Picteresque islands close to Athens

Time to welcome summer! Enjoy a relaxing weekend away from the city of Athens. Check out the most picteresque island destinations near Attica for you who love the sea, for you who love greek islands, summer, sun, local people, local traditional food and want to make the most out of your visit in Greece. I present my favorite islands just a few hours away from Athens. Which one will you choose for your first summer trip?

1. Hydra

The most majestic island of Argosaronikos leaves aside the cars and anything that makes noise and lets you enjoy your walks on the paved cobbled paths on foot or on a… cone. Walk through the narrow streets of the island, admire the beautiful, well-preserved mansions, climb to the highest alleyways and reach Kontylenia or the Monastery of Prophet Elias for unobstructed views. The first dives will be (Hydra is not famous for its beaches) at the unique sandy beach of Mandraki, or at the rocky Plakes of Vlychos and Kaumithi, reaching them by sea taxi or boat.

2. Spetses

The cosmopolitan island of Argosaronikos welcomes you in its historic alleys, where the captains and the picturesque houses proudly rise through the new and old harbor respectively. You will be introduced to the history of the island at the Museum of Spetses and the House of Bouboulina, you will ride along blooming courtyards and tour the chapels. Enjoy the experience of cycling in the harbor, where you will also find no cars.

3. Tzia – Kea – Hydrusa

It is one of the closest Cycladic islands to Athens. Today is called Kea, but it was called Hydrusa. If you want a quiet life and a vacation without crowds, then you have to stay in the northeastern side, and if you want to enjoy a lazy vacation you have to go to Vourkari. The most famous beaches of Tzia are Spathi, Otzias, Gialiskari, Poisses, Woods, and Koundouros. As for the food, do not forget to try traditional dishes such as pashpalas (small pieces of pork) cooked with tomatoes and eggs.

4. Kythnos

Kythnos is a typical Aegean island in the western Cyclades. Along with Tzia they are the closest islands to Athens, which makes them ideal for weekend getaways throughout the whole year. The sea here is so clean that you will see fishermen and families at the same time swimming next to the ships that go over.  It is a wonderful residential complex with windmills, arches and stegs, small squares, picturesque chapels and houses, paved alleys and colored doors.

 

5. Agistri

Agistri is 55 minutes from Piraeus, making it a great destination for small getaways. It can be quite small but it has fantastic beaches and it is also worth renting bikes in order to learn the island. Aegina is too close to Agistri, so you can visit both of them in about 2 days. About beaches i would suggest Dragonera, Mariza, and Halkidiki for the most adventurous. If you are a “free” camper you will definetely love this small island!

6. Aegina

Aegina is one of the closest and beautiful islands of Argosaronikos. The island has wonderful beaches and attractions. If you go for the first time, do not miss to visit the Church of Saint Nektarios and definitely make a city trip with the coach. We suggest you take a swim in the Loutra of Souvala, a small quiet beach with beautiful sand.

7. Poros

To reach beautiful Poros you will need 2 hours with the ferry boat or 1 hour with a dolphin from Piraeus. In fact, there are two islands, Spheria and Kalavria, which are separated by a very small channel of the sea. It is the island that has starred in many films such as Marlon Brando’s film and part of the film “Alice in the Navy”. If you stay in for the night Poros is built amphitheatrically so you will not have a difficulty finding a very good room with great view.


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