Separated from the mainland by a 350m strait, PÓROS (“the ford”) barely qualifies as an island at all. Popular with Brits and Scandinavians – more than any other Argo-Saronic island, Póros attracts package-holiday operators – it is also busy with weekending Athenians, who can get here by road (via Galatás) or on cheap ferries from Pireás, and with yachties taking advantage of the extensive mooring. There are in fact two islands, Sferiá (Póros Town) and the far larger Kalávria, separated from each other by a miniature canal spanned by a bridge. The town is a busy place, with constant traffic of shipping and people: if your stay is longer than a couple of nights you may want to base yourself on Kalávria for a little more peace, coming into town for the food, nightlife and shopping.
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PÓROS TOWN rises steeply across the western half of tiny volcanic Sferiá, a landmark clocktower at its summit. There’s a two-room archeological museum on the waterfront (Tues–Sun 8.30am–3pm; €2) whose local finds will fill a spare half-hour, but otherwise few sights. This is a place to eat, drink, shop and watch the world go by. Away from the waterfront you’ll quickly get lost in the labyrinth of steep, narrow streets, but nowhere is far away and most of the restaurants reasonably well signed. For a fine view over the rooftops and the strait, climb up to the clocktower (signed Roloï) – the tower itself is structurally suspect and fenced off, but you can still enjoy the outlook.
Excursions to the Peloponnese
Take one of the boats shuttling constantly to and from Galatás and you’re on the mainland Peloponnese, where there are numerous potential excursions. Local travel agents run a variety of tours, or you’ll see hire cars on offer in Galatás from around €25 a day.
Ancient Troezen is an unenclosed site near the modern village of Trizína, barely 10km from Galatás. Legendary birthplace of Theseus, the scattered site is most easily understood if you purchase a map in the village – this also recounts the stories of Theseus’s life. A short walk up a gorge from the site takes you to the spectacular natural rock arch of the Dhiavoloyéfyro, the Devil’s Bridge.
(Epídhavros) Most famous for its fourth-century BC theatre, one of the finest ancient monuments in Greece, Epidaurus is also an extensive sanctuary to Asklepios, god of healing. The theatre is used for productions of Classical Greek drama on Friday and Saturday nights from June to August as part of the annual Athens & Epidaurus Festival (greekfestival.gr; organized excursions from many island travel agents).
A long day-trip, but arguably the most rewarding destination in the Peloponnese, Náfplio is a gorgeous nineteenth-century town in a stunning coastal setting protected by forbidding fortresses. There are plenty of excellent restaurants and cafés.