The Greek island Spetses is renowned around the country for its major contribution to the Greek Revolution of 1821, local mansions featuring superb architecture, and beautiful nature. In recent years, the island has gained additional appeal, including abroad, as a result of the Spetsathlon, a major sports event, scheduled to take place May 14 to 15 this year.


The event, returning this year following pandemic-related cancellations in the previous two years, offers a wide range of competitions.

Participants may register for 1-km and 3-km swimming races, a 5-km road race, a 25-km cycling event around the island, and the Spetsathlon’s highlight, Spirit & Endurance, Greece’s biggest triathlon event, scheduled for May 15, a Sunday.

Participating in the Spetsathlon combines the benefits of physical activity with the pleasure of observing the island’s beautiful nature.

“The cycling race, a tour around the island, covers a course that offers cyclists a view of the sea, to the right, and pines, to the left,” Marina Koutarelli, president of the Spetsathlon’s organising committee, as well as the slightly older Spetses Mini Marathon, told

Mrs. Koutarelli has been the heart and soul of the Spetsathlon since its launch in 2013. “This year, following the pandemic-related break, we are expecting the number of participants to exceed those of 2019,” Mrs. Koutarelli noted.

Individuals registering to take part this year include athletes from abroad, especially for the triathlon and swimming races, and, primarily, groups from all over Greece.

“The programme offers a wide range of events. Some of these are appropriate for extremely fit athletes and others are ideal for beginners. As a result, large groups of participants of various fitness levels are drawn to Spetses from all over Greece,” Mrs. Koutarelli explained. “Some participants travel to the island with incentive to compete, while others see the running or swimming races as a reason to enjoy a special experience at a beautiful location,” she added.

The Spetsathlon and the island’s Μini Marathon, which is staged annually in October, are helping extend the island’s tourism season, Mrs. Koutarelli noted.

Turn to sports

The hardship and deprivation caused by the lockdown periods has steered many people towards sports, an unanticipated favourable outcome of the pandemic, Mrs. Koutarelli observed.

“An increasing number of people are now exercising and involved in sports, at amateur levels. People who were not exercising at all prior to the pandemic will be taking part in this year’s event,” the Spetsathlon’s head organiser noted. “During the lockdown periods, many people began taking daily walks, gradually increasing initial 1-km or 2-km distances. Some of these people are now fit enough to take part in our 5-km race,” she added.

One of the Spetsathlon’s fittest participants, Giannis Drymonakos, Greece’s first ever swimmer to hold a European swimming record, set in 2008 in the 200-metre butterfly, has regularly participated in the event from early on. Mr. Drymonakos will be among the 2,000 or so participants expected to take part in the swimming races this year.

Giannis Drymonakos, Greece’s first ever swimmer to hold a European swimming record, is a regular Spetsathlon participant and will be competing at this year’s event /Photo: Angelos Zymaras

“Spetses is a beautiful island to start off with. Also, the excitement generated by the event on the island reminds me of the days when I was competing at major meetings,” Mr. Drymonakos told “Volunteers who help stage the event and locals, who have embraced it, all contribute to this excitement,” he added.

Echoing the chief organiser’s remarks, the champion swimmer noted that amateur-level exercising has risen over the past decade and covers all ages. “I train somebody who is 84 years old. For him, the ability to keep participating in the Spetsathlon, an event staged at such a beautiful place and amid exciting conditions, offers further incentive to keep swimming,” Drymonakos said.

Full programme


09:30 25-km cycling race, Poseidonos Square

12:30 1-km & 3-km swimming races, Agios Mamas beach

18:30 5-km run, Poseidonos Square

20:00 Medal ceremony for swimming, cycling and 5-km run events, Poseidonos Square


08:30 Spetses Triathlon Sprint & Sprint Relay, Poseidonos Square

08:40 Spetses Triathlon Endurance & Endurance Relay, Poseidonos Square

12:30 Medal ceremony, Poseidonos Square

EVENT OFFICE HOURS (Roumani hotel, Dapia, Spetses)

Thursday, May 12, 17.00 – 22.00

Friday, May 13, 09.00 – 22.00

Saturday, May 14, 08.00 – 22.00

Sunday, May 15, 07:30 – 08:00 (bib and timekeeping chip collections only, for participants who have completed registration procedures)


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