Exploring the Greek Islands Near Athens

Athens is a great city with so many attractions, but what about the Greek islands near Athens?

If you're asking us, if they are worth a visit, the short answer is 100%. For the long answer, please continue reading... If you're visiting Athens, don't miss the opportunity to explore the beautiful Greek islands nearby. These islands offer a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and provide a chance to relax on stunning beaches, immerse yourself in the local culture, and indulge in delicious Greek cuisine. From the ancient temples of Aegina to the picturesque streets of Hydra, each island has its own unique charm and attractions. In this blog, we will take you on a journey through the enchanting Greek islands near Athens, helping you plan your island adventure and discover the best highlights of each destination. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to explore the Greek islands like never before.

A picturesque view of a coastal town with colorful houses and sailboats docked along the waterfront, nestled against a rocky hillside under a clear blue sky.
Discover the Greek Islands Near Athens

Located in the Saronic Gulf, just a short ferry ride away from the port of Piraeus, the Greek islands near Athens offer a paradise-like escape for both locals and tourists. From the crystal clear waters and beautiful beaches to the charming villages and ancient ruins, these islands have something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a day trip or want to embark on an island hopping adventure, the Greek islands near Athens, such as Aegina, Hydra, Spetses, Poros, Agistri, Kea, Kythnos, Andros, Syros, Tinos, and Mykonos, are sure to leave you spellbound.


Aegina, the nearest island to the Greek capital, is a popular weekend getaway for many Athenians. The island is known for its rich cultural and natural attractions. One of the must-visit sites in Aegina is the Temple of Aphaia, an ancient sanctuary constructed between 500 and 490 BC. Explore the archaeological museum to learn more about the island's history and discover artifacts dating back to ancient times. The main town of Aegina is a charming place with winding lanes, brightly painted homes, and old-world taverns. Don't miss the opportunity to take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the town and soak in the traditional atmosphere. For a taste of history, visit the town of Paleochora, a city from the Middle Ages that features 40 Byzantine churches with well-preserved frescoes and icons. Aegina also offers beautiful beaches, such as Agia Marina and Klima, where you can relax and enjoy the sun. Whether you're visiting for a day trip or have more time to explore, Aegina is a delightful destination with a lot to offer.


Hydra, located approximately an hour and a half from Athens, is a captivating island known for its traditional character and stunning beauty. As you arrive at the port town, you'll be greeted by narrow streets lined with charming houses, quaint shops, and cozy cafes. The absence of cars on the island gives it a unique atmosphere, allowing you to explore on foot or by donkey. Take a leisurely stroll through the main settlement, admiring the stately homes and museums that showcase the island's rich history. Hydra is also famous for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters. Whether you're looking for a secluded cove or a bustling beach, Hydra has it all. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the convent of Saint Eupraxia and the adjoining monastery of Prophet Elias, which offer a glimpse into the island's religious heritage. With its picturesque streets, breathtaking views, and serene atmosphere, Hydra is a true gem waiting to be explored.


Spetses, located approximately two hours and fifteen minutes from Athens, is a captivating island with a rich history and a vibrant atmosphere. The island is known for its association with Greece's Independence Day and its multicultural population. Take a stroll through the harbor town and marvel at the town's historic charm and newly renovated houses. Visit the museum dedicated to Laskarina Bouboulina, the world's first female admiral, and learn about her remarkable life. Explore the traditional villages and immerse yourself in the local culture. Spetses also offers a wide range of outdoor activities, such as swimming, cycling, and horseback riding, allowing you to make the most of the island's natural beauty. Whether you're interested in history, culture, or simply relaxing by the sea, Spetses is a wonderful destination that will leave you enchanted.


Poros, located in the Saronic Gulf near the Peloponnese, is a popular stop on day trips from Athens. The island is known for its charming port town and beautiful beaches. Take a leisurely stroll through the town and admire the historic homes and the clock tower that dates back a hundred years. Visit the Archeological Museum to learn more about Poros' rich past and discover artifacts from ancient times. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the Poseidon Temple Ruins and marvel at the ancient architecture. Poros is also blessed with picturesque beaches where you can relax and soak up the sun. Whether you're interested in history, nature, or simply enjoying the beauty of the Saronic Islands, Poros is a delightful destination that offers something for everyone.


Agistri, a tiny island located just a short ferry journey from Aegina, is a hidden gem in the Saronic Gulf. Despite its small size, Agistri offers stunning beaches and a laid-back atmosphere. From the port of Piraeus, boats go to Agistri in roughly an hour, making it easily accessible for a day trip from Athens. The island is perfect for those seeking peace and quiet away from the crowds. Spend your days relaxing on the pebbly beaches of Aponisos, Mariza, Halikiada, and Dragonera, or rent a bike to explore the island at your own pace. For nature enthusiasts, Agistri offers the thrill of trekking amid the tall pines and discovering hidden corners of the island. Don't forget to stop by one of the many seaside taverns in the ports of Scala and Megalochori for a delicious bite to eat or a cup of coffee. Whether you're visiting for a day or staying longer, Agistri is a true paradise where you can escape the concrete jungle and reconnect with nature.


