The island of Spetses is one of the easiest day trips from Athens, and one of the most transporting. The island itself does not permit any cars, so the main town is really the main event. My uncle’s little boat brings us from Porto Heli, a town on the mainland opposite the island, to explore both the town and surrounding beaches. Last year, we took advantage of a late summer to celebrate the Greek national holiday, 28 October, in Spetses.
I’ve written about 28 October before – known as ‘No Day,’ though that name really sounds better in Greek.. It celebrates Greece’s rejection of the Italian ultimatum that marked the beginning of Greek involvement in WWII. Hours after the the Greek dictator Metaxas said ‘no’ to Italian forces occupying Greece, they invaded across the northern border near Albania.
Greece’s resistance to fascism is celebrated every year as a national holiday (though usually without discussion that the individual who said ‘no’ was himself a dictator..). Schools are closed and there are parades, and it turns out the waterfront of Spetses is a wonderful setting to watch the festivities.
P.S. See posts from a trip to Spetses in Autumn 2011 (!!) here: in four parts ! This trip was in early September, when we attended the island’s annual celebration of the ‘Armata,’ which commemorates the Greek revolutionaries who used fireships to torch Ottoman vessels and win a major naval victory during the War of Independence.