Athens is the capital of Greece, with many sights to see, places to explore, and a rich history to unravel. However, there are also many islands near the Attica region, ideal for daily trips from Athens.
Travelers and locals prefer hopping on a ferry or small catamaran to enjoy a different atmosphere of the Saronic (but not only) islands with their distinct architecture and wonderful traditions. Daily excursions from Athens to the islands are available all year round and are totally worth it. Easter is also a great holiday to visit them and get a taste of the local Easter culture.
You can find the perfect escapade for a daily island trip or your weekend getaway. Here’s a list of the best island day trips from Athens.
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The Best Island Day Trips From Athens
Hydra is one of the most popular choices for island day trips from Athens. It has a romantic atmosphere and quietness thanks to the fact that no cars or vehicles are allowed on the island. The island has a rich history dating back from the period of the resistance of 1821 against the Ottoman Empire. It is an island worth visiting!
While in Hydra, you should surely visit the legendary Bastions near the port and take photos of them. Afterward, head to the old neighborhoods in Hydra town and stroll around the alleys to find souvenir shops, local delicacies, and many spots to relax.
To learn more about its rich history, visit the renowned Historical Archive Museum of Hydra alone or on a guided tour, and head toward the Ecclesiastical and Byzantine Museum to get a taste of Christian Orthodox history.
If the weather permits, you can swim at the wonderful pebbly beach of Bísti, which is organized and offers all amenities possible. Otherwise, go to the historical beach of Mandraki. If you are the adventurous type, swim at Agios Nikolaos, which is a remote sandy beach only accessible by sea.
You can get there from Athens in less than 2 hours by ferry. There are usually seven daily crossings to Hydra from the port of Piraeus, but that depends on the season. The earliest ferry departs at 8:00 and the latest at 22:00. The line is mostly operated by Blue Star Ferries and Alpha Lines. Ticket prices start at 30.50 Euros.
Situated further away, Poros is still on the list of the best island day trips from Athens. It is a green island with pine forests that combines amazing landscapes of untouched nature and a cosmopolitan, ‘outgoing’ character thanks to its nightlife.
Once in Poros, you have a lot of things to tick off your bucket list. First, begin with a stroll around the picturesque ‘sokakia’ alleyways to get to know the island and the local people. You can also go visit the famous Clock of Poros. Catch the sunset at a lovely spot on the island and marvel at the beautiful colors.
If you’re a fan of culture and history, head to the 6th century BC Temple of Poseidon or go to the Archaeological Museum of Poros for ancient history findings and the Folklore Museum for the tradition and customs of Poros. To swim and bask in the sun, head to Askeli beach, where you can also find watersports, or go to Love Bay, organized heaven among thick pines.
How to get to Poros
You can hop on a ferry to Poros from the port of Piraeus. There are daily crossings all year round with Blue Star Ferries, Alpha Lines, and Saronic Ferries. The crossing lasts 1 hour and 33 minutes. The earliest ferry departs from the port of Piraeus at 8:00, and the latest at 21:30. Ticket prices start from 10.50 Euros for a single traveler, but there are also options for vehicle transportation. F.
You can also get there by crossing the small sea strip opposite Poros from the port of Galatas. The crossing lasts only 10 minutes. Schedules vary according to season, weather, and availability.
Aegina is another Saronic island, cosmopolitan in character and ideal for a daily trip from Athens. There, you can try the world-famous local nuts and stroll around to marvel at its distinct architecture.
While in Aegina, you can walk around the Old Town, also known as Palaiochora, and discover many hidden gems. To find out more about the island’s history, you can also visit Christos Kapralos Museum. There are also some archaeological sites of great importance, such as the imposing Temple of Aphaia and the prehistoric site of Kolona.
To enjoy the island’s atmosphere, you can also rent a bike and then ride through the port of Perdika with its picturesque maze of alleys, turquoise waters, and beautiful surrounding cliffs.
Don’t forget to head to Agios Nektarios church, dedicated to the patron saint of Aegina, which is another important landmark.
