The Saronic Islands are just off the mainland, between the peninsula of Attiki and the eastern coast of Peloponnese. Being very close to Athens makes them a very popular holiday destination throughout the year.
Aegina is only 16.5nm from Athens, an ideal location for a day cruise. It was a great naval power in the past and the capital of Greece in 19th century. Apart from its lovely beaches Souvala, Marathon, Agia Marina and Perdika, there’s the Ancient Temple of Athena Aphaia. It forms the “holy triangle” of antiquity, with the Parthenon and the Temple of Poseidon at Sounio. If time is on your side you should visit the Archaeological Museum, the Governor’s Kapodistria’s Residence. No one leaves the island without having visited the most impressive and one of the largest in the Balkans Monastery of Agios Nektarios built in the early 1900’s on the site of a small Byzantine monastery. Before boarding for your next destination don’t forget to buy pistachio nuts which are the best.
Hydra is the most picturesque island. Traditional stone houses, cobbled streets but its distinctive feature is that there are no cars or vehicles on the island. The only way to get around is on foot, cycling or a donkey ride. Access to the beautiful beaches is by boats, water-taxis. You must visit one out of its 300 churches and a monastery, the Ecclesiastical and Byzantine Museum and the mansion of Georgios Kountouriotis.
Poros is a small island with sandy beaches and crystal clear waters perfect for a family vacation. It has become a center for sailing in the Argo-Saronic Gulf. Visit the Archaeological and Folklore museums. Walk along the port promenade to the Clock Tower overlooking the harbor. Visit the Lemon Forest and the Temple of Poseidon.
Spetses is the most cultural island, it played a significant role in the 1821 War of Independence. As you approach the island you can admire its unique architecture of the captain mansions. Visit the House of Bouboulina, a naval commander, the Church of Panagia Armata and the Cathedral of Agios Nikolaos. While there one can cross over to Peloponnese and visit the coastal towns of Ermioni and Porto Heli
The Argo- Saronic Islands as they are also called have played a significant role in Greek history so visitors apart from natural beauty can also enjoy historical visits to museums and ancient sites.
If you have a great crew, all these tips for sailing the Saronic Islands in Greece would be helpful. Sailing can be a good vacation for anyone who needs an adventurous summer activity. Don’t forget to take your camera to save your sailing memories!