Greece has over 3000 islands, about 200 of them inhabited. Each one has its very distinct character and beauty, and of cause every islander believes, that his island is the most special, the most beautiful of them all. I am no exception. Poros has fascinated me when I first lay eye on it, and with the time passing I have come to like it even more each time I am returning back. Poros makes me feel at home, comfortable and at ease, its atmosphere fills me with energy and it seems to store for me an endless variety of new impressions, discoveries and revelations.
One of the little different things about Poros, for instance, was the fact that it is a “male” island in Greek language, whereas islands usually have a female gender. It seemed funny until I discovered that “o Poros” means “the pass way”, the sea passage, which is formed between two small islands, Sfairia (female) and Kalavria (female), and the Peloponnesian main land. This sea passage, originally caused by volcanic activity, is indeed an important feature, offering - apart from outstanding beauty - protection and safety.
As a matter of fact Poros has been an asylum, a refugee through the ages. Already during the Persian Wars the Athenians hid their women, children and elder people on the island.
The important ancient Sanctuary of Poseidon on Kalavria (www.kalaureia.org/en/kalaureia_in_the_present), where some material show activity already since the Late Mycenean times (1200-1100 BC) had been a place of asylum offering protection to those in need.
In modern times as well, especially during the last two centuries, refugees from Constantinople and immigrants from northern Balkans found shelter and a new home on the island. And so did quite some foreigners, who came as tourists but decided to stay, thus giving Poros a cosmopolitan touch.
Beautiful, romantic Poros island has maintained its authenticity. Poros town is a lovingly preserved historical little town with its buildings protected by cultural heritage laws. It's natural and architectural beauty has inspired a number of poets and writers. Poros' unique mixture of intellectual, urbane, and rural culture with its strong affinity for music and dance can be felt everywhere, whether strolling through the narrow paths of Poros town or simply relaxing in one of the many little cafes and bars that dot the seaside.
During each of the seasons Poros leads a different way of life. In summer, Poros town is bustling with life 24 hours a day. Getting together and watching the scene in the local open air bars and cafes is the favorite sport of summer. In spring and autumn the pace slows to its native, leisurely rhythm. During winter, Poros is a place for retreat: the perfect place to write, to withdraw from the routine of life, to meditate over new directions, or just to take time out. When you sit – let’s say - in the cozy living room of Terrace Apartment overlooking the bay of Poros, life becomes simple.
A few words
“...Poros is a most enchanting arrangement, obviously designed by demented Japanese children with the aid of Paul Klee and Raoul Duffy. A child’s box of bricks that has been rapidly and fluently set up against a small shoulder of headland which holds the wind in thrall, it extends against the magical blue skyline its long herbaceous border of brilliant colours, hardly quite dry as yet; the moisture trembles with the cloud-light on the wet paint of the houses, and the changing light dapples it with butterflies’ wings. As the harbor curves round, everything seems to move on a turntable hardly bigger than the hurdy-gurdy of a funfair, and you have the illusion that without getting off the ship you can lean over the rail and order an ouzo. And this sense of proximity is increased so that you seem to be sailing down the street with the inhabitants walking in leisurely fashion alongside the ship. You feel that finally they will lay friendly hands upon the ropes and bring it slowly to a halt... It is not possible to exaggerate the charm of this little Aegean nook and the sense of elation it conveys… It is the happiest place I have ever known.”
Lawrence Durrell, 1978, “The Greek Islands”