Probably some of you considering Athens as a destination wondered whether in addition to visiting the amazing city, ruins, monuments and museums you can also visit the nearby islands. After all, Greece is famous for its islands – extremely diverse, with great beaches and photogenic views. To our great joy, it turned out that during the May trip to Athens we had the opportunity to see 4 Greek islands. Today we would like to tell you about Hydra, Poros and Aegina. Our experience from Andros, however, will appear on the blog soon.
Hydra, Poros and Aegina belong to the Saronic Archipelago, which is part of the Peloponnese. To get there it is best to take a cruise on a ship, ferry or hydroplane. We sailed on the Platinum Cruises ferry. The cruise was a full-day tour with breaks to explore the islands and lunch on board.
The first island we reached was an extremely picturesque Hydra. The port is very charming and you can see here the yachts of wealthy Athenians. Right next to the port there is a ‘parking’ for pack animals.
Walking along the coast you can also see the clock tower characteristic of Hydra and plenty of cafes and restaurants.
When sitting in one of the restaurants, it is worth ordering fish or seafood. The waters around Hydra are rich in various species, and local restaurateurs often catch what later ends on the plate. We really wanted to try the fried calamari, but we were not sure if it would be fresh. The owner of the place that we chose honestly admitted that they are frozen (the season for calamari lasts from September to October), but the ones that he offers are caught and frozen by him, so they must be delicious. We believed him and we were not disappointed.
Interesting fact: On this island, you can meet donkeys, mules or small horses, due to the ban on the use of cars and even bicycles. Hydra is an island with steep slopes and without an extensive network of roads, locals for the transport use the above-mentioned animals or wheelbarrows.
After recharging our batteries, we decided to climb the narrow streets and enjoy our eyes with the local architecture. The houses are simply beautiful, all kept in one convention and similar colours. Here you can feel the island’s atmosphere very well. Charm adds a blooming, intensely coloured bougainvillaea.
The atmosphere on Hydra allows you to relax and escape for a moment from the hustle and bustle of big city. This is probably why Hydra is extremely popular among artists and poets.
Interesting fact: It is no coincidence that on the island there is the architectural order. It turns out that the authorities prohibit varying from the established scheme of building or choosing a different colour than allowed.
After a two-hour stop in Hydra, our ferry headed towards the island of Poros. Here, to our surprise, the time to walk around was much shorter – only 50 minutes. The key attraction of the island is, like in Hydra, a clock tower. When you climb the hill, you see a view of the harbour and the sea. Although Poros is gaining popularity among tourists, it is not a crowded or party place. It allows you to chill and taste the Greek cuisine (there are many restaurants or bars here). Those who enjoy spending time on the beach will no doubt find their place in Poros, as there are many sandy beaches in the south of the island.
The last location during our all-day cruise was the island of Aegina. Strolling along the coast, in addition to numerous restaurants, you can also see a well-stocked fish market. 2/3 of the island is the area of an extinct volcano, the north and the west are very fertile regions. In addition to pistachio trees, there are also olive, as well as almond and fig trees.
Interesting fact: Aegina is famous for its pistachios, so you can buy various kinds of nuts products here, including ice cream, tinctures, butter, creams, chocolate bars, honey and many more.
As on the above-mentioned islands, also on Aegina, you will find a clock tower, or even two! It is worth visiting the Temple of Afai, one of the most valuable monuments of the Saronic Islands. We, unfortunately, got into a shopping craze (oh these pistachios…) and we did not have enough time for the temple. 🙂
Although you can see various homeless cats on all the islands, it was at Aegina that we came across a centre for caring for homeless animals. For hungry there are bowls waiting with food and water, and for those who are looking for a rest – a house.
Returning to Athens, we felt tired – all day in the sun and on the water is not every day for us. We were happy though, to watch the beautiful sunset. A boat ride is a perfect break from the intense sightseeing of monuments in Athens.
Watch our vlog from Saronic Islands:
Experience with us!
Brought to you by: Julia & Przemyslaw