Poros is a small Greek island in the southern part of Saronic Gulf, about 58km south from Piraeus and separated from the Peloponnese by a 200m wide sea channel,with the town of Galatas on the mainland across the strait. The ancient name of Poros was Pogon. Like other ports in the Saronic,it is a popular weekend destination for Athenian travellers.
Poros consists of two islands: Sphairia, the southern part, which is of volcanic origin, where today’s city is located, and Kalavria (meaning “gentle breeze”), the northern and largest part. A bridge connects the two islands over a narrow strait.
Though possessing no airport, Poros is easily accessible from Athens via ferry or hydrofoil. One can reach the island by car or bus from the adjacent mainland at Galatas.
There is local bus service on the island from Poros harbor to the nearby towns of Neorio and Monastiri.
The landscape is very hilly and mountainous. The highest peak is the Vigla 358m in the west-central part. Following the island’s topography and geology, small creeks and seasonal streams flow through steep valleys of the southern and northeastern part.The western and northern part of the island feature smooth hills and shallow valleys. Sandy beaches are restricted to the southern shore of the island, except for a bay in the northern part called Vayionia.
Russian Naval Base
With the Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji , Russia secured free shipping for its navy, war and merchant alike, throughout the waters of the Ottoman Empire. As Russian naval activity grew, need arose for a supply station,and land was acquired at the edge of Poros town. Extensive materiel,coal and food storage facilities were built,as well as a hardtack baking factory.After Greek independence, Governor Capodistrias requisitioned the facilities for use of the Greek war navy, and offered the Russians an alternative location in a nearby cove. The new facilities were far larger,and were used by Russian ships throughout the 19th century. The number of Russian residents of Poros increased and even a Russian school was established. Then as Russian naval activity declined, so did the base and by the early 20th century only a single Russian watchman was left guarding it. It was then granted to the Greek Navy by the Czar but was never put to actual use, and the abandoned buildings were left to decay.The ruins, in elaborately carved stone, were listed as protected architectural monuments in 1989.
In the beginning of the 20th century, among the activities of the Poros inhabitants were agriculture (mainly wheat, grapevines and olives), livestock, fishing and shipping.