The harbor of Spetses at sunset

The top day trips from Athens to nearby islands

The great island escape!

Athens, the Greek capital, is a wonderful vacation destination with many amazing experiences and unique attractions. If you’re visiting this summer, you should know you can also go island hopping from Athens! Whether you’re interested in a 1-day island cruise from Athens or you’re looking forward to the ultimate Athens island-hopping adventure, the capital city is a great starting point for your island tour. 

So, where can you go on a day trip from Athens? Find the best Athens island hopping suggestions below and book your ferry tickets online on Ferryhopper!

Chapel above the port of Piraeus

View to the port of Piraeus in Athens

Island hopping from Athens: our top suggestions

You can visit many islands close to Athens. The islands of the Saronic Gulf and the Cyclades are the closest to Athens. The 3 ports of Athens serve frequent ferry routes to many destinations. Most ferries to the Greek islands depart from the port of Piraeus, but there are also year-round routes from Lavrio and Rafina, to plan your island hopping trip from Athens.

So, what islands can you visit from Athens? You can travel by ferry from Athens to nearby islands such as Aegina, Agistri, Hydra, Kea, Spetses, Poros, and Kythnos, as well as more beautiful islands of the Aegean Sea, such as Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos, Milos, Crete, Lesbos, Kastellorizo, and so many more!

If you’re interested in 2-day trips from Athens to the Greek islands or a multi-day holiday break (on top of your regular holiday break), have a look at the best island day trips from Athens:

Hydra island day trip from Athens

Hydra is a peaceful island in the Saronic Gulf. If you want to spend memorable holidays in a cosmopolitan and original setting, Hydra is an excellent choice. In Hydra, you can visit remote beaches such as Avlaki, walk among important historical sites and impressive mansions and attend concerts, artistic performances and cultural events.

Hydra island day trips from Athens are serviced with up to 8-10 daily ferry routes in the summer of 2021. Ferries to Hydra depart from the port of Piraeus in Athens. If you want to make a road-trip out of your visit, you can also drive to the ports of Ermioni and Porto Cheli in the Peloponnese and catch the ferry from there.

The ferry trip from Athens to Hydra lasts 1.5 hours on average and it is mainly serviced by high-speed ferries. Tickets for the ferry from Athens to Hydra start at €28.

Tip: Bear in mind that cars and motorcycles are not allowed on the island. Discover more Greek islands for car-free holidays.

Hydra town and port

The beautiful town of Hydra

A refreshing day trip from Athens to Agistri

Agistri is one of the best islands to visit with friends as it is an easy-going destination with impressive nature, amazing tavernes and beautiful beaches. In Agistri, you will spend relaxing moments by the sea, visit clothing-optional beaches such as Chalikiada (one of the favorite beaches among camping enthusiasts in Greece) and go hiking, cycling, kayaking and diving!

There are frequent ferries from Athens to Agistri throughout the year. In the summer of 2021, there are around 4 daily routes to Agistri from the port of Piraeus. High-speed ferries to Agistri arrive at the port of Myloi, while standard ferries travel to the port of Skala.

The ferry duration with a high-speed vessel is 50 minutes, and fast ferry tickets cost approximately €14.

Tip: If you’re thinking of going camping in 2021, have a look at Ferryhopper’s camping essentials list.

Visit Aegina, the island closest to Athens

A day trip from Athens to Aegina island is a favorite among locals and visitors! In Aegina, you can swim at beaches with plenty of visitor amenities, such as Agia Marina, or remote coasts, such as Portes. Moreover, Aegina is a famous foodie destination due to its local products and an ideal destination for history enthusiasts. The sanctuary of Aphaia in Aegina is one of the impressive ancient monuments in Greece!

The best way to travel to Aegina is by ferry from the port of Piraeus in Athens. If you’re visiting in the summer of 2021, you can catch the ferry from Athens to Aegina daily. There are up to 15 crossings per day from Athens to Aegina, as it’s one of the most popular island day trips from Athens.

Aegina is just 1 hour from Athens and it’s perfect for weekend breaks, as it’s the closest Greek island to Athens. Ferry tickets start at €8.

