Best Greek Island Day Trips from Athens

We’ve rounded up our top five Greek Island day trips from Athens for 2024!  

The allure of Athens is undeniable. Filled with history, culture, and culinary delights on every corner, you could easily spend weeks in the capital and still have lots more to explore. But for those searching for a quick Greek island escape, there are several options easily accessible by ferry. 

So whether you’re looking for a memorable day trip or the next destination to continue your SS24 Greece holiday, these spots are all within two hours of Athens. 


If you want to spend some time in a cosmopolitan and chic setting, Hydra is the perfect choice. Known for its vibrant arts scene, the island attracts artists, designers, writers, and musicians from all around the world. Think striking stone-built houses, quaint narrow cobblestone streets, secluded coves, and a rugged coastline perfect for a quick dip! Visitors can also spend the day exploring the town’s beautiful waterfront promenade while enjoying some fresh seafood and local wine at one of the many restaurants or all-day bars.

Ferry tips: Ferries to Hydra from Athens depart from the port of Piraeus and take around 1.5 hours with high-speed services. 


If you’d like to explore a more authentic side of the Cycladic islands, Andros is the ideal place! Featuring stunning beaches, secluded waterfalls, and picturesque villages, it’s an ideal location for swimming, hiking, and eating! Keep in mind it’s a huge island (the second largest of the Cyclades), so if you are only planning on spending a day, we recommend you head straight to the Chora where you can explore the neoclassical mansions, museums, cafes, restaurants and bakeries. Neiborio Beach is located on the left side of town just a few metres from the main street – so you can easily fit in a swim before departing! 

Ferry tips: Ferries from Athens to Andros depart from Rafina Port and take around 1 hour with the high-speed services.


If you love rugged landscapes and a relaxed atmosphere, Kea should be at the top of your list! Retaining its authentic charm, Kea is the closest Cycladic island to Athens and one of the most popular among locals looking for a quick island escape. Spend the day enjoying local cuisine and the island’s lovely delicacies, then make your way over to Sikamia beach for a refreshing swim before catching the sunset at the main town of Ioulida, which overlooks the Aegean. 

Ferry tips: Ferries to Kea from Athens depart from the port of Lavio and take around 1 hour. 


With up to 30 ferries crossing per day from Athens to Aegina, this is by far one of the most popular day trips from the capital! Aegina is ideal for those looking for a jam-packed day filled with good food, great swimming, and impressive ancient monuments along the way. Known for its wonderful landscapes and traditional villages, Aegina is also home to the sanctuary of Aphaia, one of the best-preserved ancient temples in Greece, which offers breathtaking views of the entire island. And don’t leave before you get your hands on some of the locally grown pistachios – known as some of the best in the world! 

Ferry tips: The ferry from Athens to Aegina leaves from the port of Piraeus and takes around 40 minutes on the high-speed ferry. 


Slowly becoming more and more well-known thanks to its beautiful beaches, impressive hiking trails, and relaxing atmosphere, Kythnos is a great island to explore traditional Cycladic architecture, Byzantine churches, and cobblestoned alleyways that are perfect for an afternoon stroll. Make sure you swim at Kolona or Agios Sostis Beach before heading over to the Castle of Oria where you can take in the stunning views of the Aegean Sea! And also try some of the local seafood – it’s as fresh as it gets! 

Ferry tips: Travel from Athens to Kythnos by ferry from the port of Piraeus or Lavrio – the high-speed ferries will get you there in around 1.5 hours. 

Featured Image Courtesy of YFES Kythnos

Four Best Springtime Day Trips from Athens

Athens in the spring is an idyllic destination for tourist-free ramblings to parks, museums, neighbourhoods and restaurants. Add the fact that within less than two hours you can hop into a car, bus, or boat and reach somewhere very special for a lovely day trip and you’ve got a winner! Here we put the spotlight on our four favourite places to explore in a day.

