Poros Island

POROS - Distance from Ermioni: 40 kms/50 minutes 

Poros is a really beautiful island with neoclassical and Venetian architecture, authentic villages and wonderful sandy and pebble beaches.  There are many secluded coves within walking distance of the town, with longer hikes that will take you to the remains of an ancient temple.  Poros is made up of two 'islands', Sphairia is the smaller one and has Poros town and port built around the famous clock tower, easily reached from Galatas. Kalavria is the larger 'island' that has the ancient sanctuary and temple of Poseidon at Palatia, and is linked to Sphairia by a bridge that connects the two over a narrow isthmus.  Upon approaching Poros, visitors will automatically see the large historic clock tower overlooking the town.  This impressive clock tower was built in 1927 and is surrounded by pear and pine trees.

The island of Poros is cosmopolitan and vibrant and has been classed as the island of 'peace and romance'.  Poros Town, the capital of Poros, has a large variety of shops for tourists, scattered around its narrow stone-paved streets, although most souvenir shops can be found on the main street lining the waterfront.  There is a wide choice of merchandise for visitors to browse through, from fine hand-made jewellery, modern clothes boutiques, accessory shops selling shoes, bags and belts, home furnishing shops selling furniture, textiles, carpets, tapestries, paintings, pottery, glass and china.  There are many restaurants, tavernas, cafes and bars which are spread along the harbour front and backstreets.  Poros gets busy with thousands of international and local visitors during the busy summer period, many arriving to the island by yachts and sailing boats, as well as large ferry boats from Piraeus.

Visitors may wish to explore the island, so a good starting point would be at the town centre where one can find the small but interesting Archaeological Museum in Korizis Square (open daily 09:00-15:00 except Mondays) its exhibits include finds from Pogon (ancient name of Poros) Kalaureia and Troezen (Trizina).  On the outskirts of the town, there is the Greek Military Naval facility called the Progymnastirio, which was the first official residence of Othon, the first appointed King of Independent Greece following the Greek War of Independence 1821-1829.  A picturesque church which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is located on a hilltop setting above the sea.  It is inhabited by monks who tolerate tourists, as long as they are discreet in their dress code. You can continue towards Palatia, where the late 6th century BC ancient sanctuary and temple of Poseidon can be found, sadly only the foundations remain.

The Sanctuary of Poseidon was built around 520 BC and was one of the three largest sanctuaries to Poseidon in the Saronic Gulf, after the temples on Aegina and Sounion.  This sacred sanctuary and island was called Kalavreia (meaning "good winds") in ancient times, as well as the adjacent town.  Demosthenes, recognised as one of the greatest of Greek orators, asked for shelter in the sanctuary after he originally roused Athens to oppose Philip of Macedon, and later his son Alexander the Great.  After being hunted and discovered in October 322 BC he drank hemlock poison and was buried within the sanctuary.  The sanctuary was plundered by Cilician pirates in 50 BC, and later sacked by the Goths around AD 396, about the same time that large earthquakes destroyed what remained.  The first official excavations of the ancient Sanctuary were carried out in 1894 by two Swedish archaeologists, from 1997 excavations continued to the present by the Greek National Heritage Board.

Poros became part of the Roman Empire from 86 BC to AD 395 along with Trizina on the mainland.  The island was continually raided by marauding pirates that dominated the Aegean Sea throughout the Byzantine period.  The Venetians occupied Poros in 1484 and used it as a strategic port in their sea battles with the Ottomans.  During that time, Poros had a population of about 15,000 inhabitants, making it one of the largest cities in Greece (approximately 4,000 people live there today).  The Ottoman Turkish period of occupation began in 1715, much later than in the rest of Greece.  Poros played an important part during the Greek War of Independence, due to its strategic position. The first Hellenic military naval base was established there in 1828 and remained in use for the next 50 years, before its transfer to Salamis.  Today, the same facilities are used as a naval training academy for recruits to the Hellenic Navy.

The 20th annual East Med Multihull & Yacht Charter Show was held along the Poros waterfront, from 25th to 28th April 2024.

The cultural festival of Poros takes place from mid-July to mid-August, during which traditional folk dances, live music, shadow puppet shows and theatrical plays are performed all around the town.oros 

Henry Miller, the American writer, wrote fondly of Poros in his famous book "The Colossus of Marousi".

