th ThThere are many AlsoExcursion to Poros: A Gem of the Argosaronic Gulf. Poros has a strategic location, as it is close to both Athens and the Peloponnese coast – it faces the picturesque village of Galatas in Troizinia. People regarded Poros as a “weekend escape” isle for a long time, like the rest of the isles in the Argosaronic Gulf. But that has changed completely in recent years. Now, these islands, and especially the elegant Poros, are rightfully among the top holiday destinations for Greeks and foreigners alike.
Excursion to Poros: The island of serenity and nobility
Poros is especially enchanting in spring when its famous lemon forest bursts into bloom and fills the air with heavenly aromas. The island exudes a sense of tranquility and elegance, with its white-washed alleys, neoclassical houses, and pine trees that touch the sea.
Remember that Poros is a small island and you can easily get around without a car. Starting from spring, there is an effort to reduce the traffic on the island. The island’s center closes to cars during the tourist season and visitors can park their vehicles in the port’s main parking lot (ferry). You can reach Poros by ferry boat or by flying dolphin from Piraeus. The journey takes 2 hours and 15 minutes by ferry and one hour by “flying dolphin” ride.
Excursion to Poros: What to See and Do
Here are a few things you need to observe and do when you are in Poros especially if you have eyes for architecture.
Historic clock tower
The iconic landmark of Poros is its historic clock tower on the highest hill. The building itself is dated in 1927 and now it is surrounded by cacti and pine trees. You should definitely climb up there – you will be rewarded with a stunning view of the whole Argosaronic Gulf.
Metropolitan Church of Agios Georgios and its frescoes
Another thing you should not miss is the frescoes of the painter Konstantinos Parthenis in the Metropolitan Church of Agios Georgios near the old district of “Kastelli”. This church dates back to before 1850 and was the first municipal church of Poros.
Was founded in 1861 and rebuilt with the donations of the rich Poros residents. There is a three-aisled basilica with a raised middle aisle and a majestic dome of fifteen meters high. Inside, you will be amazed by the beautiful frescoes signed by Konstantinos Parthenis. More likely the story behind this “little miracle” in the church is that the mayor at that time, George Michael, personally asked Konstantinos Parthenis, who loved the island and was a devoted vacationer of Poros. The famous painter worked in the church from March to October 1907. He used the images of the Churches of Dafni Monastery and the Russian church in Athens as models for his works.
The Lighthouse of “Dana”
The lighthouse of “Dana” is another significant cultural feature of Poros. Stands proudly at the entrance of the island’s bay and is one of the most beautiful stone-built square lighthouses in Greece. The French Company of Ottoman Lighthouses built it in 1870 and it is a relatively new monument of the maritime history of Greece. Its height is 9 meters. Also has remained dark throughout World War II. In 1952, an automatic acetylene torch replaced the diesel machinery, which worked until 1989, when a solar power system replaced it. Since 1954, there have been no lighthouse keepers living in the lighthouse and it has been operating automatically. In 2011, it was fully renovated and equipped with photovoltaic systems for its complete energy efficiency. You can reach the lighthouse by following the asphalt road (about 15 minutes) and then continuing on a drivable path for a while longer.
Sanctuary of Poseidon
Villa Galini of the Dragoumis family
Built in 1894, this magnificent house welcomed many illustrious guests from the world of art and culture, such as Manolis Karagatsis, Marc Chagall, George Seferis, and others. George Seferis expressed his admiration for this splendid building in a letter to George Katsimbalis, saying: “Galini, that Victorian house, red Pompeii, filled me with a sense of a solid home for the first time in many years, not just a temporary shelter: I had forgotten that such things still existed.” Villa Galini is now a private property and does not allow visitors inside, but you can still marvel at its beauty from the outside.
The Lemon Forest
East of Galatas lies the Lemon Forest, an enchanting place that is the most renowned attraction of the island. The hill is covered with lemon trees, charming streets, and many stone watermills (most of them in ruins). These are actually private estates (about 4 acres each) that date back to 1828 when there were 10,000 lemon trees in this area that looked like a painting and produced around 8 million tons of lemons. These lemons were prized in the market and the wealth of Poros relied on them. In 1873, the forest suffered from a disease that almost wiped it out. It grew back and thrived again, especially in the post-war years 1950-60 when it shipped large quantities to the former Soviet Union, Germany, and other countries. Today, only a few lemon trees are still grown.
Excursion to Poros: Beaches of Poros and the sailing boats
You cannot visit Poros without enjoying its waters. These are some of the most popular and lovely beaches on the island.
Mikro Neorio Beach
Mikro Neorio is a small but stunning beach, with sand, facilities, and pine trees that touch the sea. Megalo Neorio is next to Mikro Neorio and boasts one of the most gorgeous sandy beaches on the island.
The Port of Love
The port of Love is the most romantic part of Poros. The idyllic landscape consists of turquoise waters and pine trees. The beach has a canteen and sunbeds.
Gerolimenas Beach is a secluded, not organized beach, with pebbles and virgin beauty.
Kanali Beach has a very nice sand, with a café, and snack bar, and close to Chora – you can go on foot.
Askeli Beach is also a very vibrant beach that has bars, taverns, and restaurants. Also here there is a beach volley court and water sports. Poros is also a reference point for sailing boats that choose the islands of the Argosaronic Gulf for boat holidays.
Excursion to Poros: the island of art
Poros like many other islands in Greece has been the backdrop of some old Greek movies, such as “The Blindness of Marlon Brando” with Greek actor Thanasis Vengos and a part of the movie “Alice in the Navy”. Nowadays, visitors can watch old and new films at the cozy open-air cinema Cine Diana.
A perfect goodbye -or rather a warm-up for the mood and vibe you will experience when you visit Poros- in the words of George Seferis from the book “Kichlis” he wrote one summer while staying at Villa Galini: “Poros has bewitched me with its charm. I adore this world, so hidden that dawn illuminates the divine. Stroll to the lighthouse. Metallic hues in the sea. Poros has a touch of Venice… with many spells of course, something out of a spring of passion, with the moon overhead, and, all day long, with the brass of the music of the Gymnasium.”
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