METHANA - Distance from Ermioni: 65 kms/1.4 hours

Methana is a scenic volcanic peninsula that lies North of Trizina (Ancient Troezen) and North-West of the island of Poros. It is connected to the Peloponnese by a very narrow isthmus.  Famous for its warm healing springs, Methana welcomes hundreds of Greek holidaymakers every year, but still remains distant from foreign visitors.  A new coastal road links the isthmus with the town and port of Methana, with the first glimpse of the town and port being from the roadside as you approach the town from the nearby hills.  In 1912 the first hydrotherapy centre was built in the town, which became popular among many Europeans who visited Greece at that time, as its characteristic odour of sulphur was used for therapeutic purposes.  In its place, the famous 1930s spa building now stands at the entrance to the coastal town, although it is now in need of modern restoration.

On most of Methana, the thermal waters are rich in precious minerals and temperatures exceed 30°C, even in winter.  Opposite the spa building, a favourite spot amongst visitors is the small green  islet of Nissaki, also known as the little peninsula of Agioi Anargyroi, linked by a causeway next to the main port, where luxury yachts are moored alongside the tiny traditional fishing boats.

At the entrance to the Nissaki causeway there are a number of traditional tavernas serving good home-made food and refreshing cool drinks.  On the islet itself there is the church of Agioi Anargyroi and some remains of ancient fortifications from the classical and archaic periods.  Below the church there are traces of Cyclopean walls from the sixth century BC.  Spartan coins from the fourth century BC were also found on this small islet.  A paved walkway around the islet is ideal for relaxing and romantic evening walks.  Today, shuttle ferries sailing from Piraeus, via Aegina, call in to the port of Methana, before continuing to the nearby island of 'peace and romance', Poros.

Methana, the name of the peninsula in Greek means 'volcano' and during the ancient Mycenaean and Classical periods the place was associated with Hephaestos, god of fire and volcano's.  The town is located right at the foot of a volcanic mountain, which belongs to the same volcanic line with the volcanos of Milos, Santorini and Nisyros in the Aegean Sea.  According to the Greco-Roman historian and traveller Pausanias, the thermal springs in the area appeared suddenly and out of nowhere in the middle of the third century BC following a volcanic eruption.  During the Hellenistic and early Roman Republican period the Nissaki peninsula was also known as Arsinoe

Along the cross-country road, 9 kms West from Methana town, lies one dormant volcano.  This volcano last erupted in 283 BC, and with the accompanying earthquakes, resulting in the destruction of Ancient Troezen.  Visitors wanting to climb to the volcano summit can leave their car at the base, where there is an old bus stop and the road ends.  It takes approximately 40 minutes to walk to the summit along a narrow winding path, with trees offering shade during the hot summer months.  You will be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding sea and islands of Aegina, Angistri and Moni.  However, the volcano 'crater' at the summit is rather a disappointment.

To date, thirty craters have been counted on the Methana peninsula, the most famous of which is near the village of Kaimeni Hora, in the peninsula's rugged North-Western region, which is about 50 metres deep, 100 metres in diameter and 425 metres high.

Along the same mountain road to the volcano, it is worth stopping at the small coastal fishing village of Vathy for a cool refreshing drink.  Traditional tavernas surround the small bay where the local fishing boats and a few sailing boats come to visit and moor up.  You could be forgiven to think that you have just stepped back 50 years in time, as you relax and see the old men on their donkeys, with local fishermen sorting their catch and mending their nets.  Near Vathy, you can find the earliest know settlement of ancient Methana, established around 1500-1300 BC, with the late 4th-early 3rd century BC Acropolis of Palaiokastro located very near to the small coastal village. 

From Ermioni, the best way to get to Methana, via Galatas, is by car, as this will give you the freedom and opportunity to visit the main port and town, the volcanoes and explore the peninsula.  Located in the narrow strip of land that connects Methana with the Peloponnese, at a height of 80 metres, is the Castle of Fabvier, a 19th century castle with four small towers on its corners.  The castle was built by the French general Nicolas Fabvier over the ruins of a 5th century BC fortification erected during the Peloponnesian War by the Athenian general Nikias.  However, you can also get to Methana by sea.  If you take the AERO Speedline or Flying Cat to Poros, you may then take the ferry that calls in to the port of Methana, on its way to Aegina and Piraeus.


Methana Town & Port
37° 34' 50.5992" N, 23° 23' 29.2524" E
Picture Gallery
Methana - The Spa at the entrance to Methana town Methana - The Spa was built in the late 19th Century Methana - Islet of Nissaki and church of Agioi Anargyroi Methana - Large ferry boats call into Methana port regularly Methana - The small rocky islet of Mikro Nissaki Methana - Southern stretch of the Methana waterfront Methana - Northern stretch of the Methana waterfront Methana - The towns central area and port access Methana - Another large ferry calling in to Methana Methana - 'There she blows!' on her way to Poros Methana - View of the town from the road to the volcano Methana - You will have to leave your car at the 'old bus stop' Methana - From now you will climb the narrow pathway to the top Methana - Views of the surrounding islands Methana - A small flotilla of boats go sailing by Methana - At the top of the volcano! Methana - The small village of Kamini Methana - Be prepared to stop for the local transport Methana - The small fishing village of Vathy Methana - Vathy is slowly developing into a sailing resort Methana - Sit in a shaded taverna and enjoy a long cool drink Methana - Time seems to stop still in Vathy Methana - Fishermen mending their nets by the harbour Methana - Time to take the 'children' for a walk