Aegina is just 40 minutes to 1 hour from the port of Piraeus. You can catch a ferry on a daily basis all year round. Some ferries offer vehicle transportation for those who wish to explore more. The earliest ferry departs at 7:20 and the latest at 20:30. The line is mostly operated by Saronic Ferries and Blue Star Ferries, and you can find tickets starting at 9.50 Euros per person.
Agistri is a small islet where stunning hills of pine forests meet the crystal-clear waters. It is an island ideal for naturists and off-the-grid travelers, as it is a famous free camping spot in the community.
To get to know the island, stroll around Skala, the main port town, and eat at traditional taverns. In Angistri, you can also enjoy the tranquility and clear waters. First, don’t forget to dive into the endless turquoise of Chalikiada beach, totally unorganized and virgin.
Alternatively, go for a drink at Dragonera beach to lounge on the sunbeds. There’s also the option of Aponnisos, which is a stunning, private beach that has an entrance fee of 5 Euros. There, you can marvel at the seabed with some snorkeling.
How to get to Agistri
It is located less than an hour away from Athens. You can hop on a flying dolphin from the port of Piraeus and reach your destination easily. The line is operated by Aegean Flying Dolphins, Saronic Ferries, and Blue Star Ferries. You can find crossings every day, with the earliest ferry departing at 7:50 and the latest at 22:10.
Another island day trip from Athens not to miss is Spetses Island. You can explore a quaint small island with a long history and contribution to the Greek War of independence in 1821.
Spetses has a picturesque harbor with its old-fashioned character. You can get a taste by strolling around, marveling at the wonderful sunset from the Lighthouse at the end of the old harbor, or hopping on a horse carriage to go back in time.
You can even see the houses of heroes from the war of independence, which remain intact, now turned into museums of Greek history. Get to know all about it by visiting the Spetses Museum in the mansion of Chatzigianni-Mexi, and go to Bouboulina Museum, inside the very house of this War of Independence heroine.
If you wish to enjoy nature, head to Agia Paraskevi beach or Agia Marina beach for sunbathing and lounging at the beach bars. You can also go to Agioi Anargyroi beach, where there is a boat to take you to the famous Bekiris Cave with its stunning stalactites and stalagmites.
How to get from Athens to Spetses
You can get there in about 2 hours from Athens from the port of Piraeus, where you can find up to 5 crossings daily. There are daily crossings operated from the port of Piraeus by Alpha Lines and Blue Star Ferries. The earliest ferry to Spetses departs at 8:00 and the latest at 10:00 p.m. There are tickets to Spetses for 38.50 Euros.
You can even go to Mykonos for an island daily trip from Athens! You heard that right! There is an available guided tour to the most known island in Greece. You get to explore the beauty of the quaint Mykonos town within a day.
The guided tour offers pick-up services from your hotel. From the Port of Rafina, you hop on a fast-speed ferry to reach Mykonos and go on an hour-long walk around Mykonos town with the iconic white-washed houses and cobblestone alleyways.
You also see the famous windmills and take amazing photos. Next, you go to the Matoyiannia neighborhood, where you can find boutiques and high0-class shops for shopping. You have a few hours free to enjoy a meal at a local restaurant or traditional tavern.
You can also go on a guided daily cruise from Athens to Poros, Hydra, and Aegina- all in one! Enjoy the pristine nature of the three islands on a trip that lasts about 11 hours, starting from the old port in Faliro.
You get to explore Hydra first, where you can stroll around the cobblestoned alleys or go swimming if you wish. There, you can also pay an extra fee to go on a guided tour of the most important landmarks, including the traditional houses of Hydra.
The next stop is Poros island, with its lush vegetation. Here, you can walk around or eat at a traditional tavern. Last but not least comes Aegina, where you can explore on your own or go on an optional bus tour to the stunning Temple of Aphaia and the Monastery of Agios Nektarios.
During the cruise, you can enjoy a buffet with full Mediterranean meals or grab a drink at the bar. There is live music on board for relaxing or dancing.