wall paintings. The precious wooden-curved icon, which was made in Kappadokia of Asia Minor in the 17th century, together with the wooden-curved iconostasis and the imposing bishop throne, are of great interest.
- Bourtzi castle. Bourtzi castle. It was built by von Heideck at around 1828, at the place where an old church of St. Constantine had stood. The island was given to the Poros monastery from 1770 on by Antonios Serfos. The stand off between Hydra island and Capodistrias gave the cause for severe fight here in 1831.
- Open air movie theater "Diana". One of the very few occasions to enjoy watching a film on the open air as in the past.
- Naval Base. Poros was the site of the first naval base in modern Greece, established in 1827 during the Greek War of Independence. Most of the activities of Poros naval base were moved to Salamis Naval Base in 1881. The site is still used today by the Hellenic Navy as a training centre for naval personnel. In 1834 warehouses and bakeries were built there for the supply of the Russian fleet sailing in the Aegean. The Russians kept this property until the 1900s. In 1989, with a ministerial decision, the Russian Dockyard has been announced as a historical monument due to its great architectural and historical interest.
- Ancient Trizina. The ancient Trizina is known as the homeland of Thiseas and it is one of the most interesting places near Poros. All the archaeological finds from ancient Trizina are located in the Archaeological Museum. Continuing your way, a distance of about 3 kilometer from Trizina there is a place called "Vasiliki Tafi" (The Royal cemetery). This area is interesting because of the archaeological finds of the Mycenaean period.
- Lemonodasos (Lemon grove). Take the opportunity to stroll around the verdant hill with more than 30,000 lemon and orange trees with scattered taverns all around, located on the opposite coast near Galatas in the Peloponnese. From the top, the view is panoramic. The boat trip will only take a few minutes. It has been declared a protected area by the European Union.
- Love's Bay Beach. The Love's Bay is a very romantic cove where one can enjoy the green and turquoise water swimming under the lush pine trees! Once again, we have an organized beach with deck chairs, umbrellas, tables and a canteen where you can eat a snack, drink a coffee, cool down having an ice cream or soft drinks, ouzo, wine and beer.
- The Russian Bay Beach. The Russian Bay is a beautiful and picturesque bay, which is classified as a historical monument, because of its great architectural and historical interest. On the opposite side is Daskalio, a small island with it's lovely church. Then there is the Gerolimenas: a secluded pebble beach across the islet of Petra.
- Neorio Beach. Neorio is an ideal destination for a relaxing family vacation and is located opposite the Peloponnese, in the bay of Poros. You can enjoy impeccable moonlit nights by the beach and lovely taverns situated right on the water. Pine trees embrace the sea water and “paint” it with an unusual green colour. With golden sand and transparent waters that often create the illusion of a huge mirror. The beach also has "passage", a centre for water sports.
- Kanali Beach. Located after the bridge that connects the Pregymnasium with Sinikismo is accessible on foot. It’s just 15 minutes away from downtown with a divine sandy beach in the heart of the bay of Askeli.
- Askeli Beach. After the canal, the coastal road continues and leads to Askeli, a few kilometres northeast of the port. Askeli faces the open sea and is built amphitheatrically on the slope of a pine covered hill with a panoramic view from above. There are four snake-shaped streets on the road starting from the beach road and branching out across Askeli, reaching the top of the hill.
- Monastery Beach. Located on a hill on the east coast. Right under there is a quiet beach with crystal clear water, next to a pine forest. The area offers water sports and snorkeling. Also available in the area are sunbeds, umbrellas and a canteen where you can have a snack, ice cream or drink your coffee, soft drinks, spirits, wine and beer.
- Vagionia Beach. Vagionia is a quiet beach with sand and pebbles situated in the northern part of the island, ideal for relaxing holidays and all kinds of fishing, especially snorkeling. There you can find beach chairs, umbrellas and a cafe snack bar, where you can grab a snack, drink a coffee, have an ice cream, soft drinks, ouzo, wine and beer.