Cape Sounio

Head for the southernmost tip of Attica and walk up to the 5th C B.C. Doric Temple of Poseidon, God of the sea, towers on an acropolis with astounding views of the sea on three different sides. Though to be constructed according to Sacred Geometry and according to the metaphysically minded to be positioned exactly under four stars that are the ‘portals of the Universe’ the temple has enchanted thousands upon thousands of visitors throughout the ages, including Lord Byron, who carved out his name on one of the temple’s doorposts. Only around a 50-minute drive from Athens, Sounio is an ideal destination for a sunny springtime day trip. Spend the day by the sea enjoying coffee or a seafood lunch at one of the fish taverns of Lavrio town with its pretty marina and walk up to Temple just before sunset. To explore the surrounding area, head along the Ethnikos Drimos forested road parallel to the road from Sounio to Lavrio and traipse the many paths to come across chapels, ancient wells and a huge crater called ‘Chaos’. 


In just 40 minutes on a flying dolphin vessel, you’ll find yourself on the pretty, historical and culturally charming Saronic island of Aegina, famous for its delicious local pistachio variety (make sure you try the unforgettable pistachio ice cream sold at the port). Spend the day wandering through the town or take a horse-drawn carriage ride and enjoy views of the sea as you chow down on fresh fish and ouzo. Right outside scenic Aegina Town, with its attractive neoclassical architecture, visit the Temple of Aphaia, one of Greece’s most important ancient sites. Also, within walking distance from the centre of town is the Christos Kapralos Museum, the old studio of one of Greece’s most famous sculptors. To get a feeling of local culture, visit the Orthodox church of Agios Nektarios, dedicated to Greece’s first modern saint and patron saint of Aegina. Explore the villages of Agia Marina and especially Perdika in the southwest part of the island, where you’ll feel you’ve teleported to the Cyclades because of the picturesque, whitewashed houses and streets decorated with colourful flowers. From Perdika you can hop onto a boat for a 10-minute ride to Moni islet where you can admire protected animal inhabitants, including peacocks and deer, and the emerald waters that surround it. Don’t miss out on Paleochora, the island’s ancient capital, an old Byzantine town where you’ll see the remnants of 38 chapels. Also well worth a visit is the archaeological site of Kolona, characterised by the Doric column and the remains of the Temple of Apollo.

Acro Corinth & Ancient Corinth

On your way to these two beautiful and important historical destinations stop at the Corinth Canal, a narrow canal (around 7km across and 8m deep) that marks you’ve started your journey into the Peloponnese region. A strategic trading spot in ancient times, the canal connected the Ionian and Aegean seas. In the modern city of Corinth, you’ll find ancient (chiefly Roman) ruins among streets, tourist shops and eateries. Visit Ancient Corinth, where the likes of Pausanias, and St Paul, who taught the gospel of Christ have trodden. At the ancient site, admire the seven remaining columns of the Temple of Apollo, the North Market, the South Stoa, Lechaion Road, and the theatre and the Asklepion. Just half an hour’s drive away, you’ll reach Acrocorinth, especially lush and photographable in springtime, with increasingly wondrous views as you rise higher and higher up the hill, stopping to explore Medieval and Ottoman fortifications. The Natura 200 habitat of 540m-high Acrocorinth is an excellent place to trek uphill to take in spanning views of ancient Corinth and the sprawling Peloponnesian landscapes all around. From here, drive to Lake Stymphalia to enjoy even more natural beauty with ancient roots.


South of Corinth (and two hours drive from Athens) is Nafplio, the first capital of modern Greece and one of the country’s most quaint destinations. With a perfect combination of seaside life, neoclassical Venetian architecture and labyrinthine paved roads, Ottoman and Byzantine buildings, including the fortress of Palamidi (find out for yourself; is it really a whopping 999 steps to reach up there?) that crowns the town, it makes for a dreamy day trip. Explore the Old Town with Syntagma Square and Old Admirals Square, chic little stores lining the Great Road, cafes and restaurants, and don’t miss out on the Archaeological Museum, the Byzantine Church of the Virgin Mary’s Birth, the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation Museum, the Old Mosque on Syntagma Square and the Palace of Justice.