The Peloponnese’s east shoreline and the islands dotting the Argolic & Saronic Gulf waters are popular tourist destinations in close proximity to Athens. Salamina, Aegina, Agistri, Poros, Hydra, and Spetses can offer their visitors memorable experiences that include views of beautiful land & seascapes, impressive archaeological sites, museums, picturesque villages and wonderful beaches.
The island of Aegina is one of the most popular tourist destinations as it is the closest island to Athens (only 16.5 nautical miles from the port of Piraeus). Even though the island is small, it boasts a great number of sights and natural beauties. The island’s highlight is the famous Aphea Temple. It forms in fact an equilateral triangle with the Parthenon and the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, the so-called “holy triangle” of the antiquity. Aegina town, the capital of the island, stands out for its well-preserved buildings. On the outskirts you can find charming little villages with distinctive traditional character, such as Agia Marina, Perdika, Souvala, Kypseli, Agii and Vagia. Aegina is also surrounded by many smaller islands such as Moni, Metopi, Diaportia, Lagouses, Kyra, Dorousa, Spalathonisi, Anonyma that you can visit by boat.
Agistri is a small pine-clad island, with pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters; it’s a popular destination for all those keen on outdoor sports such as hiking, cycling, sailing, kayaking or horse riding. The place is ideal for those of you who wish to take a break from your daily routine, and enjoy some peace and quiet, long walks in the countryside, great food and lovely beaches.
There are three villages on the island: Megalochori, Limenaria, and Skala. Visit them, get to know the local traditions, and taste delicious local dishes. Stroll along the island’s picturesque little alleys, visit the traditional coffee houses and the windmill.
A rich naval tradition and a cosmopolitan island ambience are the defining characteristics of Hydra – a popular island in the Argosaronic Gulf – which attracts every year many personalities and jet-setters from Greece and abroad. Apart from being a popular sailing destination, Hydra is also very interesting from an architectural point of view, as a number of luxury residences, built by Italian craftsmen, are scattered on the island.
You will enjoy strolling about the streets of the picturesque Hydra town and the harbour; take trips in the countryside, while drinking in the amazing views over the Aegean Sea, swim in deep blue waters and savour tasty dishes in the local tavernas. Walking about the island is a true pleasure as it is car-free.
The Poros Strait, and the seaside area of Galata with its pine, olive, and lemon groves surround the picturesque Poros town, where beautiful neoclassical buildings grace the seafront; it’s a place of great beauty! Poros town and the harbour area have been built on the hillside, opposite the shores of Troizinia. The town’s picturesque alleys, Neorio, and Bourtzi Islet are some of the must-visit places on the island. As you stroll along the streets you will be impressed by the neoclassical style of most buildings.
Poros is the ideal destination for watersports and activities such as swimming; visit the beaches at Mikro Neorio and Megalo Neorio, as well as the one at Limanaki tis Agapis (meaning ‘The Cove of Love’). Go diving in the crystal clear waters and sail through the nearby islands and off the coast of the Peloponnese. You can also explore the inland; go biking and hiking through Poros’ pinewoods.
Known as Isola di Spezie under Venetian rule and Pityoussa (pine-clad) in ancient times, Spetses, at just 54 nautical miles from Athens, is a picturesque, car-free island with a unique architecture, naval history and culture.
With its rich history and culture, museums, beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, cosmopolitan nightlife, Spetses is the perfect location for a short-break or long vacation throughout the year. Visit Spetses during September, when “Armata”, a truly impressive re-enactment of a naval battle, takes place ever since 1931. If you are a sports lover, you definitely don’t want to miss the unique athletic events organised every year in April “Spetsathlon” (the biggest triathlon in Greece) and October “Spetses Mini Marathon”, where thousands of participants take part and enjoy running and swimming races for the young at heart!