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Islands Near Athens

The Islands of the Saronic Gulf

The Greek Islands of Aegina, Angistri, Poros, Hydra and even Spetses are close enough to Athens to go to for the day either by ferry, flying-dolphin or on the Saronic Island Cruise

Aegina

Harbor of Aegina, Greece If you stand on the Acropolis or the roof of your hotel and look towards the sea you will notice an island a few miles off the coast. That is Aegina, a city state in it's own right in ancient times and at times a visible thorn in the side of classical Athens. To get there take the metro to Pireaus and cross the street. Walk to your left past the buildings on the peninsula that juts into the harbor until you come to the boats that look like D-day landing craft painted white. Find the next one to Aegina. They run very frequently. It will take you to the main town on the island, or you can take one of the boats to Agia Marina on the other side of the island. When you get off the boat just take a walk around and get to know the place. there are lots of places to eat and drink and there are beaches at Agia Marina and on both sides of the port. You can also go on to the island of Angistri, the village of Methona on the Peleponisos or the island of Poros, all within day-trip distance of Athens. Go in the morning, have lunch, swim and explore in the afternoon, have dinner and take an evening boat back.
See
www.greektravel.com/greekislands/aegina for more detailed information.

For my step by step introduction to visiting a Greek Island from Athens, where I have just by chance used Aegina as my sample island go to How to Visit A Greek Island

Poros

Poros, Greece If I as going to live in Greece and had to work in Athens, this is where I might make my home. By the same token, if I was going to visit Athens and wanted to see the sites and do the things one is supposed to do when visiting Athens, but I did not want to stay in the city, I would stay here. Poros is simply beautiful, with pine forests that come right down to the beaches, excellent restaurants, cafe life, and really nice hotels that won't break your budget. The island is about 45 minutes from Pireaus with frequent ferry and Flying Dolphin service so you can easily make connections to other islands or come into Athens for the day. You could leave your hotel and be walking on the Acropolis in less then 90 minutes. There are days in Athens where it takes longer to get there from the Hilton. Poros is also a 3 minute boatride from the Peloponessos. If the idea of commuter tourism appeals to you then take a look at www.greektravel.com/greekislands/poros

Hydra

Hydra, Greece You can even spend the day on the beautiful island of Hydra, in a class of it's own as far as the islands go, particularly those close to Athens. There are no automobiles on the island, only donkeys for hauling luggage, food, supplies and building materials up the stepped streets of an amphitheater like village. Former home of Leonard Cohen and jet-setter haven. Few beaches but who cares? Magnificent village and swimming off the rocks is fine. Cafes on waterfront are for people- watching. For good inexpensive food search the back-streets or walk down the coast. To go there wake up early and take a cab to the Flying Dolphins dock in Pireaus. Buy your ticket either in advance or through your travel agent , or from the ticket booth in Pireaus. They run fairly frequently, usually one every hour or two. Be sure to look at the schedule and buy your return ticket when you arrive in Hydra if you haven't gotten it in advance. See www.greektravel.com/greekislands/hydra for more detailed information .

Spetses

The island of Spetses is a little further but if you leave early anough you can still do it as a day trip. This island was made famous in John Fowles'classic The Magus. Beautiful beaches and pine forests and like Hydra, no cars allowed, but unlike Hydra they do allow motorbikes and that is one of the drawbacks of Spetses, unless you are riding one of course.  For more on Spetses see www.greektravel.com/greekislands/spetses

Angistri

Beach at Angistri Angistri is a small island near Aegina with beautiful sandy beaches and a devoted following. Famous for being one of the first places in Greece to experiment with naturalism, or in plain English it was one of the first islands to have a nudist beach, and in fact it still does. Some nice tavernas and the famous Agistriclub Hotel , a favorite for people who have made a career of visiting Greece every summer, make Angistri an excellent place to stay and still be able to zip into Athens to see the Acropolis. The far side of the island is mostly agricultural and in the village of Limineria, named after it's lake, the inhabitants devote themselves mostly to farming and fishing. These islands near Athens are also a good choice for the winter months when weather is unpredictable and you don't want to be too far from Athens.
See my review of Angistri at
www.greektravel.com/greekislands/angistri

Saronic Island Cruises

You can make it easy on yourself and do the Saronic Gulf Day-cruise which is very affordable. This way you will stop at all the islands and your only responsibility is getting on the boat. The boat has a bar, food, music and you will most likely make friends on board. See www.greecetravel.com/cruise/saroniccruise

Sailboat and Yacht Charters

One of the best ways to the see the Saronic Gulf islands is by sailboat or yacht. These islands are close enough to Athens to make sailing there easy and close enough to each other and the mainland so that you don't have to spend all day getting from one place to another. You can also explore the Peloponessos and find some amazing undiscovered beaches and tiny ports.
For more information see
www.charterayachtingreece.com

See also daytrips by land , the Argolis, Beaches of Athens  

Hotel Attalos, Athens

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