Athens is among the privileged metropolises of the world to be situated just a breath away from picturesque islands, Greece’s trademark. There are countless options for a one-day trip -if you don’t have enough time to spend-, a weekend or for a longer stay on the splendid islands of Attica region.
Aegina is the closest escape from the Attica mainland, an attractive destination that retains a laid-back atmosphere. It’s an island steeped in history, home to the Doric Temple of Aphaia -one of the best preserved temples of antiquity. Don’t forget to purchase some Aegina pistachio nuts; they taste great and make a great gift. You will find beautiful sandy beaches to swim, relax and sunbathe. The crowded by fishing boats waterfront exudes a colourful and vibrant ambiance during your stroll.
Hydra is one of the most picturesque islands of the Argosaronic Gulf renowned as the one made of stone with its neo-classical grey-stone mansions and narrow cobbled lanes. It is completely car free, offering very calm and peaceful holidays. The waterfront is packed with cafés, posh restaurants and quaint tavernas where you can sip your coffee or enjoy your meal. For breathtaking sea views, just follow the pebbly path leading to the fishing village of Kamini.
Cosmopolitan Spetses is an island boasting a long naval tradition with its well-preserved grand captain mansions, still bearing the island’s glorious past. Take a romantic trip around the island in horse-drawn carriages and get to know the picturesque old harbour and the imposing Dapia harbour, where the heart of the island’s entertainment beats. During September don’t miss the ‘Armata’, an impressive reenactment of a naval battle that attracts thousands of visitors every year. Before you leave, remember to buy some delicious almond sweets.
Lush pine trees vegetation, crystal clear beaches, a lively waterfront with many shops, cosy cafés and restaurants, a picturesque capital with grand traditional mansions and picturesque cobbled streets, as well as a wide selection of entertainment venues are the ingredients of this quiet, yet cosmopolitan, destination that attracts visitors from all age groups.
Agistri is a tiny, yet charming island, a small paradise with azure waters, pine trees and lush vegetation. There are three large settlements to visit: Megalochori (or Mylos), Skala and Limenaria. Explore exotic beaches with crystal – clear waters and enjoy several water sports or follow beautiful walking routes through the island’s dense pine forest. At Skala, the island’s bustling port, you will find many hotels, tavernas, cafés and clubs, as well as an organised beach, perfect for relaxing and sunbathing under the hot Mediterranean sun.
The peninsula of Méthana with its two steep volcanic slopes is actually a volcano that emerged from the sea! Here you can explore stunning volcanic landscape with dense vegetation, coastal villages and diverse flora and fauna. It’s a popular spa town famous for its thermal healing springs at two sites within the Methana resort, Agios Nikolaos and Agioi Anargyroi, attracting thousands of Greek and foreign visitors every year, especially in the summer.
Salamina is the largest island of the Saronic Gulf, best known for the battle of Salamina (480 BC), a turning point in the Persian Wars. It is located off the coast of the port of Piraeus and renowned as the birthplace of Ajax and the writer Euripides. While on the island, discover the island’s centuries-old cultural heritage, its natural beauty and religious monuments and taste fresh seafood and local delicacies at the scenic taverns on the waterfront.
Situated off the south-eastern edge of the Peloponnese, Kythera Island has always been an important crossroads for the eastern Mediterranean. Easily accessed by boat from Piraeus, the mountainous island of Kythera is the perfect summer destination for relaxing, carefree holidays in a beautiful, romantic environment. Stroll around its narrow pathways and feel the Venetian allure of the island as well as the eclectic cultural and architectural mix, obvious in every corner of this island. Between the islands of Kythera and Crete, lies the islet of Antikythera, an ideal destination for quiet vacations. In 1900, the famous Antikythera shipwreck was discovered at the depth of 50-52m, hence the island’s popularity. Among all the archaeological finds, the famous ‘Adolescent of Antikythera’ (340 BC) and the wellknown ‘Antikythera mechanism’ were recovered.