- Aliki Beach. Aliki is a gorgeous beach with sand inside and out which winds up in a lagoon. It has shallow water and Bourtzi is right across where anyone can swim to. Located at the entrance of Poros’ waterway, as we come in the from Hydra on the flying dolphin.
- Passage (In Drepani. Continent), Neorion Bay, ☎ , fax: +30 2298042546, e-mail: email@example.com. Passage water ski centre is managed by Sotiris Kyprios, former European Slalom Senior 1 Champion and his wife Marianna. The school teaches people to ski from complete beginners to advanced slalom skiers.
- Passage (on Poros island), Poros, ☎ , fax: +30 2298042546, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The base on Poros is very well maintained and fully operational. The base consists of the "bar area", a large pontoon with four waterski towboats and one special wakeboard boat. Several water sports can be practiced such as: water ski, jet-ski, barefoot, jump, trick skiing, wake boarding, banana and tubes.
- Diavologefiro. Walking towards northwest in an abrupt area near Poros we find this famous wild beautiful natural environment. Here the river flows furiously through a deep canyon.
- Scuba diving school in Poros, Askeli beach, ☎ 697 7261 374, e-mail: email@example.com.
- Dontas Horses & Tours, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy great beaches with horse riding.
- Kostelenos Nurseries (George Kostelenos (Owner)), Hellas, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. These incubators produce the widest variety of olive trees in the world. You will not regret the visit even if you are not professional gardener. It is best to arrange an appointment in advance.
- Ergani, Poros Town, ☎ . A gallery with embroideries, handmade art objects and a laboratory organizing various seminars.
- Citronne Gallery, Poros Town, ☎ . This is an art gallery hosting the work of different artists, mainly in the high season. It is housed in a beautiful mansion in Poros Town
- Poseidon Tavern, ☎ . You will enjoy your food in a friendly environment with an amazing sea view either at lunch or dine. Dishes are cooked with care, fresh material and knowledge. You will taste food from the traditional Greek cuisine, a large variety of appetizers, fresh fish and desserts. Specialty on fresh octopus.
- Primasera, ☎ . The tavern is a combination of classic and modern with the nostalgia of the traditional cuisine and the personal touch of the owner. It is one of the oldest and best taverns of the island, where all the famous people on the island go to eat together.
- Garden Restaurant (Close to St George Church), ☎ . Inside the cool environment of the "Garden", which is literally full of bougainvilleas and jasmines, you will have the experience of tasting delicious appetizers from home made and local spicy recipes, the freshest fish and meat on bbq and some of the most delicious vegetarian dishes.
- Platanos Tavern, ☎ . At "Platanos" the visitor can relax and enjoy delicious food along with beer or cold wine, down from the shades of the 200 years old platanus that exist there, at the Square of Saint George, next to the old little church.
- Dimitris Family Tavern, ☎ . The best taverna may be Dimitris' the Butcher Shop Taverna, on the top of the town of Poros. His speciality is the finest fresh steaks and other beef, lamb, pork and chicken dishes because as the name suggests, he is a butcher. He has eight children, many who work in the restaurant and the pepper-steak is delicious. When you first sit down you are welcomed with a glass of sweet, rich dark wine that for some reason tastes perfect, even if you can't stand sweet, rich dark wines. He also has select fish and seafood and some of the more interesting clientèle.
- Malibu. You do not have to think twice where you will go to have amazing fun, enjoying your favourite drink or cocktail. The bar "Malibu" is open from the time the sun sets until the early morning and awaits you to have fantastic time with parties, events and many other activities. You can elevate your mood either by drinking outside and watching the sea view, either dancing inside the main part of the building, with music from their experienced DJ in all the newest beats.
- Sofrano, ☎ . Relaxing terrace at Poros sea front.
- Skipper, ☎ . Relaxing terrace at Poros sea front. You can also dine.
- Dionyssos Bed & Breakfast, 78 Papadopoulou St, ☎ , fax: +30 22980 24503. There is Internet access available at no extra charge.