In December 2023, the Greek Prime Minister, Kiriakos Mitsostakis, speaking at the COP28 conference in Dubai, announced that Poros would become the third 'green' Greek island, a GR-Eco Project in collaberation with the United Arab Emerates state-owned green energy company Masdar.  Poros would follow the pilot example of the Greek islands of Astypalea and Halki.  This would include the installation of a photovoltaic park to cover a significant part of the island's annual energy needs, the electrification of the ferry connection between Poros and Galatas on the mainland, the electrification of public transport on the island and the development of the circular ecomony with recycling and utilization of waste.

How to get from Ermioni to Poros:

BY ROAD - You can drive to Galatas from Ermioni along the coastal road, then you can visit Poros by boat or ferryboat from there.   The scenic coastal road takes you alongside the island of Hydra, around the headland and down into Galatas, the journey time being approximately 50 minutes.   Upon arrival to Galatas, ferry tickets for Poros can be purchased from the small kiosk, which is situated next to the ferry crossing-point, and should be purchased prior to embarking on the shuttle service. The shuttle ferry departs from Galatas every 30 minutes.  Tickets cost approximately 1 Euro per person, one way.  Cars can also be taken across on the ferry, the cost is approximately 5.00 Euros, which includes the driver. There are also traditional motor-boats that leave Galatas and cross the 320 metres over to Poros every 10 minutes, or when they are full, the cost is approximately 1 Euro per person, one way.  

There are ample car-parking spaces available close to the ferry boat and motor-boat crossing points.  The sea crossing by ferry takes about 5 minutes, across the 800 metres stretch of water to Poros.  The traditional motor-boats are even quicker.

BY SEA - Tickets for travelling to Poros by sea can be purchased from Pop's tourist office in Ermioni, Tel: +30 27540 31514, prior to travel. Check hellenicseaways.gr/en for actual sailing times.  The AERO Highspeed or Flying Cat will stop at Hydra island first, then Poros.  The journey time from Ermioni to Poros is approxiamately 1 hour.  Tickets cost 23.50 Euros per person, one way.

JULY 2024 - Sailing times with Hellenic Seaways:

  • 06:45 - 14:20  (Monday-Thursday)                                               06:45  (Friday)
  • 06:45 - 14:20  (Saturday)                                                              06:45 - 17:00  (Sunday) 
  • 11:10 - 20:55  (Monday-Thursday)                                               20:55  (Friday)
  • 11:10 - 14:15 - 20:55  (Saturday)                                                 20:55  (Sunday)

Always check sailing times prior to departure, especially during public holidays, as Hellenic Seaways can change or cancel sailing times without notice. 

Contact for boat charter/rental on Poros: Greek Sails Ltd   Tel: +30 229 802 3147   Email: info@greeksails.com


Argo-Saronic Island of Poros
37° 29' 56.1588" N, 23° 27' 6.2424" E
Picture Gallery
Poros Island - The view from the town of Galatas Poros Island - The famous clock tower of Poros town Poros Island - The Flying Cat and Dolphin at the harbour front Poros Island - Many cruise ships arrive to Poros from Piraeus Poros Island - There are many waterfront tavernas, cafes and bars Poros Island - Sailing boats visit Poros on their island-hopping tours Poros Island - Poros is famous for its visiting luxury yachts Poros Island - The different types of yachts moored at Poros Poros Island - Classic sailing yachts in harbour Poros Island - Only 320m between Poros and mainland Galatas Poros Island - The Galatas ferry-boat heading towards Poros Poros Island - More visitors arriving to Poros by ferry-boat Poros Island - Mermaid fountain statue near the ferry-boat landing Poros Island - Some things never change on the island Poros Island - The original water fountain along the waterfront Poros Island - One of the many back-streets with cafes and shops Poros Island - All types of souvenirs can be found on the back-streets Poros Island - Waterfront war monument surrounded by cafes and tavernas Poros Island - Original features can be found if you choose to explore Poros Island - Traditional buildings on the way to the clock-tower Poros Island - Colourful homes and gardens near the clock-tower Poros Island - Time to sail away - and return to the mainland Poros Island - View of Poros town from the road to Ermioni Poros Island - The Hellenic Seaways 'Flying Cat'