The islands of the Saronic gulf

saronic-islandsThe Saronic islands are not far from Athens and are considered the ideal destinations for those who avoid long sea voyages, but also seek more economical holidays.

It is a fact that theSaronic still surprises us. But it is also a fact that if you are planing a holiday there you will find everything you need for your summer vacation! Green nature, small sizes, cosmopolitan hangouts and romantic corners, naval states, picturesque fishing villages and clean beaches.

The islands of the Saronic Gulf are a timeless and favorite destination for weekends and last minute getaways, especially in spring and autumn but also at other times of the year.
Aegina, the closest island to Athens and a classic solution for day trips and summer vacations.
The neoclassical mansions of the port have been refreshed, Aegina town is being restored a few, but remarkable new investments add points to its travel profile.

Hydra, the most picturesque island of the Saronic Gulf, with atmospheric boutique hotels in restored mansions, stylish restaurants and vibrant nightlife, is ideal for romantic and secular breaks.

Equally picturesque Spetses, two steps by hydrofoil from Piraeus and β half a step by sea taxi from the port of Costa to Argolida, are a favorite choice of the laity for a stylish getaway, timeless preference of couples and a classic youth date for summer fun, which culminates during the September weekend of the Armata celebration. More low profile, with the picturesque Old Town, the proximity to the Peloponnese and the selected accommodation proposals, Poros has its own fanatical friends.

Aegina

aeginaThe beautiful Saronic island has now been established as a seaside suburb of Athens. Without having to drive, within 40 minutes you will drink your coffee in the port of Aegina! The ticket costs 13 euros with the speedboat and 8-9 euros with the simple ferry.

In five minutes from the port you will go to the important archeological site of “Kolona” where the temple of Apollo dominates at the top of the hill. At the roots of the ancient fortified hill there is a good beach for your swimming. On the road to the village of Perdika (you can also go by bike that you will rent from the city or by car!) Unfold the beaches of Marathon and Aeginitissa where you will find taverns by the sea.

From the picturesque fishing village of Perdika depart boats for the nearby island of Moni with the cleanest shores of the Saronic Gulf. At dusk, make sure you are at the lighthouse in Plakakia to enjoy the beautiful sunset.

 

Agistri

agistri islandNineteen nautical miles, 55 minutes, ie by the speedboat of the line, separate the neighborhoods of Piraeus from the cleanest and greenest shores of the Saronic Gulf. The ticket for one passenger costs from 11 to 13 euros, depending on the ship.

There are not many vehicles on the island as the distances are short. A local bus connects the villages and the beaches. So here too the car is rather unnecessary exit. On the coastal front that connects the two villages of Skala and Mylos there are all services, restaurants, cafes and sandy organized beaches. For quieter you will choose the dives from the rocks in the nearby settlement of Skliri (100 meters from the port of Skala). The scenery on the secluded but not lonely beach of Halikiada is completely different, where you will go following a steep path.

If you have time, take a walk to Aponisos to see the beautiful sunset, swim on the small beach and drink your ouzo in the tavern that looks like it came out of the 1980s.

 

Methana

methanaIt looks like an island as it swims in the waters of the Saronic Gulf between Aegina, Agistri and Poros, but it is not!  as a narrow strip of land “ties” it with the native land of the Peloponnese.

The shortest access to Methana is by ferry from Piraeus, although ferry services are not as frequent as for other islands. However, the sea voyage does not last more than 2 hours and the ticket costs 12.5 euros. Of course you can come to Methana by road and via Corinth-Epidaurus (180 km).

The port of Methana with the verdant island of Agioi Anargyroi where remnants of cyclopean walls are still preserved compose a charming landscape. The waterfront is pleasantly landscaped with taverns and ouzo lined up. A short distance away is the neoclassical building of the hot baths.

Without a doubt the small beach of Limnionas is the best of the peninsula. To the southwest you will find Vathi, one of the most authentic fishing villages of the Saronic Gulf, and a short distance the expansive beach Paliokastro, paved with dark sand. Then an asphalt road will take you to the village of Kameni Chora which is hidden behind the black volumes of lava.

