The Best Things to Do on Poros Island

posted in: Greek Islands, Saronic | 2

Poros island Greece is a very beautiful pine-forest island of the Argosaronic Gulf.

Poros island is in the same group as the stunning islands of Aegina, Spetses, and Hydra and is often combined as a hopping island trip from Athens.

Poros island with the yacht marinas, neoclassical buildings, an impressive clocktower symbol, tiny alleys laden with flowers and quaint shops, and fantastic beaches with pine forests reaching into the waters will definitely charm you!

What is so amazing about Poros island is that it is actually made up of 2 islands (Volcanic Spheria and Sedimentary Kalavria) divided by a narrow canal, an island hopping in itself!

Poros island has attracted many eminent artists, writers, and poets. Two of them were Henry Miller and Greek George Seferis, a Nobel Prize winner of Literature in 1963.

George Seferis owned a villa in Poros (Villa Galini) and in 1946 wrote about his beloved island:

“It has something from Venice: canal, communication between the houses by boats, glamour, leisureliness, sensual temptation – a place for international notable lovers….”

“…I opened the window at the open sea, beyond the Coach room, the plate of the sun was big, bitten still by the horizon, it had a color that I had never seen before, the color of the cranberries juice, an idea lighter”.

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How to Get to Poros Island (Can you fly directly to Poros?)

There is no airport on Poros but there are two other ways of transportation to get on the island:

My favorite is by private car through Corinth Canal, take the road to Epidaurus and at some point, you will find a sign indicating to go towards Spetses, Poros, and Galatas.

After you have gone under a small bridge you turn left, you reach a square, you turn left again following the signs to Poros and half an hour later you reach the ferry station on Galatas.

There are ferries every half an hour to Poros and the trip lasts just 5 minutes.

Why do I prefer this route? Because on my way to Poros I can also visit Corinth Canal, Acrocorinth, Ancient Corinth, UNESCO Theater of Epidaurus, volcanic Methana, and everything else in between.

All that, driving by one of the most beautiful coastlines of the Peloponnese.

Or, you can take the Ferries: The other and probably the easiest way is to take the ferry from Pireaus port, at the E8 gate.

Hydrofoil boats do the trip in 1 hour (flying dolphins) and the slow boats need about 2,5 hours

How to get to Piraeus port from Athens International Airport

  • Bus: If you are arriving at Athens International airport you can travel straight to the port by taking the X96 express bus (3 euro), which departs every 40 minutes and the average trip lasts 1 hour. The bus will drop you off in front of the port and from there it is a 3-minute walk to your Gate
  • Athens Metro (10 euro) easily found right across airport arrivals (blue line – M3) until the Monastiraki stop and change to the green line – M1 going to Piraeus port which is the last stop of the line. The end line is 5 minute far from your gate. The average trip to Pireaus lasts 1 hour. Consult the Map of Athens Metro here
  • Taxis are available in front of the airport (around 40 euros) and Professional Chauffeurs (not sure how much they take but probably more than a taxi)
  • A bit of caution about pickpocketing inside the public transport. Put your backpack in front of you and don’t lose sight of your belongings
  • This is one of the most popular Shoulder Bags Pacsafe Metrosafe Anti Theft Shoulder Bag and you can buy it on Amazon

Is Poros Greece Worth Visiting?

If you like green islands, with amazing sea views of the nearby Peloponnese, a low-key and serene environment surrounded by classy buildings, then you are going to love Poros Greece.

Actually, Poros island can be your base island to further explore Greece. The reasons for that are:

  1. The rates are generally low – unlike some other Saronic islands eg Hydra island
  2. Another great reason to stay in Poros is that it is 5 minutes far from the full of UNESCO monuments Peloponnese region: Ancient Olympia, Epidaurus, Mystras, Bassae of Phigaleia, Tiryns. Peloponnese also has stunning Nafplion medieval town, Ancient Messene, breath-taking beaches like Voidokilia and Kardamyli and Methoni village to mention just a few of the endless landmarks and amazing places you can visit
  3. Lastly but not least, Athens is just an hour away!

