Porto Heli

PORTO HELI - Distance from Ermioni: 20 kms/20 minutes

Porto Heli is a modern coastal town and a well established resort with natural harbour for both local and international visitors.  Many people have summer homes within the area, as it offers the holiday visitor and local residents a choice of water sports, sandy beaches and nightlife.  Due to the beautiful climate with plenty of sunshine and light winds, the bay and nearby lagoon are ideal for all kinds of water activities.  It is an area of great natural beauty, especially along the coastline with its numerous sheltered coves.  Porto Heli started to develop its tourist industry during the 1980s, as it became popular with package tours, although today it is mostly the rich Athenians that visit.  Being a modern resort, it has plenty of large hotels, shops, tavernas, cafes and bars. There are daily sea crossings from Piraeus and car hire facilities are available in the town centre. 

Porto Heli is located on a beautiful natural harbour, opposite the ruins of Ancient Halieis.  Ancient Halieis was a large settlement of farmers and fishermen and formed part of the ancient Ermionis Kingdom, ruled from the city of Hermione.  Ancient remains are visible on land (the Acropolis) and just under the sea (the communal baths) at the opposite end of the town, next to the new Nike Beach Hotel.  Artefacts from the site are on display in various museums, including Spetses and the Archaeological Museum of the Peloponnese in Nafplio.  The modern name of Porto Heli translates to the 'Bay of Eels', which was the mainstay of the fishing industry many years ago.  Today, fishermen still go about their everyday business, with farming and tourism being the other main industries. There is a good choice of hotels in Porto Heli, which are found along the coastal road leading to Kosta, from where you can catch the ferry, motor boat, caiques and water-taxis across to the very popular Argo-Saronic island of Spetses.

In addition to having the Hellenic Seaways flying boats linking Porto Heli with Spetses, Ermioni, Hydra, Poros and Piraeus, there are a number of excursion boats that operate during the Summer season.  You could even visit the Medieval town and fortress of Monemvasia via Hydra and Spetses with Barbayannis - Tel: +30 693 224 3784 or with Kelly Cruise - Tel: +30 27540 51327 for more information.  Porto Heli has many resident and visiting yachts and sailing boats which moor in the large natural bay.  During the Summer months the bay becomes a wonderful mix of colour and floating shapes, with speed boats and water-ski's trying to make their way through the armada of leisure craft.  Water-skiing, windsurfing and assorted watersports are found along the resorts sandy beach coastline.

Ververonda Lagoon is located on the other side of the town centre, which also offers water sports, sandy beaches and beachfront tavernas and bars.  Ververonda got its name from the Berber pirates who found refuge in the area hundreds of years ago.  The shallow Lagoon was an inland lake until the mid-20th Century when two artificial channels were constructed giving access to the open sea.  Today, the Lagoon offers round the year water-skiing with the Ververonda Lake Waterski Centre, Tel: +30 27540 51691, the first water-ski centre based in Greece, and holds an annual water-skiing competition which attracts athletes from around the world.  In addition to other watersports, the local residents like to bathe and swim in the shallow lagoon as it is believed to have healing benefits for numerous bone ailments. 

If visiting Porto Heli in the Spring, it is worth seeing the annual Ermionida regional Spring Carnival.  The Carnival parade is held on the main waterfront strip and attracts children and adults alike from the whole Ermionida region.  It's a wonderful and colourful festival, if a little chaotic, but a great time is had by all.  Children can play on the sandy beaches which have inflatable water-castles and there's a children's play area on the waterfront.  During the Summer, a visiting fun-fair is found alongside the AB supermarket. 

Please note: There are no official boat hire services available within Porto Heli any more, or from Ermioni.  Most yachts, sailing boats and flotilla charters are available by booking directly from the charter companies based in Athens, Piraeus or nearby Poros.

Location

Porto Heli
Ermionida Argolida Peloponnese
Greece
37° 19' 40.3032" N, 23° 8' 38.742" E
Picture Gallery
Porto Heli - Aerial view of the bay Porto Heli - The coastal town in the distance Porto Heli - Waterfront Church of Panaghia Port Heli - Tranquil waterfront Porto Heli - Main waterfront Porto Heli - Fishing boats in harbour Porto Heli - A typical fishing boat Porto Heli - One of many excursion boats Porto Heli - Sandy beach Porto Heli - Sandy beach Porto Heli - Watersports Porto Heli - Watersports Porto Heli - Watersports Porto Heli - Waterfront Porto Heli - Waterfront cafes Porto Heli - Waterfront children's park Porto Heli - Summer Fair Porto Heli - Summer Fair Porto Heli - Regional Spring Carnival Porto Heli - Regional Spring Carnival Porto Heli - Regional Spring Carnival Porto Heli - Regional Spring Carnival Porto Heli - Regional Spring Carnival Porto Heli - Regional Spring Carnival Porto Heli - Ancient city of Halieis Porto Heli - Ancient city of Halieis Porto Heli - Ancient city of Halieis Porto Heli - Ancient city of Halieis Porto Heli - Ververonda Lagoon on the middle right Porto Heli - Ververonda - Beachfront church Porto Heli - Ververonda Lake Waterski Centre Porto Heli - Ververonda Lagoon - Annual water-skiing Competition