The Top Island Day Trips from Athens From Ancient Ruins to Lush Beaches


The bustling city of Athens sits like a proud guardian of Greek history. It is a cosmopolitan lifestyle and a gateway to the beautiful Greek islands.

If you’re ready to venture beyond the historic marvels of the Athenian Acropolis, pack your sunscreen, and set sail on a Greek island-hopping adventure.

Here are the top island day trips from Athens that promise to extend your Greek odyssey and reveal a world of coastal wonders.

Read on!

Aegina Island

Aegina Island is the closest island to Athens, making it a perfect day trip destination. It is only an hour away by ferry and boasts stunning beaches, picturesque villages, and ancient temples.

The must-see attraction on Aegina is the Temple of Aphaia, a well-preserved Doric temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. You can also visit the abandoned village of Paleochora, which was once the island’s capital and now serves as a historic open-air museum.

And don’t forget to try the famous local pistachios, known for their unique taste and quality. You can even visit a pistachio farm and see how they are grown, harvested, and processed.

Hydra Island

Hydra Island is a charming and romantic escape from the hustle and bustle of Athens. Its main town, Hydra Port, is a picturesque harbor filled with colorful boats and lined with trendy cafes, restaurants, and boutiques.

The island has no cars or motorbikes allowed, making it an ideal place for long walks or donkey rides. You can also visit the Hydra Museum of History and Archives, which offers a glimpse into the island’s past and its connection to Greek naval history.

For nature lovers, you can take a hike up to Mount Eros for panoramic views of the island or swim in the crystal-clear waters at Mandraki Beach. And if you’re lucky, you might spot some dolphins on your ferry ride to and from the island. Especially if you are taking the day cruises from Athens, where you’ll have a chance to explore the island’s hidden coves and secluded beaches.

Poros Island

Located just an hour away from Athens, Poros Island is a scenic and serene destination. The island consists of two parts, Sphairia and Kalavria, connected by a narrow isthmus.

Sphairia is known for its lush greenery and stunning beaches, while Kalavria boasts ancient ruins like the Sanctuary of Poseidon and a picturesque clocktower that offers breathtaking views.

For an authentic Greek experience, you can take part in the traditional sponge diving demonstrations held at the Poros Maritime Museum. And if you’re looking for some adventure, there are plenty of water sports activities available on the island’s beaches.

Some Athens cruises include a stop at Poros Island, allowing you to experience the beauty of this island while also enjoying a day out on the Aegean Sea.

Spetses Island

Spetses Island is one of the most popular Greek islands, known for its luxurious resorts and vibrant nightlife. The island’s main town, Dapia, is a charming mix of traditional architecture and modern amenities.

One of the must-visit attractions on Spetses is the Bouboulina Museum, a tribute to the island’s most famous heroine and naval commander during the Greek War of Independence. You can also take a horse-drawn carriage tour of the island or rent a bike to explore its hidden coves and beaches.

And for a taste of traditional Greek cuisine, head to one of the many tavernas on the coast and indulge in fresh seafood and other local specialties. Don’t forget to try the famous Spetses almond sweets as well!

Agistri Island

Agistri Island may be one of the smallest islands near Athens, but it packs a punch with its crystal-clear waters and pristine beaches. The island is known for its laid-back and relaxed atmosphere, making it an ideal place to unwind and soak up the sun.

You can rent a bike or take a leisurely walk around the island’s main town, Megalochori, and discover its charming restaurants and cafes. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a boat trip to explore the nearby uninhabited island of Dorousa for some secluded beach time.

If you’d love this stop, make sure to ask any Athens day cruise about including it in their itinerary. This way, you can experience the beauty of Agistri Island while also enjoying a day out at sea.

Kea (Tzia) Island

Kea Island, also known as Tzia, is a hidden gem in the Cyclades and a perfect escape from the tourist crowds. The island boasts an impressive network of hiking trails that lead you to secluded beaches, ancient ruins, and picturesque villages.

Don’t miss out on visiting Lion’s Head Mountain for stunning panoramic views of the island or discovering the underwater world at Kea’s diving spots. And for a taste of traditional Greek culture, attend one of the many local festivals and events held throughout the year.

Egina Island

Egina Island, also spelled as Aegina, is another popular day trip destination from Athens. The island is known for its pistachio orchards and the Temple of Aphaia, one of the best-preserved ancient temples in Greece.

Apart from these top attractions, Egina also offers a variety of outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and horseback riding. And for a refreshing break from the sun, head to the island’s thermal springs and indulge in a rejuvenating spa session.

Angistri Island

Angistri Island is a small and unspoiled paradise located just an hour away from Athens by ferry. The island boasts crystal-clear waters, secluded beaches, and lush green forests perfect for nature lovers.

One of the top things to do on Angistri is to rent a boat or kayak and explore the hidden coves and caves along the coastline. You can also visit the island’s main town, Skala, and discover its charming traditional houses and picturesque port.

Explore the Top Island Day Trips from Athens

Athens offers a perfect blend of history and modernity. But, the nearby islands offer an escape to a different world altogether. From the ancient temples on Aegina Island to the luxury resorts on Spetses Island, there is something for everyone in these top island day trips from Athens.

So pack your bags, hop on a ferry, and embark on an unforgettable Greek adventure! So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your island-hopping itinerary and discover the beauty of the Saronic Gulf islands from Athens.

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