You can take the ferry, be in Athens in an hour, take the metro to get to Acropolis and all the other Athens Monuments, travel the Athens Riviera all the way to Sounio Cape and the Temple of Poseidon, or take the ferry and go to other popular Greek islands, like Santorini or Mykonos.

Poros island is ideal to visit for so many reasons!

Is Paros the Same as Poros?

You can easily confuse them and think it is the same island and you just see a typo but it is not the same.

Paros is in the Cyclades island group, like Mykonos and Santorini and the ferry takes 3 to 5 hours to get there from Athens.

Paros island has the whitewashed cubic houses of the Cycladic charm and architecture, it is relatively flat and is almost 10 times larger than Poros. Paros’ area covers 75.79 mi² and Poros just 8.842 mi².

If I managed to inspire you to visit them both, you can always take direct ferries from the Athens port, Piraeus to either Poros or Paros.

=> Check timetables and rates at the Ferry Hopper website.

How to get around Poros Island

Poros is a small island, with a limited road network. During the summer, cars are not allowed inside the small Poros town so everyone parks their cars at the municipal parking at the port.

So the best way to move around Poros town is to walk.

If you would like to further explore the island, there are some options you can choose from:

  • the free of charge municipal small bus that goes around the town between 10.00 am and 3.00 pm; you can get it at the Poros main square, tel: +30 22980 23003
  • small traditional boats can take you to beaches around the island from Poros port
  • a private company bus to Monastery beach and other areas. You can find the bus at the new westerrn port (ticket 1 euro)
  • and of course you can rent a car either from Athens or from Poros town. I found this local small business convenient with a variety of small cars Attica Cars – Car Rental Poros GR: atticacars.com

What is Best to do on Poros?

As the ferry approaches the Poros port, you will be delighted by the lovely views of the amphitheatrically built main Poros town. The 1927 Clock Tower is visible from afar, try to spot it.

One of the most entertaining things to do on Poros island is to walk by the well-kept seafront boulevard and see the yachts, the small fishing boats, the stone mansions, the cafes, and the fish taverns.

And in Greece, after we have walked a tiny bit we always stop for a coffee, for baklava, for lunch, ouzo break, any excuse we can think of, to sit at a table and taste the local goods.

I suggest you do the same, order a Greek coffee and enjoy the beautiful view of the sea around you.

It is even more beautiful if you sit in a bar in the evening, watching the lights reflecting on the seawater, or look at the birds flying low over the water around sunset time.

I am a bird watcher myself, especially the bigger predators that can be found in Greece like eagles or hawks. I use the Bushnell Binoculars (Amazon site) because I am very pleased with their clarity of the bird views.

Walk Around the Poros Island Main Town

Hopefully, you didn’t drink too many ouzos at your stroll on Poros promenade and you can continue your tour on the island!

Leave the port behind you and start exploring the Poros town, built on the smaller and volcanic island of Poros, Spheria.

Walking through the narrow alleyways of the main town, among neoclassic buildings with tiles roofs and colorful window panes, often wrapped in bougainvillea, reminds more of the old part of Athens (Plaka) rather than an Argosaronic island.

Inside the Poros town, you will find that the atmosphere is less touristic and some of the most authentic taverns frequented by the locals can be found here.

Visit the Archaeological Museum in Koryzi Square to take in exhibits from the classical era of Greece and findings from the remains of the Temple of Poseidon on Poros. The ticket is 2 euro.

From November 1st to March 31st is open between 8:00-15:30 – Tuesday: closed
From May 14th to October 31st is open between 08:30-15:30 – Tuesday: closed

In the same square, you will also find the Public Library of Poros island.

On the ground floor of the Library, you can visit the permanent exhibition “Seashells and Sea”, with a wealth of volcanic and geological information and photographs from Poros seabed.

Walk up the road with the prickly pears and pines path to get to the Clock Tower built in 1927. The Clock is visible from everywhere in Poros town built on top of one of the 2 hills, Kalavria hill.

There has been some complaints about the steps up so you better wear comfortable travel shoes that are also super cute. You can buy them on Amazon.

You will be compensated by the fantastic views of the whole of Poros island and the seaside of the Peloponnese right across, especially during the sunset.

