Have you been dreaming of a vacation in Greece? If yes, the Greek islands near Athens are the perfect spot for you! Whether it’s Spetses, Agistri, Poros, Hydra, or Aegina – these beautiful small islands will provide an unforgettable experience to all travelers.
Besides natural treasures, amazing views of crystal-clear waters & picturesque villages, the islands near Athens also have a trail of history waiting for you just off the coast.
From relaxing days spent on fantastic beaches under sun-kissed skies to exciting nights out with locals – there’s something here for everyone. So, if you want to discover the beauty within each island near Athens, please keep reading!
Starting with the most elegant and calm island near Athens, Spetses. It is a tiny island located in the Saronic Gulf, just off the coast of Athens. This island has a rich history to unfold, which dates back to the Greek War of Independence in 1821.
Additionally, Spetses, also known as one of the cosmopolitan islands, was one of the first islands to join forces with mainland Greece against Ottoman rule. Since then, it has become a popular tourist destination for its scenic harbor and traditional architecture.
Things to Do in Spetses
There are plenty of activities to enjoy on Spetses, such as sailing, swimming, snorkeling, and exploring churches & monasteries. Occasionally you can enjoy these activities all around the island at any time.
Evidently, the sandy beaches of the Spetses, one of the best Greek islands near Athens, are breathtakingly beautiful. Moreover, the crystal clear water is perfect for swimming or sunbathing during summer.
However, if you are not a fan of water sports, there is something more fun for you in Spetses. For those looking for nightlife, many beach bars, bars, and clubs along the waterfront offer live music and dancing until late at night.
Another popular tourist destination among the Greek islands near Athens is Agistri island. It is a small island located in the Saronic Gulf near Athens but has plenty of things to explore.
Additionally, the island has been inhabited since ancient times and remained an important port during the Byzantine period. Due to this reason, you can find a number of archaeological sites and an archaeological museum all around the island.
Moreover, there is also a historical temple on the island dedicated to Poseidon, which dates back to 500 BC. If you are a fan of historical sites, then Agistri will definitely fascinate you.
Things To Do in Agistri
As a visitor, you can enjoy plenty of activities while staying in Agistri. Among the most popular activities on the island are swimming and snorkeling in its crystal clear waters.
Additionally, you can also go kayaking around the island’s coastline or fishing off its best beaches. Lastly, there are numerous archaeological sites to explore on the island, such as temples, tombs, and fortifications. Each location on this island will give you a picture of various periods of history.
Poros is one of the most budget-friendly destinations among the islands close to Athens. It is located in the Saronic Gulf and has been inhabited since ancient times. Additionally, this island is mostly remembered as it was once part of the powerful city-state of Argos.
However, Poros has a much more detailed history than one can ever think of. In the past, Poros was known for its strategic location. Moreover, during their wars, it served as a naval base for the Athenians and Spartans.
Apart from wars, Poros is also famous because it was once home to several famous Greeks throughout history, including the philosopher Plato (you can read more about the island’s mention in Plato’s Symposium here).
Things to Do in Poros
To spend your time to the fullest while staying at Poros island, you can do various activities. You can go swimming in crystal clear waters, explore ancient ruins or take a leisurely stroll through picturesque villages.
Also, from the top of this mountain, you can admire breathtaking views of the surrounding islands. This island is an amazing mountainous island itself. Make sure to explore all the greenery around, as Poros is one of the greenest Saronic islands. Here you will also find breathtakingly beautiful pine forests.
Less than two hours by ferry to the south of Athens lies Hydra island, a tiny island. Hydra has a long and rich history in the Saronic Gulf near Athens.
Things To Do
Hydra island has served a much more valuable purpose in recent centuries. It served as a major naval base for the Ottoman Empire during its occupation of Greece. Because of this reason, its rich naval history is still remembered.
During this time, many of its buildings were constructed with traditional architecture that still stands today. If you are an adventure lover, scuba diving and snorkeling are available off the coast.
Aegina is an island located in the Saronic Gulf near Athens that has been inhabited since prehistoric times. It was first mentioned by Homer in his epic poem, The Iliad. Moreover, this island later became a major trading port during the Classical period of Ancient Greece.
Things To Do in Aegina
You can explore archaeological sites such as the Temple of Aphaia Athena or Paleochora Castle. The Archaeological Museum of Kolonna is also a great option for history buffs. Additionally, you can also enjoy stunning beaches, savor delicious seafood, experience the vibrant nightlife, or try water sports such as windsurfing.
Moreover, make sure to take boat trips to nearby islands and shop at local markets for souvenirs and handmade goods. You can also visit religious sites like the Monastery of Saint Nektarios, with its beautiful gardens and chapel full of frescoes from the Byzantine era.
FAQs in Relation to Greek Islands Near Athens
What Greek island is closest to Athens?
The closest Greek island to Athens is Aegina, among the closest islands located near Athens. Located in the Saronic Gulf, it is just a short ferry ride from the capital city. It offers visitors beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and activities such as sailing, windsurfing, and diving.
There are also many historical sites to explore, including ancient temples and monuments. With its beautiful landscapes and rich culture, Aegina is an ideal destination for those looking to experience all Greece has to offer without traveling too far from Athens.
Which is the best island to visit near Athens?
The best island to visit near Athens is Aegina. It’s a beautiful and tranquil place, perfect for a relaxing getaway. Its crystal clear waters, wonderful beaches, and traditional Greek villages offer something for everyone.
Its proximity to the mainland makes it a popular island for day trips or weekend excursions from Athens. There are plenty of activities available such as swimming in the sea, exploring ancient ruins, visiting local markets and tavernas, or just soaking up some sun on one of its many sandy beaches.
From the picturesque islands of Spetses and Agistri to the bustling port towns of Poros, Hydra, and Aegina, there are plenty of Greek Islands near Athens for you to explore.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or an adventure-filled vacation, these five Greek Islands have something special to offer everyone. So why not take a break from your everyday life and plan your next holiday in one of these beautiful Greek islands near Athens?