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If you are looking for a break from sightseeing in Athens, Greece, fear not – there are plenty of gorgeous Greek islands close to the capital that make for the perfect island getaways. Not only is it convenient to get to, but each island offers a range of interesting things to do and see. Here are the best Greek islands to visit near Athens:
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8 Greek Islands to Visit Close to Athens
Hydra is one of the most beautiful islands near Athens. From the port of Piraeus, it takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes by speedboat or 2 hours by ferry to get there. What sets this island apart from the rest is that there are no motor vehicles on the island so all forms of transport must be done by boat, foot or donkey. Visitors will find plenty to keep themselves occupied; they can walk around the island admiring the elegant stone mansions, relax on beautiful crystal-water beaches, climb up to the bastions and explore the delightful fishing town of Kaminia.
From Piraeus port, it takes around 1 hour by speedboat or 2 hours and 30 minutes by regular boat to get to the family-friendly, sailing-centered island of Poros in Greece. Visitors can sunbathe on the most popular beach on the island, Askeli, a sandy and clean beach with plenty of facilities or they can relax on Love Bay, the most picturesque spot on the island. There is also the opportunity to visit the Monastery of Zoodohos Pigi and walk up to the clock tower where there is a breathtaking viewpoint.
This delightful island is one of the closest to Athens. It takes around 40 minutes by speedboat or 1 hour and 15 minutes by regular boat to get to from Piraeus port; from Lavrio port it takes 1 hour. Aegina is filled with neo-classical buildings, is rich in history, and is famous for its production of pistachios. Visitors can explore the seaside village of Perdika, unwind on one of the many nice beaches in the towns of Marathon and Souvala, stroll along the promenade and visit the important ancient temple of Athena Aphaia.
From Lavrio port, it takes 1 hour and 40 minutes by regular boat to reach the beautiful and mountainous island of Kythnos. With its picturesque stone buildings, naturally wild beauty, heavenly beaches, and its proximity to Athens it is a popular weekend destination for Athenians. Visitors can explore the traditional villages of Chora and Driopida, visit the most stunning beach on the island, Kolona, and bathe in a thermal spring in the town of Loutra which is said to cure many diseases and health problems.
Agistri is a blissful island near Athens, it takes 55 minutes by speedboat from Piraeus port. It attracts many visitors for its small villages and its clear, aquamarine beaches. Visitors can find rest and relaxation at beaches Aponissos and Dragonera, while the most popular resort on the island, Skala, offers plenty of tourist facilities as well as a sandy beach. The naturist beach of Halikiada is a steep hike away from the town but has gorgeous green-blue waters and lush greenery surrounding it.
Only 2 hours by regular boat from Rafina port, Andros is a Cycladic island vibrant in history, elegant architecture, and greenery. It has many wonderful beaches like Golden Beach and Agios Petros while the beaches of Ahla, Vitali, and Vlychada are only accessible by a track road. The beach of Ormos is particularly great for those who love windsurfing. Visitors can find that the town of Batsi is well-facilitated for tourists, while Chora, the capital of the island, is ripe with impressive mansions and interesting art museums for creatives and admirers of the arts.
The affluent and picturesque island of Spetses takes around 2-3 hours to get to by speedboat from the port of Piraeus. All around the island are elegant mansions built in Medieval times and pleasantly secluded beaches accessible by boat or bus. Visitors can take long walks along the promenade by the sea, stay in lovely boutique hotels, and dine in sophisticated restaurants. Popular activities on the island include sailing, hiking, and visiting the Museum of Bouboulina, a mansion that was once home to the heroine of the Greek Revolution.
The island of Kea or Tzia as it is also called is very close to Athens making it a great weekend destination. From the port of Lavrio the ferry takes just 1 hour to reach the beautiful island. Kea offers visitors sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, interesting historical sites like the Lion of Kea which dates back to around 600 BC, and the arcaheological site of Ancient Karthea.
These Greek islands close to Athens are popular for a reason and will be sure to rejuvenate the mind, body and soul thanks to each one’s charming atmosphere, fabulous beaches and wild beauty. Each island is unique in its own way and because they are all easily accessible, visitors are truly spoiled for choice when choosing which one to tick off first!
Which one is your favorite island near Athens, Greece?
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