11 Picturesque Islands Near Athens

Aktualisiert am 20. February 2023 von Athens-Tourist-Information
Athens Islands Athens Tourist Information

The area around Athens is dotted with small, charming islands that are wonderful for exploring.

On a day trip from Athens by ferry or speedboat, you can reach and discover both hidden gems and world-famous tourist attractions within a few hours.

We have compiled a list of the 11 best islands near Athens.

1. Hydra

Cosmopolitan Hydra, about a 2-hour ferry ride from Piraeus, is one of the most famous Saronic Islands and accordingly crowded. The car-free town experienced its heyday in shipping and trade in the 18th century. Today, Hydra offers idyllic nature as well as interesting art exhibitions, as the Greek island has made a reputation for itself in the art scene. Strolling through the labyrinthine alleys, you can explore the charming old town, admire the beautiful architecture of old villas and churches, or take a water cab to the picturesque bathing bays.  

2. Agistri

Agistri, the smallest of the Saronic Islands, is also one of the most beautiful islands near Athens and is usually always visited on day trips to the Saronic Islands. The charming little island about an hour from Piraeus enchants with a breathtaking scenery. The island landscape is characterized by lush green pine trees and impressive bays that invite you to snorkel, swim and dive.

3. Aegina

One of the most popular islands in the Saronic Gulf is Aegina, 25 km southwest of Athens. The second largest Saronic island can be reached after about an hour boat ride from the port in Piraeus. The picturesque island is characterized by neoclassical houses and traditional stores, which offer pistachios - the specialty of the port city - in all forms. Aegina is not only a wonderful place for a day at the beach, ancient temples and old Byzantine churches also await visitors here.

4. Kea

Just outside Athens is the Cycladic island of Kea, a favorite weekend destination for locals. Strolling through the quiet retreat, one can experience the magnificent ambiance and unique Cycladic architecture. Above all, the beautiful, unspoiled beaches as well as the fascinating archaeological sites are worth a visit.

5. Poros

The island jewel of Poros, 60 km from Athens, is a tranquil, magical place in the Saronic Gulf. A fast ferry takes travelers from Piraeus to Poros in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Like a postcard motif, the island enchants with charming fishing villages, an azure sea and narrow streets full of bougainvillea. Even though Poros has now made it onto various travel guide pages, the island is still considered an insider's tip, usually spared from tourist crowds. The crystal clear water of the bays is perfect for snorkeling.

6. Spetses

The island of Spetses in Greater Attica delights with a charming harbor and magnificent beaches, most notably Agia Anarghiri and Agia Paraskevi. Thanks to museums such as the Spetses Museum and the Bouboulina Museum, culture enthusiasts are not left out. You can stroll along the waterfront and admire magnificent buildings and charming churches.

7. Kythnos

Another underestimated jewel is the island of Kythnos, which also belongs to the Cyclades. The hot springs of the town of Loutra as well as the beautiful beach of Kolona are worth mentioning. Authentic taverns, charming villages with picturesque alleys as well as the quiet flair make up the magic of the island.

8. Andros

Only 2 hours from Rafina port near Athens, Andros, the northernmost island of the Clycades, welcomes its visitors. It is most famous for its magnificent and diverse beaches. The highlights of the island also include the Sariza spring in the village of Apoikia, the Byzantine monastery of Panachrantou and the Olive Museum of the Cyclades.

9. Santorini

Very popular are the full day tours to Santorini from Athens. Santorini is the epitome of a Greek picture-postcard idyll and therefore cannot be missed on this list, even if it is further away. So-called high-speed ferries take vacationers from the port in Piraeus or Rafina to Santorini in about 5 hours. The focus of vacationers is the unique Clyclad architecture of the snow-white hill houses and the picturesque sunsets.

10. Mykonos

Mykonos, which is considered a party stronghold, impresses with a legendary nightlife. The tourist hotspot attracts mainly young, party-loving travelers. You can reach Mykonos, for example, with the high-speed ferries from the port of Rafina, which reduces the travel time from 5 hours to 3.5 hours. For visitors who want to see more of Mykonos than just its nightlife, we recommend the day tour from Athens with a guide, where you can learn interesting facts about the mythology and history of Mykonos.

11. Naxos

Naxos, the largest island of the Clycades is an island full of facets. You can find here a colorful variety: from a lively nightlife and excellent food to historical sights, untouched nature and beautiful beaches. From the port of Piraeus you can reach Naxos by ferry after about 5 hours.

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