Moni islet in Aegina

The virgin islet of Moni off the coast of Aegina

Explore the traditional Spetses

Spetses is one of the most cosmopolitan islands in the Saronic Gulf and it’s a top destination for couples. The day trip from Athens to the Greek island of Spetses is perfect if you want to live romantic moments. 

The island is distinguished by its regal architecture, impressive buildings, crystal-clear waters and off-the-beaten-path activities. While in Spetses, you can explore the town on a horse-drawn carriage, go hiking through the beautiful forest or visit the magical Bekiri’s cave.

According to 2021 ferry schedules, ferries from Athens to Spetses depart from the port of Piraeus up to 7 times per day. The Athens - Spetses ferry route is mainly operated by high-speed ferries, but there are conventional vessels too.

The ferry crossing duration from the port of Piraeus to the island of Spetses is around 2.5 hours with a fast ferry. Tickets for this route start at €38.

Good to know: If you're wondering how travel to Spetses and more Greek islands this summer, find all Covid-19 ferry travel measures in Greece for 2021.

Have the best day-trip to Kea

Kea is the closest Cycladic island to Athens and a top destination for relaxing vacation away from the crowds. In Kea, you will enjoy local delicacies such as ksinotiri and loza, you will visit amazing monuments, such as the Lion of Kea, and you will have fun by night at the villages of Ioulis, Vourkari and Gialiskari. As for beaches on the island, Ferryhopper suggests that you try Sikamia and Xyla.

The best way to travel to Kea from Athens is through the port of Lavrio. Ferries from Athens (Lavrio) to Kea are usually daily in the summer months, but ferry schedules for 2021 can change.

Occasionally, there are more ferry routes from the port of Piraeus, but you may have to change ferries at Syros or Kythnos before reaching the island. 

The trip duration from Athens to Kea is just 1 hour, making it one of the top one-day island trips from Athens. Tickets for the crossing are normally around €12.5.

Tip: If you’re looking for more easy-going Greek islands to visit in 2021, have a look at our favorite Greek islands for relaxing holidays.

The lighthouse of Kea

The lighthouse of Kea

Discover the beauty of Poros

Poros is a marvelous green island in the Saronic Gulf. It’s a favorite destination for weekend breaks, as it is easily accessible both from Athens as well as through the Peloponnese. The island of Poros is great if you’re looking for an island with strong traditional character and modern amenities. You can explore the quaint alleys of the island, have fun at the lively bars, take the boat to the beautiful lemon tree forest of Galatas or visit the beautiful Love Bay beach.

Ferries to Poros depart from the port of Piraeus in Athens up to 7 times per day. Most ferries connecting Athens with Poros are high-speed, making the trip in less than 1 hour. The ferry duration depends on the ferry itinerary.

Tickets for the Athens - Poros ferry crossing start at €9 for the long journey and €24.5 for the short one.

Tip: From Poros you can also travel directly by ferry to Hydra and Spetses. This way you can have a multi-day trip from Athens to 3 islands!

Hop on the ferry to Kythnos

Kythnos in the Cyclades is a beautiful island with majestic beaches, impressive nature, breathtaking hiking trails and relaxing atmosphere. Even though the island is close to Athens, it has retained its authenticity and traditional way of life. While in Kythnos, we recommend that you swim at Kolona beach, explore the cave of Katafyki and admire the view from the Castle of Oria.

You can travel to Kythnos by ferry from the ports of Piraeus and Lavrio in Athens. Taking the ferry from Lavrio to Kythnos is the most popular option and it’s in operation daily in the summer months. The trip duration is 1.5-2.5 hours depending on the type of ferry. Tickets for the crossing from Athens (Lavrio) to Kythnos start at €15.

The Piraeus - Kythnos ferry route is serviced with 3-4 weekly ferry routes in the summer of 2021. The journey duration from Athens (Piraeus) to Kythnos is approximately 3 hours and tickets are €23.5.

Tip: Find all 2021 Greek ferry schedules and Greek ferry ticket discounts to plan your trip this summer.

Kythnos island as seen from the ferry deck

View from a ferry departing from the island of Kythnos

You can find more ideas on Greek island day tours from Athens on Ferryhopper’s Map of ferries. Plan your Athens island hopping adventure, explore vacation tips for 3-day island cruises from Athens or 1-day island trips, and book cheap ferry tickets with no extra fees!