Greece – Poros

Poros, meaning narrow straight, is made up of two islands, Kalavria and Sferia and is connected by a narrow canal. Because of its closeness to the mainland, it had commercial and political connections with both Athens and the Peloponnese. Poros had a peak period in the 6th – 5th century BC, and the god Poseidon was especially worshipped on the island. The island had many foreign rulers through history, just like the rest of Greece. Because of Hydra’s power in the 18th century, Poros was quite outshone, but the island contributed to the war of independence that started in 1821. There are many old, interesting buildings in Poros town. The handsome blue-domed clock tower offers a breathtaking view, and it is nice just to stroll around here. Poros has both sand and pebble beaches. Most of them are on the south coast of Kalavria. The recommended beach is Askeli beach which can be reached using the public bus. Here you can find bars and restaurants along with water sports and beach chairs. In general, the beaches on Poros are very calm since they are situated in sheltered little bays. Not too far away from Poros is the inspiring ancient sanctuary of Asclepios at Epidavros, which contains the best preserved ancient theater in all of Greece.

11 Sep: We had a pretty chill agenda for today as our port of call was at Poros Town on the island of Poros, separated by a narrow canal from the Peloponnese mainland. After all the hustle and bustle of the previous couple of days, we wanted some beach time to relax and unwind, and Poros was the perfect antidote. Our plan was to rent a couple of bikes, stop by the closest grocery store and stock up on some munching supplies, cycle out to the old Russian ship base where we intended to soak up the rays, and head back into Poros Town to catch the sunset from the clock tower.

After disembarking from our ferry, we walked around Poros Town in search for a bike rental and a supermarket. Finding Kosta’s Bike Rental was fairly easy, and we were able to rent 4 bikes for 20 Euros for the entire day. All we had to do was leave one of our EasyCruise cards with Kosta (so we couldn’t skip town with his bikes), and off we rode to find a decent sized supermarket to cater to our lunch needs for the day. We stopped at a small grocery store to stock up on our munching supplies, and later realized that if we had ridden just a little further on, we would have happened upon Poros’s largest supermarket (with a larger variety of selections). Nevertheless, we were all set for our excursion today, and rode out towards Russian Bay.

Once we crossed over from Sferia peninsula to Kalavria and made a left on the road going towards Neorion Beach, we saw several other bike and ATV rental agencies, and their prices were more competitive than Kosta’s Bike Rental (although for the sheer convenience of Kosta’s location, we were more than happy to pay a bit more). The ride out to Russian Bay was quite easy with no challenging hills, making Poros an ideal island for leisurely biking. Several other beaches caught our attention, to include the Love Beach (a secluded beach with a bar that seemed popular amongst the locals), and Neorion Beach (the only beach resembling a mini-resort on Poros, complete with a watersports center and beachside tavernas).

Our destination was the secluded Russian Bay, which our guidebook stated was the “best beach on Poros where the water is clear, the backdrop ruin of a 19th century Russian naval base lends the beach not just its name, but an appealing historic atmosphere.” After parking our bikes in the shade, we found a flat, shady spot and set up our beach mats. Two little kittens must have sensed we were setting up for a picnic, as they came running towards us and set up camp beside us for the rest of the day.

Russian Bay has a nice little setup with a jetty leading out about 50 meters, where you can simply jump into the cool, refreshing water. Surprisingly, we saw a lot of fish right off of the jetty, and judging for the colors and size of the fish, snorkeling here must be pretty decent. The water initially felt a bit frigid, but we really enjoyed swimming in the calm sea after our bodies adjusted to the temperature. Back at the picnic site, the kittens were having a field day chasing butterflies, scavenging up bit pieces of cheese, and snoring alongside Bob.

After lounging the day away at Russian Bay, we decided to ride back into Poros Town to see if anything else caught our eye. While riding back into town, we heard lively music being performed by the cadets and trainees of the Poros Hellenic Naval Academy. The cadets were assembled across the street from the Academy, and they were rehearsing an entire musical composition. We watched their rehearsal for a bit, before riding onward into town. We rode the entire length of the waterfront, and were amazed at the sheer number of bars, restaurants, and shops. There were countless options for us to pursue, but in the end, we decided to return the bike rentals, and hike up to the clock tower for a panoramic sunset view. Watching the sunset with a bottle of red wine can’t be beat, and afterwards, we were ravenous for dinner.

Lucky for us, we took a footpath down from the clock tower that led us directly to the excellent, family run “Taverna Karavolos”, (which according to our LP guide means “big snail” in Greek and is the nickname of the taverna’s owner). The snails were prepared in a garlic/onion/tomato based sauce and served with bread, and we definitely opted to partake in the house specialty, along with roasted lamb, grilled fish, and calamari. Topped off with a pitcher of house wine and we all left the table stuffed and satisfied. The entire meal was absolutely delicious and worth every penny.

Afterwards, Bob and Robby decided to partake in a bit more wine, so we sat by the waterfront and swigged a bottle of wine between the four of us. When Becky and Ann took a walk down the entire length of the waterfront, they witnessed hordes of fish jumping out of the water to their amazement. Bob later explained this phenomenon is due to larger, predatory fish feasting below, and the smaller fish are literally jumping out of the water in an effort to avoid becoming prey.

Back onboard EasyCruise, Dario’s salsa lessons were over, but the gang wasn’t ready to call it a night yet, so the 5th deck’s Sun & Moon bar become an impromptu dance floor. Combined with a couple more drinks (the bar prices have risen significantly compared to our Caribbean bar tab), Robby was soon feeling the effect of mixing beer, wine, and hard liquor. Another fun day in Greek paradise!

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