The elaborate clock mechanism, purchased more than a century ago from the US, can be seen on the ground floor of the Tower.

Walking out of the town towards the northwest and close to the canal find the historical building of Nautical Center of Poros.

The impressive neoclassical building of 1828 was Greece’s first king Otto’s house.

Take the small boats to Bourtzi island found at the east entrance of Poros port (some people swim to the island). with a castle fortification built in 1827.

Discover the remains of the Temple of Poseidon, built in 520 BC on the highest point at the north center of Poros Greece.

The sanctuary was built near the ancient city of Kalavria (Poros’ ancient name), in the Palatia area of Poros island.

There is a plaque on the site devoted to late Berit Wells, a significant archaeologist who spent 12 years excavating the ancient site and offered invaluable work on Poros’ Ancient History conservation.

The Poros Archaeological Site is open daily between 8.30 am – 3.30 pm. with free entrance. There is no canteen for water or information booth. There are though a few signs with some information about the Sanctuary.

The beautiful and rare square-built lighthouse, Dana, constructed in 1870 by the Frech Company of Ottoman Lighthouses can be found within 15 minutes drive northwest of Poros town.

The surrounding view of Poros hills and open Aegean sea from Dana Lighthouse are magnificent and like all lighthouses, they are great to watch the sunset and have romantic moments!

What are the Best Beaches on Poros?

Monastiri Beach, 4 km east of Poros town surrounded by a pine forest is one of the prettiest beaches on Poros island.

It is a gorgeous organized beach, with sunbeds and umbrellas, water sports facilities, accommodation choices, and some taverns around the beach.

Monastiri is one of the top destinations for snorkeling lovers as the seabed is full of fish with little rocks spread all around.

Right over the beach, you will find the imposing Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi.

The Monastery was founded in 1720, has a typical island architecture, and has played an enormous historical role in Greek’s Revolutionary War against the Ottomans.

You can visit the Monastery every day between 7.30 am – 1 pm and 4 pm – sunset. Tel: +30 22980-22926

200 meters from the Monastery entrance, and inside the pine forest, you should visit Melistakto Cafe.

It is a very traditional Kafenio (Greek word for cafe), offering fresh Greek sweets like baklava and galaktoboureko, coffees, and freshly squeezed lemonade (Nearby Galatas is big in lemon production).

Have you checked my Amazon Shop for Greek Goodies send directly to your home?

The Limanaki tis Agapis beach (The Love Bay), and my own favorite beach in Poros, is stunningly beautiful alas a bit small beach so it can get crowded.

Set on a protected bay with pine trees hanging over the sea, crystal clear blue-green waters, is a really fantastic beach.

Don’t miss to visit the small Byzantine church at the end of the beach.

Russian Dockyard, a well-protected bay, with golden fine sand is 4,5 km west of Poros town.

This is the bay that the Russian ships used to dock while helping the Greeks in their Independence war against the Ottomans in 1821.

Right across the beach, there is the tiny heart-shaped island, Daskalio, that you can visit with a picturesque Church.

Find at the beach the Café Russian Bay, open all year round for coffees, breakfast, and lunch.

Mikro(small) and Megalo(Large) Neorio, the two beaches closest to the town, are ideal for families and are surrounded by a good choice of taverns and restaurants.

They have golden sand and transparent waters that often create the illusion of a huge mirror.

Askeli beach is one of the most popular and busiest beaches on Paros island, 2 km on the north of Poros port.

It is an organized beach, with beach bars and beach volleys and lots of trees to hide under if you are not fond of too much sun (I am not!).

There is a good selection of hotels, taverns, bike rentals and small shops to keep you happy if you decide to stay here.

Vagonia beach is quiet, remote with pebbles, set right across from Aegina island, on the north of Poros town.

In the seabed of Vagonia, there is a sunken town and if you swim there you can see traces of ancient streets and the foundations of ancient houses.

You can go to Vagonia beach by your own vehicle and it is 6 km far from Poros town.

Gerolimenas Beach is another secluded beach and ideal for nudism, 5.5 km from Poros town. To reach Gerolimenas, you will have to park your car up to a point and hike a bit to reach the beach.

How much Time do you Need on Poros?

