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The Local’s Guide to Island Day Trips From Athens

Athens, Greece is a popular tourist destination, known for its ancient ruins and bustling city life. But beyond the crowded city center lies many beautiful islands waiting to be explored.

If you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of Athens, why not embark on an island day trip? Here’s our guide to the best island day trips from Athens.

Saronic Islands

The Saronic Islands are a group of small islands located in the Saronic Gulf, just off the coast of Athens. These islands offer a perfect day trip or one-day cruise option for those looking for a quick escape from the city. Here are some of the must-visit islands in the Saronic group:


Aegina is the closest island to Athens, making it a popular day trip destination. Day cruises from Athens to this island usually take an hour, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore.

The island is known for its beautiful beaches, charming villages, and ancient ruins. Be sure to visit the Temple of Apollo and the Temple of Aphaia while on the island.


Hydra is a quaint and romantic island with no cars or motorized vehicles allowed. This makes it the perfect place to unwind and recharge.

Athens boat tours to this island usually take around two hours, but the scenery is worth it. Once on the island, you can explore its charming harbor, cobblestone streets, and picturesque architecture.


Poros is an island with a rich history, beautiful scenery, and delicious seafood. It is home to the famous Poseidon Temple and offers stunning views of the sea. You can also take a boat tour around the island or try some water sports at one of its many beaches.


Spetses, in the Saronic Island group, is a gem for a day trip from Athens. This picturesque island blends history, culture, and natural beauty.

It features elegant mansions, a car-free old town, and a scenic waterfront promenade. Explore on foot, by bicycle, or in horse-drawn carriages for a unique visit.

The idyllic beaches offer crystal-clear waters and peaceful spots to relax. Step back in time at historic sites, savor local cuisine, or soak up the sun on Spetses.

Cyclades Islands

The Cyclades Islands are a group of islands in the Aegean Sea, known for their white-washed villages, iconic windmills, and beautiful beaches. While some of the islands may be too far for a day trip from Athens, there are a few that can be easily visited in a day.


Aegina is not only part of the Saronic group but also one of the Cyclades Islands. As mentioned earlier, it is a quick and easy day trip from Athens, making it a popular option for tourists.


Mykonos is one of the most famous islands in Greece, known for its vibrant nightlife, picturesque villages, and stunning beaches. While it may be difficult to fully explore the island in just one day, you can still get a taste of its unique charm and beauty.


Santorini is another popular island in the Cyclades, famous for its iconic blue-domed buildings, breathtaking sunsets, and volcanic beaches. Although it may be a bit of a stretch to visit in just one day from Athens, you can still take a boat tour around the island and explore some of its must-see sights.


Naxos, the largest Cyclades island, offers a rich Greek experience with ancient ruins like the iconic Portara. Its lush, mountainous interior is great for hiking.

The sandy beaches are perfect for relaxation or water sports. Naxos blends history, beauty, and local culture, making it a rewarding day trip from Athens.

Sporades Islands

The Sporades Islands are a group of islands in the Aegean Sea, known for their peaceful and unspoiled nature. While some may be too far for a day trip from Athens, there is one island that can be easily visited in a day.


Skiathos is a small and charming island, perfect for those looking for a quiet day away from the city. It is known for its pristine beaches, lush greenery, and clear blue waters. You can spend your day swimming, sunbathing, or exploring the quaint town center.

Tips for Your Island Day Trip

Before embarking on your island day trips from Athens, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Plan Ahead

Research the islands and plan which ones you want to visit. Some may require a ferry or boat ride. Make sure to check the schedules and plan accordingly.

Pack Accordingly

Be prepared for a day out in the sun by packing sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. Also, bring comfortable shoes for walking around the islands.

Ferry Schedules and Tickets

Make sure to check the ferry schedules beforehand and purchase your tickets in advance. During peak tourist season, ferries can get crowded, so it’s best to plan.

Stay Hydrated

Don’t forget to bring a water bottle with you as island exploration can be tiring and staying hydrated is important. You can also try some refreshing local drinks, such as ouzo or frappé, while on the islands.

Cash vs. Credit Card

Some smaller islands may not have many ATMs. So, it’s best to bring some cash with you just in case.

Try Some Local Cuisine

Each island has its unique cuisine. So, don’t miss the opportunity to try some traditional dishes while on your day trip.

Respect the Environment

As with any destination, it is important to respect the environment and leave no trace behind. Remember to dispose of your waste properly and avoid damaging any natural habitats.

Explore These Island Day Trips from Athens with this Guide

If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of Athens, consider taking island day trips from Athens, to one of these stunning islands. From ancient temples to picturesque beaches, there’s something for everyone on these nearby island getaways. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable day out at sea. Keep exploring and experiencing all that Greece has to offer. Happy travels!

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