Kea, also known as Tzia, is a Cycladic island located just an hour's boat ride from Lavrio port. Despite its proximity to Athens, Kea has managed to maintain its historic character and remains relatively untouched by mass tourism. The island is known for its stunning beaches, charming tiny towns, and rich history. Explore the capital city of Ioulida and marvel at its Venetian fortress and archaeological museum. Kea is also home to the ruins of Ancient Karthea, an ancient city with a fascinating history. When it comes to beaches, Kea has something for everyone. From the popular Korrisia and Koundouros beaches to the more secluded and pristine coves, such as Gialiskari, Kea offers an array of options for beach lovers. Don't forget to visit the Lion of Kea, an impressive stone sculpture that has become a symbol of the island. Whether you're looking for history, beaches, or simply a peaceful retreat, Kea is a great choice for your Greek island adventure.

A scenic coastal view featuring colorful buildings with balconies overlooking the sea, alongside a stone-paved waterfront with tables and chairs arranged for outdoor dining under a clear blue sky.


Kythnos, a gorgeous Cycladic island, is located just a short boat ride from Lavrio port, near Cape Sounion. The island is visually distinct from other Cycladic islands, with its stone structures in muted tones of brown and gray. Kythnos is known for its breathtaking beaches, charming villages, and rich cultural heritage. Spend your days exploring the narrow lanes of Ioulida, the capital city, and visit the Venetian fortress and the Archaeological Museum. Kythnos is also home to more than 170 stunning beaches, ranging from secluded coves to popular sandy stretches. Enjoy water sports, such as snorkeling and diving, or simply relax on the pristine shores. The island offers a peaceful and authentic Greek island experience, away from the tourist crowds. Whether you're visiting for a short trip or an extended vacation, Kythnos is a hidden gem that will leave you mesmerized.


Andros, accessible from the port of Rafina, is a wonderful island located just an hour outside the center of Athens. The second-largest island in the Cyclades after Naxos, Andros offers a diverse range of attractions and activities for all travelers. Start your exploration in Chora, the island's capital city, and admire its Venetian fortress, Archaeological Museum, and Museum of Modern Art. Wander through the narrow alleyways and discover the charming traditional villages scattered across the island. Andros is also famous for its stunning beaches, with over 170 to choose from. Whether you're interested in swimming, sunbathing, or water sports, Andros has it all. With its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and authentic Greek atmosphere, Andros is a great choice for those seeking a unique island experience.


Syros, a picturesque Cycladic island, combines the charm of traditional Greek villages with the cosmopolitan atmosphere of a modern city. The island's capital, Ermoupoli, is a stunning town with neoclassical architecture, romantic hotels, and cafes and restaurants with authentic interiors from the 19th century. Explore the narrow streets, visit the local shops and boutiques, and indulge in the delicious Greek cuisine. Syros is also known for its beautiful beaches, such as Galissas, which offers crystal-clear water and sandy shores. Whether you're interested in history, shopping, or simply relaxing by the sea, Syros has something for everyone. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural tradition of the island, enjoy the breathtaking views, and create unforgettable memories in this hidden gem of the Cyclades.


Tinos, a beautiful Cycladic island, is known for its stunning white churches, winding lanes, and traditional Greek atmosphere. The island is a popular pilgrimage site and attracts visitors with its religious heritage. Explore the winding lanes of the main town and discover traditional shops selling local products and souvenirs. Visit the famous Church of Panagia Evangelistria, known for its miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary. Tinos also offers beautiful beaches and picturesque villages tucked away in the hills. Whether you're interested in history, culture, or simply relaxing on the beach, Tinos is a must-visit destination. Experience the authentic Greek way of life, immerse yourself in the island's rich traditions, and create cherished memories in one of the best places near Athens.


Mykonos, one of the most popular islands in Greece, is known for its vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches, and cosmopolitan atmosphere. Located in the Cyclades, Mykonos attracts visitors from around the world with its picturesque white-washed houses, charming narrow streets, and luxurious resorts. Spend your days lounging on the stunning beaches, such as Paradise and Super Paradise, and enjoy water sports, such as snorkeling and windsurfing. In the evenings, explore the vibrant nightlife of Mykonos Town, with its trendy bars, clubs, and restaurants. Mykonos offers a great place to relax, party, and immerse yourself in the island's unique energy. Whether you're looking for a romantic getaway or a fun-filled vacation with friends, Mykonos is a wonderful island that will leave you wanting to come back for more.

Ancient temple ruins with standing columns on a hilltop overlooking the sea, with a clear blue sky and scattered clouds in the background.