You can visit Poros as a day trip from Athens, or you can stay for a weekend, which is what a lot of Athenians do.

In my opinion, it is such a pretty island that you could spend easily 4-5 days without getting bored and as discussed, you can travel all around the beautiful area of the Peloponnese.

Where to stay on Poros?

Aegean Villas (mid-range): A fantastic hotel, with a big swimming pool and sea views, minutes away from Askeli beach, with mouthwatering large breakfasts and finely decorated rooms, this is an excellent accommodation choice. Check availability and rates on Booking.com

Dimitra Boutique Hotel is surrounded by a garden and its well-decorated rooms offer an amazing sea view. With super clean rooms and friendly hosts, 5 minutes far from Poros town, you will enjoy a great hospitality experience. Check availability and rates on Booking.com

Kalavria Luxury Suites: A brand new exceptional hotel, with amazing sea views, spacious rooms ideal for a large family, with all the essential amenities, located near Askeli beach. Check availability and rates on Booking. com

Where to Stay on Poros on a Budget?

Vassilis Studios: Located in Askeli beach, with a fantastic garden, a large swimming pool, very clean facilities, and with welcoming and accommodating hosts, this is the best value for money hotel. Check availability and rates on Booking.com

What Island Hopping can I do from Poros?

From Poros, you can get the ferries and go to

  • Aegina Island in 1 h and 15′
  • Spetses island in 1h – 1h 45′ depending on the ferry
  • Hydra island in 30′
  • Porto Heli 1h 20′ – 2 h depending on the ferry
  • Ermioni in 1 h

Check Ferries in Greece with no hidden fees: FerryHopper

When is Best to Go to Poros?

Every season in Greece has its unique charm, colors, herbs aroma, different shades of the light of the sun.

If this is your first time in Greece, then come over to Poros between May and October. If you have been to Greece before, then try to come during Easter, to enjoy a Greek Orthodox Religious feast.

Unique Businesses in Poros Island

You may be interested in visiting some interesting businesses in Poros:

  • ERGANI weaving workshop: The owner loves to weave traditional Greek designs and mix them with contemporary and natural shapes to make bed covers, afghans, curtains, rugs, table cloths/table runners, wall hanging. More here http://www.erganiweaving.gr/
  • Greekscapes by Pamela Rogers, born in the US but moved to Poros island years ago. More here https://pamelajanerogers.com/
  • Citrone Gallery: There is one in Athens and one in Poros. More info: https://citronne.com/en/exhibitions/

Useful Info for Poros Island

The nearest large hospitals are in Argos and Nafplio town.

Poros has a health center for any emergency: +30 22980-22600

There are about 7-8 ATMs’ on Poros, most of them scattered around the main port.

Greek Travel Resources

  • All the archaeological sites in Greece that have entrance fees can be found on the official Greek Ministry’s website here. Before you purchase your tickets, especially if you are an EU citizen, check if you have free or reduced entrance. You should also check to see if you happen to visit on one of the free entrance dates. If you are going to Acropolis during the peak season (May-September) prepurchase your tickets as the queues are insane. Finally, from November to March entrance fees to all Archaeological Sites are 50% off everywhere in Greece for everyone.
  • Map of Athens Metro here
  • Booking.com: I use Booking.com because I can get the best deals, have info on hotels and Airbnb’s alike, with breakfast or not, free cancellations, and great prices!
  • Ferries: Book your ferry transfer with FerryHopper, and get the best price in the market with no hidden fees
  • World Nomads Insurance: I feel insecure traveling to another country without having even the most basic of insurances. Insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft and cancellations
  • iVisa: For any questions, you may have about your documents, passport if you need a visa, a new photo, or any visa-related matter, iVisa is your man (or woman!)
  • Get Your Guide: For all your day or multi-day tours and city guide needs, I use Get Your Guide
  • Emergency Numbers Anywhere in Greece: AMBULANCE 166 – FIRE 199 – POLICE 100

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2 Responses

  1. Fred

    Another island I need to see sometime. There are so many!

    • Evgenia Mataragka

      Yes, I know, there are too many!! I am sure you are going to love Poros, it is such a lovely island and great for low-key vacation.

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