- Panorama Apartments (on Askeli Beach), ☎ +30 22980 23411 Cell : +30 697 216 9977.
- Hotel Saron, ☎ , fax: 30 22980 23670. 24-room "B" category hotel. Open from April to October.
- Sto Roloi & The Anemone, ☎ +30 22980 25808 Cell : +30 6932 427267. Three traditional "B" category apartments and one single room. Open around the year.
- Possidonion Appartments (Neorio area), ☎ , fax: +30 22980 23413.
- Nikis Village (1km from the centre), ☎ , fax: +30 22980 25325. Just 150m from Neorion Beach, Nikis Village features a pool and self-catered rooms with free Wi-Fi. All accommodation offers a balcony overlooking the Saronic Gulf, the mountains and Poros Town. Air-conditioned. Satellite TV and kitchenette with a dining area, fridge and cooking hobs.
- Ninettas Studios (In Askeli, 250m from the beach), ☎ , fax: +30 22980 25325.
- Hotel New Aegli (In Askeli), ☎ , fax: +30 22980 24345. Modern hotel with 80 fully equipped rooms with sea views.
- Hotel Pavlou (In front of Neorion beach), ☎ , fax: +30 22980 22735. In the heart of Neorion Bay in front of the beach. Recently renovated.
- Seven Brothers, Iroon Square (100m from dock, located in front of the bus stop the taxis and the boats), ☎ . At the heart of the port, to the centre of the town, in a quiet place, opposite the Iroon statue, and next to Alpha bank. Magnificent view of the port with the boats, the beach of Galatas opposite.
- Hotel Manessi (Under the clock tower of Poros), ☎ , fax: +30 22980 24345. Family-owned and -managed hotel offering spectacular panoramic views.
- Xenia Poros Image Hotel, ☎ , fax: +30 22980 25725.
- Hotel Sirene Blue Resort, Monastiri 18020 - Poros, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Has two swimming pools, private beach with Taverna Restaurant and Beach Bar on wooden deck by the sea and under the pines. The cosmopolitan restaurant Roof Garden at the top of the hotel in Black & White style has live music.
- Hotel Golden View, ☎ , fax: +30 22980 22983. One of the first and most famous hotels to be built on Poros. The hotel has starred in many Greek films. Recently underwent a complete renovation and now offers even more modern comforts.
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 Cheli by hydrofoil boat.
- Aegina. During ancient times Aegina was a rival of Athens, the great sea power of the era. It was the first capital of modern Greece after the Independence war. Visit the Temple of Aphaea.
- Corinth Canal. Travelling by car you will cross the famous canal, 6.4km long and built in 1881.
- Epidaurus. The theatre is marveled for its exceptional acoustics. As is usual for Greek theatres (and as opposed to Roman ones), the view on a lush landscape behind the skênê is an integral part of the theatre itself. There are seats for 15,000 people and a festival takes place every summer.
- Methana. Visit the volcano and the city's sulfurous spa.
- Troezen (Troizen). Visit the ancient Trizina and the "Vasiliki Tafi" (The Royal cemetery). This area is of great interest because of the archaeological finds of the Mycenaean period.
- Hydra (Hidra). The town is constructed on the slopes of a hill around a port and impresses visitors at first sight with its elegant stone mansions. Cars and other motor vehicles are entirely prohibited, so all transport is done on foot, by boat or by donkey.
- Spetses. In Medieval times the island flourished with trade and the locals constructed elegant mansions that survive till today. The town is large and ideal for long promenades. Many beautiful beaches are found around the island, accessible by boat or bus.
- Porto Heli. A small seaside town with a large port. This port is a frequent mooring place for fishing boats and yachts in the summer, giving Porto Heli a cosmopolitan atmosphere. A popular family destination, Porto Heli gets frequented by Athenians who have holiday homes there in the summer.
- Nafplio. Visit the archaeological site of Mycenae, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.