Like most summers, we are all searching for good weekend getaway to escape the hustle of the city. Luckily, if you are in Athens you have the Saronic Islands! These group of islands are just a short ferry ride away and each one has its own attraction and feel. Hydra, for its beautiful architecture and artistic vibe, Spetses for its elegant mansions and touch of luxury, and lastly Aegina, a family friendly island.
Hydra – A Romantic Old-timey Escape
The island of Hydra is only an hour and thirty minutes away from Athens, making it a perfect place to spend a weekend away. The one word that comes to mind when thinking of Hydra is tradition: beautiful stone-built houses and twisty cobbled streets give the island some character.
Perhaps one of the most striking features of this small island however is the distinct lack of cars! Cars are banned on the island, and donkeys are relied on as one of the main modes of transportation. Most of the time, people just walk through the sleepy port town.
Visit the many beaches on the island to get a beautiful tan before coming back to Athens. Or, take a picturesque walk from the small fishing village of Kamini to the main town of Hydra Harbour.
One thing is certain: you’ll want to follow the superstition of throwing a coin off the ferry as you leave the island to guarantee you’ll be back!
Spetses – An Upscale and Glamourous Getaway
Blink away a couple hours on a ferry and you’ll find yourself on the luxurious shores of Spetses. You’ve made it – and one of the main attractions of the island is at your fingertips! Dapia and the town of Spetses are stunningly unique architecturally, with a Venetian twist.
Take a stroll around and have a look at the jaw-dropping mansions of Spetses Town. Stop for a bite to eat at one of the many gourmet and delicious restaurants found here before popping your head into a world-class cocktail bar for a great end to the evening.
On your second day here, relax on lovely Agia Paraskevi beach and enjoy clean waters and green surroundings. Visit Spetses museum, housed in a stunning mansion, to learn more about this small but influential island. Then, move on to the old harbor and take a romantic
Aegina – The Perfect Combination of Sun and Fun
Aegina is a gem of an island only 40 minutes away from Athens. Aegina Town is beautiful and full of Neoclassical buildings giving it a great architectural twist. Little shops with unique knick-knacks and restaurants line the harbour, inviting residents and visitors alike to take a peaceful evening stroll.
Visit Aphea Temple for a beautiful view which dates back to 500 BC. Widely considered the best-preserved temple in Greece, it’s definitely worth a visit! Then, make your way to Perdika, a smaller seaside town which boasts delicious fresh seafood and a simple way of life.
From there, you can take a relaxing boat ride to Moni, a small uninhabited island with one of the nicest beaches to be found this close to Athens! Have dinner at the only taverna on the island and head back to Aegina to party the night away!