Hydra

hydraDespite the prevailing cosmopolitan atmosphere, the famous island of Hydra will win you over with its simple character, the romantic mood that exudes every corner of it and will travel you through time in the way it knows. Vehicles are not allowed on the island. Only donkeys and sea taxis serve transportation.

Three days is enough to see most of the parts of the island and to be enchanted by its old-fashioned charm. To get here you will need a sea trip of about 90 minutes from Piraeus.

Of course, the historic naval city almost monopolizes the interest with the captains’ mansions, museums, but also its simple island houses decorated with stained glass windows and bougainvillea.

At sunset all roads lead to the “Castle”, an amazing “terrace” to enjoy the sunset. The walk, always on foot, to the picturesque coastal villages of Mandraki, Vlycho and Kaminia is pleasant..

You will swim in Spilia with the rocks shaped for diving, but also in the places Hydronetta and Avlaki. In Mandraki there is a small sandy beach, the same in Vlychos. By boat or on foot you will go to the beaches of Molos, Bisti, Agios Nikolaos and Limnioniza.

Poros

porosIn the summer, at least six itineraries depart from Piraeus for Poros. The speedboat takes one hour and ten minutes to the port of the island and the ticket costs from 14 to 24.5 euros per person. For a stay of 1-2 days it would probably be unnecessary to bear the cost of transporting the car. To the nearby beaches the city bus, but you can rent a bicycleor a motorbike.The city of Poros is one of the most well-preserved in the Saronic Gulf and you will spend enough time to enjoy it.

From the waterfront the uphill will take you to the Clock (Roloi) – a reference point for the city, from where you will enjoy the view of the Poros Channel, Galatas and the port.

West of the Naval Station stretches the shores of Mikro and Megalo Neorio. The pine-covered beach “Small port of Love” ( Limanaki tis Agapis)is beautiful and has natural shade. Next is the sandy beach in front of the old Russian Naval Station.

East of the city, the Blue Coast erases its expansive sea shore and immediately after the popular Askeli. It It is clearly more idyllic on the beach “Monastiri”, with its sandy arch shimmering in the pines.

Salamina

salaminaSalamina or Salamis, is the closest island to the Saronic Gulf to Athens and at the same time the largest in area. Salamina does not claim laurels in the tourist events, but it always stays there, for a quick excursion, for a swim in clear waters, for an ouzo with friends.

It would be good to come here by car. The journey takes just 15 minutes by ferry from Perama and the cost of a driver and vehicle is about 6 euros. Although many fires break out every year, a large part of the island is covered with dense pine forests, while it also has important archeological sites. Salamis was left in history from the famous naval battle that took place here in 480 BC. between the united fleet of the Greeks and the Persians.

The city of Salamina, known as Koulouri, is a modern city with a lot of traffic and intense commercial activity. While particularly pleasantly landscaped is the waterfront where there are cafes and fish taverns with reasonable prices.

The best and cleaner beaches you will find in the southwestern part of the island. Here the pines, the rocks and the small sandy beaches compose wonderful images reminiscent of Halkidiki. To mention the beaches of Giala , Kolones, Kanakia), Saterli, Selinia

Spetses

spetses-islandThe beautiful pine forest, the bright sandy beaches, the stately naval state, the abundant choices in food and entertainment are just some of the reasons we would suggest you to go to Spetses for o holiday. The ferry from Piraeus takes about 2.5 hours to the island (46 nm) and the ticket costs 38.5 euros. Road access via Peloponnese (190 km) is relatively arduous, for this reason the island is not recommended for a one-day getaway.It should be noted that in Spetses there are no cars except motorbikes, horse-drawn carriages and a few taxis.

The heart of Spetses beats in Dapia, the small port. From here you will stroll in the narrow alleys with the island houses, you will go to the Clock tower, you will see the traditional City Hall building or “Chancellery” as the locals call it, you will visit the “House of Bouboulina” and the homonymous square. Famous for its romantic beauty, but also extremely busy is the long walk to the Old Port and the traditional carnagas.

As for beaches, you will definitely not have time to try them all during the weekend. However, it is worth looking for the popular beach of Agia Marina, the shores of Kouzounos, Xylokeriza, Agioi Anargyroi and Agia Paraskevi.