Planning Your Greek Island Adventure

When planning your Greek island adventure, there are a few things to consider. If you're short on time, a day trip is a great option to explore one or more islands near Athens. Take a short ferry ride from the port of Piraeus or Rafina and spend the day exploring the island's highlights. For those with more time, island hopping is a popular choice. With a short ferry ride, you can easily move between the different islands and experience their unique charm. Whether you're taking a day trip or embarking on an island-hopping adventure, the Greek islands near Athens are easily accessible and offer a variety of experiences.

How to Navigate Between the Islands

Navigating between the islands near Athens is relatively easy with the well-connected ferry system. The port of Piraeus, located near Athens, is the main gateway to the Greek islands. From Piraeus, you can catch ferries to various islands in the Saronic Gulf, such as Aegina, Hydra, Spetses, and Poros. If you're looking to explore the Cyclades islands, the port of Rafina offers ferry connections to destinations like Andros, Tinos, and Mykonos. The Saronic Gulf and Ionian Islands are easily accessible from both ports. Whether you're planning a day trip or an island-hopping adventure, the ferry system provides convenient transportation options to help you navigate between the islands and make the most of your Greek island getaway.

Best Time to Visit the Islands Near Athens

The best time to visit the islands near Athens depends on your preferences and the experiences you're looking for. The summer months, from June to August, are the peak tourist season with warm weather and bustling beaches. If you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere and fewer crowds, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of spring (April-May) or fall (September-October). During these months, the weather is still pleasant, and you can enjoy the beautiful beaches without the large crowds. Additionally, visiting the islands during the offseason can provide a unique experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy a more authentic Greek holiday. Whether you're seeking vibrant nightlife or a peaceful retreat, the islands near Athens offer something for everyone, regardless of the time of year.

Experiencing the Local Cuisine on the Closest Islands to Athens

One of the highlights of a Greek island getaway is experiencing the delicious local cuisine. From fresh seafood to traditional Greek dishes, the islands near Athens offer a wide range of culinary delights. Visit the seaside taverns and enjoy the catch of the day, grilled octopus, or a Greek salad with feta cheese and olives. Don't miss the opportunity to try local specialties, such as souvlaki, moussaka, and spanakopita. In the traditional villages, you can savor homemade dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Indulge in the flavors of Greece and immerse yourself in the rich culinary traditions of the Greek islands.

Activities to Enrich Your Island Experience

In addition to the beautiful beaches and delicious cuisine, the islands near Athens offer a variety of activities to enrich your island experience. Engage in exciting water sports, such as snorkeling, diving, or windsurfing, and explore the vibrant marine life of the Aegean Sea. Immerse yourself in the local culture by attending cultural festivals and events that showcase traditional music, dance, and art. For adventurous souls, embark on a boat tour or adventure cruise to discover hidden coves, remote islands, and breathtaking landscapes. Whether you're a nature lover, a culture enthusiast, or an adventure seeker, the Greek islands near Athens provide endless opportunities for unforgettable experiences.

Water Sports and Adventures on the Aegean Sea

The Aegean Sea offers the perfect playground for water sports and thrilling adventures. Explore the crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life through activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving. Discover hidden coves and secluded beaches on a kayak or paddleboard excursion. For adrenaline junkies, try your hand at windsurfing or kiteboarding and ride the waves of the Aegean. If sailing is your passion, rent a sailboat or join a sailing tour to explore the islands from a different perspective. The Aegean Sea is also a paradise for fishing enthusiasts, with opportunities to go deep-sea fishing or join a fishing charter. Whether you're a seasoned water sports enthusiast or a beginner looking for an adventure, the Aegean Sea offers endless possibilities for a thrilling and unforgettable experience.

The Greek islands near Athens offer a mesmerizing escape with their unique charm and rich history. From the serene Aegina to the vibrant Mykonos, each island has its own allure waiting to be explored. Planning your adventure includes navigating between islands and timing your visit for the best experience. Don't forget to pack essentials and indulge in the local cuisine for a true taste of Greece. Engage in water sports, immerse yourself in cultural events, and savor the local festivities. Whether you seek relaxation or adventure, the Greek islands near Athens promise an unforgettable journey filled with beauty and discovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the easiest Greek island to get to from Athens?

The easiest Greek island to get to from Athens is Aegina. It is located in the Saronic Gulf, just a short ferry ride away from the port of Piraeus. With its close proximity to Athens, Aegina is an ideal destination for a day trip.

Can you visit multiple islands in a day trip from Athens?

Yes, it is possible to visit multiple islands in a day trip from Athens, especially in the Saronic Gulf. The islands in this group, such as Aegina, Hydra, Spetses, and Poros, are well-connected by ferry and offer a perfect opportunity for island hopping.

What are the best islands near Athens for families?

The best islands near Athens for families are Aegina, Hydra, and Poros. These islands offer family-friendly beaches, a relaxed atmosphere, and a range of activities suitable for all ages. With their close proximity to Athens, they are a great choice for a family getaway.

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