This past summer's trip to Greece included a day touring the island of Spetses. Having spent most of my time in Greece on the south-western coast of the Peloponnese, exploring Spetses was a thrill. As soon as you disembark at the port of Dapia, you are struck by the island's charm. First, the transportation in the town's center does not include cars. While this means you will find a number of scooters zipping around, it makes the town very walkable; and if you're looking for a break from walking, you can enjoy a tour of the island on horse drawn carriage.
Other striking features of Spetses are its cobblestone streets and port-side cannons. Without knowing much about the island, one quickly gathers that it played an important role in Greece's political history, and as it turns out was key to its navy during the Greek war of independence.
As if its history and lack of cars weren't enough to give the island its charm, Spetses offers wonderful eateries, boutique shopping, and luxury accommodations such as the Poseidon Grand Hotel.
While the sun made an appearance in the afternoon, our morning in Spetses was rained out. Rather than brave the elements, we opted for a cozy cafe to enjoy a coffee, while waiting for the rain to pass. In my case, this meant a Greek coffee, while my husband sipped on a frappé.
Don't be surprised if you have never heard of either of these coffees. While ubiquitous in Greece, they can be difficult to find in the United States. However, if you would like to try making them at home, I have provided recipes for both under the kitchen section. Keep in mind that they are stronger than regular drip coffee and will taste best if prepared with some sugar. Also, Greek coffee should sit for 5 minutes after being served so as to allow the unfiltered coffee grinds to settle at the bottom of the cup. It is then sipped slowly. As you reach the bottom, you will notice the coffee sediment, which should not be consumed. It is this sediment which is used for the fortune telling tradition of cup reading.
Drinking our coffees while looking out on the harbor was the perfect way to spend the morning. By the time the sun came out, we were ready to enjoy more of the town's scenic charm.