Discover the Hidden Gems of the Aegean Sea: 4-Day Athens and Island Tour

Athens, the capital city of Greece, is often recommended as a two-day destination by many travel guides. However, my friend and I decided to stay for four days, and I couldn’t recommend it more. Not only did we have enough time to see all of the top attractions in Athens, but we were also able to take a day trip to explore the nearby islands.

On our third day, we signed up for a boat tour that took us to the islands of Hydra, Poros, and Aegina. This was one of the most memorable moments of our entire trip, as we were able to see the best of what the Aegean Sea has to offer.

Our first stop was Hydra Island, which is the furthest out of the three islands we visited. It was my personal favorite, and I found it to be an unforgettable destination. This quaint little town is a car-free, with pathways and breathtaking views that left me wanting more. The island is truly a hidden gem, and I would highly recommend visiting it if you ever have the chance.

Hydra Island

We walked up the coastline and I found these flowers in full bloom. Spring is really here!

A little about Hydra Island: it is a Greek island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens, known for its traditional architecture, scenic beauty, and car-free environment with only donkeys and boats for transportation. It was popular among artists and intellectuals in the 1950s and 60s and is famous for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and marine life. The main town on the island is built on a steep hillside with narrow cobblestone streets and picturesque homes. Hydra was a center of maritime trade and a pirate base in the 18th and 19th centuries.

church in greece

I was so excited to arrive at Poros Island, a tranquil paradise waiting to be discovered. We quickly made our way up to the Clock Tower, eager to take in the breathtaking view of the island. As I looked out, I was struck by the peaceful atmosphere, where locals seemed to be enjoying a nap or a well-deserved vacation.

I couldn’t resist exploring the charming side streets, admiring the cute painted doors and windows along the way. My friend and I took lots of photos, capturing the essence of this beautiful island. Poros Island is the epitome of peace and quiet, so different from the hustle and bustle of the city. It was the perfect place to escape and recharge, and I was so grateful to be there.

Poros Island

A little backgrund on Poros Island: is located near the coast of the Peloponnese peninsula. The island has a rich history that dates back to ancient times and has been occupied by various civilizations throughout the centuries.

In the Archaic period, Poros was known for its famous temple of Poseidon, one of the twelve gods of ancient Greece. During the Classical period, it became a key naval base for the Athenians, who used it to control the surrounding waters. In the Hellenistic period, Poros became part of the Kingdom of Pergamum and was later conquered by the Romans.

During the Middle Ages, the island was ruled by various Byzantine emperors and later by the Venetians and the Ottoman Turks. After the Greek War of Independence in the 19th century, Poros became part of the newly established Greek state.

Today, Poros Island is a popular tourist destination known for its scenic beauty, charming villages, and tranquil atmosphere. It offers visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life and immerse themselves in the rich history and natural beauty of the island.

Our final stop on this Greek island adventure, Aegina is renowned for its succulent pistachios, a local delicacy that’s as irresistible as it is delicious.

As V and I wandered through the charming streets, we stumbled upon a family-owned stand that sold a variety of jams, all made with the island’s famous pistachios. We couldn’t resist checking it out, especially since they offered tastings of their delectable creations. And oh boy, I was hooked on the third tasting – a tantalizing mixture of pistachios and Nutella! As a Nutella fan, I was in heaven.

I couldn’t resist the temptation and bought a jar of the jam. And let me tell you, it was absolutely scrumptious. Every bite was a burst of flavor, and I savored every last drop. My taste buds were in heaven, and I couldn’t help but smile with each bite. Aegina Island, you’ve won me over with your delightful pistachio treats!

Aegina Island

Information:

  • Travel Agency: Adrianos Travel / ticketgreece.gr (apparently, this is the only agency that offered packaged deal cruises that included lunch and the island tours together).
  • Cruise Name: Olympic Cruises
  • Cost: 75 euros per person (w/ off-season discount) including the bus ride. We added 10 euros extra for a roundtrip bus to pick us up from our hotel and then drop us off at the port in Piraeus where the ship leaves. Athens to Piraeus is about 30-60min. via bus and/or train.

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