If you have a little spare time you can have beautiful holidays at destinations near Athens. Take the boat from Piraeus to the historic, beautifully preserved city of Hydra, where delight begins the moment its picturesque harbour comes into view.
Cars are banned and friendly donkeys are the main mode of transportation, offering a tranquillity seldom found in the modern world. Any visitor to Hydra should take a ride atop one of these comfortable, sure-footed taxis for a leisurely walk through history, beauty and art. If you’re a lover of culture, events and exhibitions are held daily here, especially during the summer months.
Why not also enjoy the warm sea in nearby Hydronetta, only three minutes from the town, or take a sea-taxi to Bisti? Either way you’ll be free to admire the marvellous sunset viewed from the cannons in Periptero, followed by a traditional Greek supper by the sea.
Another great choice for holidays near Athens is Spetses, just 2.5 hours away from the port of Piraeus. The warm embrace of Dapia is reminiscent of France, and the scrumptious almond sweets combined with the island's singular beauty have made Spetses the place to be for international jet-setters for decades. The island's crystal-blue waters, pristine beaches, lush pines and natural landscapes make Spetses a prime destination for boat trips and tours.
Whether exploring on foot, by bicycle or even by coach, there is an almost mystical serenity about this island. What’s more the food here is simply fantastic. Try the fresh seafood at any of the little harbour restaurants or the fusion cuisine of the upscale Hotel Poseidon and you’ll be hooked.
Rent a sailing boat and skim the friendly waters of the Saronic Gulf, or take a short swimming excursion to Aegina and Agistri, or a brief trip to Methana and Poros for fish, or a tour down to Sounion and back. Whichever path you follow for holidays near Athens, the clean seas and beautiful beaches of Attica will make any decision the right one.
The Voyage to Kythera may be the title of a movie by Theo Aggelopoulos, but it is also an excellent suggestion for a memorable summer holiday. Blessed with clean beaches, green slopes, and neighbouring picturesque villages, this citadel town offers a stunning view of Kapsali, as well as a vast array of local culinary delicacies, both promising to charm any visitor.
Or how about an invigorating swim at the exotic Kaladi, the wild Kobonada or the award-winning beach at Kalamos? And don’t forget to try the succulent fresh lobster pasta at the picturesque fishing village of Avlemonas. Take a walk around the Chora and the citadel, visit the green Karavas and the impressive village of Potamos, then take a break with a glass of wine in the beautiful Mitata.
Whatever you decide to do, never leave the island without treating yourself to a jar of local honey and a bottle of Fatourada liqueur. It’s as close to heaven on earth as it gets.