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GreekReporter.comGreeceWithin Hopping Distance from Athens: The Breathtaking Saronic Gulf Islands

Within Hopping Distance from Athens: The Breathtaking Saronic Gulf Islands

sardonic islands tours - hydraIt is such a shame when people visit Athens and do the typical tour of the mainland before whisking off to the more popular island destinations like Santorini, Crete or Mykonos and miss out on the beautiful chain of islands just off the shores of Athens waiting to be discovered. The Saronic Gulf islands are quite close to Athens, and most can be reached in an hour or less by a high-speed ferry or on a tour via the One-Day Saronic Cruise which is in service 364 days a year. However, many of the islands are so enchanting that you will find that a few hours or even an entire day visiting just isn’t enough. Also worth noting is that since these islands are near Athens you can easily hop to and from the islands and mainland making them a good choice for visiting during the winter months as well.
On a clear day you can actually see the outline of this island from the mainland, Athens. The trip to Aegina can be done by the high-speed Flying Dolphin or the standard ferry. Once there, this island is perfect for cycling, relaxing on the beach, visiting the Temple of Aphaia above the port town of Aghia Marina and enjoying fresh seafood along the small coastal village of Perdika. In all, a great day trip, but also a nice alternative if you want to visit Athens as a day trip and stay on an island about an hour or less away from the mainland.
This island is smaller and located near Aegina. It has amazing beaches and sparkling clear water. Perhaps this is why it was one of the first islands in Greece to have a nudist beach, which is still open today. The island as a whole is quiet and quaint with much of the less traveled parts being mostly agricultural. The village of Limineria, named after its lake, is made of local Greeks who 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.
Although Hydra is not known for sandy beaches, that doesn’t stop locals and tourists from swimming along the rocky shorelines of this unique island. The waterfront is lined with cafes, restaurants and shops, while the town has been restored and is exactly as it was in the 1800s when the islanders built it following financial gains from piracy and blockade running. Since there are no cars allowed the island, you will genuinely feel as though you are in the 1800s with donkeys passing you by on the narrow walkways. However, if you grow tired of walking, there are water-taxis at your service. Also there are some wonderful seafood restaurants in the village of Kamina. Again, you can go for the day, or stay the night, with excursions to Ancient Mycenae, Epidavros and the beaches of the Peloponnese where there is plenty to be seen.
pros water sportPoros is ideally located for those wanting to be in close proximity to Athens, Nafplio, Myceneae, and Epidavros. It takes less than an hour by ferry from Piraeus to get there, but when you arrive, you will feel a complete separation from the hustle and bustle of the mainland. There are beautiful forests on Poros, water sports, beaches as well as small inviting town squares lined with shops, restaurant sand cafes.
Spetses_horse ride
Spetses is a beautiful island with a long naval tradition, a picturesque old harbor and in the town center of Dápia, tourists can find town squares lined with shops and cafes. There are many beautiful beaches on this island and many are drawn to it because of its romantic allure, as you can take a romantic trip around the island in horse-drawn carriages — a must do when visiting this stunning island. Also, Spetses is a popular destination for sports lovers as every year the triathlon, Spetsathlon, takes place where thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a race of swimming, biking and running.
SalaminaSalamina is one of the less popular tourist destinations of the Saronic islands. It can be reached by ferry from Perama on the mainland in around 15 minutes and was once coined as “the jewel of the Saronic.” Although the island is scattered with derelict shipwrecks, mainly on its south side, the northern part of the island is virtually untouched, as the sea is clean and inviting. There are also many tavernas that serve extremely reasonably priced fresh seafood along the shorelines overlooking the other side of the winding island. Salamina is a great place for a quiet drive on a motorbike or if you are looking for a quiet beach — even in high season.

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