To appreciate fully all that the island of Spetses has to offer, it’s important to see it from the back of a moped. It’s from this vantage point that I find myself taking in clear, azure waters, fragrant pines, bright white sailing boats, and the many intimate coves and beaches, as my guide – architect and president of the Anargyrios and Korgialenios School of Spetses (AKSS), Petros Petrakopoulos – nimbly races around sharp bends and up steep hills, all the while pointing out interesting landmarks. As my very real terror gives way to wide eyed wonder, I understand why it’s crucial that this small island, just two miles off the coast of the Greek mainland, prohibits cars – bar the odd delivery van and taxi – and why a whopping 42 per cent is owned by the AKSS Foundation, which seeks to protect its historic vegetation and architecture, and discourages all but the most discreet building.
In fact, the town of Spetses is the only large settlement on the island. Here affluent, mainly Greek, tourists enjoy fine dining in the many glamorous outdoor bars and cafés, centred around two main harbours, each paying testament to the island’s naval history. In the main dock is a statue of Laskarina Bouboulina, admiral and heroine of the Greek War of Independence.
Source: BBC Music Magazine