Greek Island hopping around the Saronic Islands from Athensby Perry Nastos Hostelbay [ Hotels and Ferry Tickets in Greece ]
The islands of the Saronic Gulf are considered to be diamonds of immense beauty. True value for money destinations. They are located opposite the shores of Argolida (Peloponnese). It is one of the most popular destinations for the Athenians easily reached from Piraeus, as the small distance separating them from the mainland makes them accessible regardless of the weather conditions.
Just an hour from Athens, Aegina will enchant you. This luscious island of Argosaronikos aspires to offer you a series of rare emotions. It is perfect for your holidays even in October. The winter here is pretty mild. The energy of the ancient sanctuaries and the stone Byzantine churches will take you by surprise. When I think of Aegina island that first things that come to my mind are: eucalyptus trees by the sea, Perdika a reminiscent of the Cyclades, the famous pistachio trees and the unique taste of the pistachio of Aegina. The house of Kazantzakis, where he wrote the Odyssey; Nikos Kazantzakis was a famous Greek poet and philosopher who wrote a Modern Sequel of the epic poem we've all heard about. All of this makes Aegina beloved and irresistible for a whole bunch of people from all over the world who chose this island to make it their home! If you visit it you will understand why. In the heart of the Argosaronicos Gulf, you will enjoy pictures that look like postcards. Settings like the white chapel of Ayios Nikolaos, caiques and fish taverns, neoclassical buildings and monuments since Governor Kapodistrias made Aegina the seat of the government of Greece. Beyond the metropolis, you will find an abundance of vintage innovation. In the alleys, you will find several cafe shops with shady courtyards, galleries, ceramic shops, accessories and clothes. As you continue to the old fish market don't miss the chance to try fresh seafood with ouzo. On your trip to Aegina, you will discover the sanctuary of Aphaia above the cave of Agia Marina. The aroma of pine trees, light air, and an endless serenity are what makes you feel at peace. The temple dates back to 500 BC. and is renowned as an excellent example of archaic architecture in Greece. The most historic walk on the island passes through Paleochora. The old capital of Aegina is unseen by the sea because it was perched on a pine-covered hill in order to protect it from the pirates.
If you want to get your partner and go to a romantic destination then Hydra is the perfect place for you. However, you should leave your car or motorbike back as the island is allowed to move only with donkeys. In Hydra, you will have the chance to enjoy the view of the entire Saronic Gulf. Even the Telegraph has included this marvellous island in one of their the must-see bucket lists! Most of the hotel accommodation facilities are located in the harbour of Hydra where you will also find the homonymous settlement and the municipality. Other lodgings are scattered in smaller settlements or villages of the island. The island has rooms and hotels, many of which are of high standard. It is no coincidence that Hydra was considered a cosmic destination for years, while its landscapes appear in several Greek films of the golden age. One of my favourite things about Hydra is the lack of vehicles. On the streets, all vehicles (except certain municipality vehicles) are prohibited. You move around on foot and by using the famous donkeys, which can be found in the port. To go to the beaches, one can go by boat. There are boats that make scheduled schedules and cost less.
You can also use sea taxis but have in mind that this option costs more, however, it is good if your company is big. These boats have their departure spot in front of the Cathedral in the harbour. The harbour of Hydra is surrounded by the settlement which is built amphitheatrically. At the entrance of the harbour, one can see from both sides the protruding cannons, a remnant of the Ottoman domination. This island will surely travel you back in time. Another distinguishing characteristic of Hydra is its mansions that are located around the harbour and the many boats that are usually anchored.
The serenity of the canal and the boat rides is what you will love about Poros island. You will highly enjoy its romantic sunsets from the top of the hill. The cosmopolitanism of the neoclassical beach will astound you. The fragrances of lemon and pine trees in the forests of the island that end up in emerald waters will make you think that you have found your special paradise on earth. Poros is not just a "good solution" for those who are looking for an island escape near Athens. If you are ready to discover all of the above charming aspects, hold on, there is even more to Poros than you can imagine! Plenty of experiences which you should not miss if you want to get to know the beauties of the island of Saronicos that Seferis -the famous Greek poet who won the Nobel Prize- called "little Venice". Start your stroll from the charming dock, walking from Stavros to the west pier of the new harbour, a one-kilometer-long journey full of neoclassical buildings, taverns and small shops. At Korízi square you will discover the treasures of the Archaeological Museum, with findings from the excavations in the island's mythical lands. Of course, you should not miss out on taking a walk around the narrow alleys of the amphitheatrically built town, among blooming courtyards and taverns decorated with bougainvillaeas. Climb the streets of the city which will lead to you to its top, where the emblematic old clock of the island dominates the landscape. Here you will return during the afternoons to gaze at the romantic sunset and watch the sun as it dives into the waters of the Saronic Gulf. Poros essentially consists of two islands, separated by the narrow channel between Sferia and Kalavria. You have a lot of "secrets" to discover in the area of Kalavria like its great forest in Askeli, with the pine-covered slopes where the monastery of Zoodohos Pigi is hidden. You should also search for the ruins of the Archaic Temple of Poseidon of the 6th century BC. As you head to the east side of the harbour there is a little island with a small castle, called Bourtzi, reminding as of the 19th century history since the fortifications were built around1827 from a Bavarian philhellene in order to protect the harbour. You can even swim to get to this islet, it is doable. The best beach of Poros is located in a bay that has an idyllic name "The Port of Love". So suitable since the setting with its emerald waters and the shade that comes from the pine trees making it even more welcoming and unique.
Spetses, a destination really close to Athens, always welcomes us at the beginning of the summer. The celebration of the Armata though marks its end. Spetses is an excellent choice for your September vacation. At this time you will go to Spetses for the Armata, the great representation of the victory of the Spetses bullfighters over the Turkish fleet in 1822. The festivities are set at the port of Dapia by the re-enactment of the naval battle. The celebrations include various painting exhibitions, music and dancing events (concerts, choruses, bands of traditional dances and music, etc.), theatrical performances, the representation of the naval battle, and fireworks. If the weather does not predispose you to dive, take a stroll to the museums of the island: The Museum of Bouboulina, in the renovated house of the heroine, with the magnificent pebbly courtyard where every summer there are a host of events and the Spetses Museum in the mansion Chatziyianni with representative exhibits from the history of the island and from the oldest wreck of the world, the island of Dokos. You will love Spetses during Spring time as well. A bicycle is enough (and very economical) to get back from Dapia to the Old Port, get to know each inch and admire the grandeur that characterizes this beautiful island. Be sure that your bicycle will become your inseparable "friend"! You will only leave it when the time is right to dive into the crystal clear waters of its shores (you will have fun with their transparency and purity), take history lessons from the museums, eat in the fish taverns (where the wave pops) and drink cocktails in places where most visitors spend there upbeats nights! What is great about the Saronic islands is the fact that you can have an outstanding Greek island hopping experience due to their proximity. In other words, if time allows it, you could see most of these islands by spending at least two days on each one and having an amazing adventure!
Created on Sep 18th 2018 10:07. Viewed 212 times.
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