11 Picturesque Islands Near Athens [with Ferry Tickets & Boat Tours]

Aktualisiert am 9. August 2023 von Athens-Tourist-Information
Athens Islands Athens Tourist Information

The area surrounding Athens is a treasure trove of small, enchanting islands waiting to be explored. 

Whether you opt for a ferry or speedboat, a day trip from Athens will swiftly transport you to hidden gems and renowned tourist attractions in just a few hours. In fact, some of these islands are so captivating that they are well worth considering for an extended stay of one or two days.

On this page, we unveil the most beautiful islands near Athens, handpicked for their unique charm. Plus, we've gathered the most popular ticket options, making your island-hopping adventure seamless and hassle-free.

Let's dive in and embark on a memorable island escapade!

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1. Hydra

Located about a 2-hour ferry ride from Piraeuscosmopolitan Hydra stands out as one of the most renowned Saronic Islands, drawing crowds of visitors. This car-free town flourished during the 18th century, thriving in shipping and trade. Today, Hydra continues to captivate with its idyllic nature and captivating art exhibitions, establishing a prominent reputation in the Greek art scene.

Venture through the labyrinthine alleys, and you'll uncover the allure of the charming old town. Marvel at the exquisite architecture displayed by old villas and churches, or opt for a water cab ride to explore the picturesque bathing bays. 

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2. 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.

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3. 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.

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4. 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.

Popular Ticket Options

5. Santorini

Santorini, often regarded as the epitome of a Greek picture-postcard idyll, is an absolute must-visit, even if it's a bit farther from Athens. Full-day tours to Santorini from Athens are incredibly popular. Another enticing option is to combine a day or multi-day trip from Athens with visits to both Santorini and Mykonos, making for an unforgettable island-hopping experience.

High-speed ferries efficiently transport vacationers from the port in Piraeus or Rafina to Santorini in about 5 hours. The island's allure lies in its unique Cycladic architecture, showcasing charming snow-white hill houses that create a truly mesmerizing landscape. On top of that, the breathtaking sunsets of Santorini are a focal point for vacationers, offering unforgettable moments to cherish.

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6. 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.

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7. Kea

Just outside Athens is the  Cycladic island of Kea, a favorite weekend destination for locals and a hidden gem for tourists. 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.

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8. 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, or participate in more adventurous activities like quad or bike tours.

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9. 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.

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10. 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.

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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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