There is always a temptation to escape to the Argo-Saronic islands, located within relative proximity to Athens. These romantic and attractive islands provide quite the experience, and one can reach it via ferry rides and even one-day cruises. It persists as one of the top attractions for tourists visiting Athens. Let’s take a look at the wonders that each of these beautiful islands has to offer and find out which are the best Argo-Saronic islands to visit.
The Distinct Character of the Argo-Saronic Islands
Filled with rich history and robust character these islands accumulate quite a crowd, and are very attractive places. “Salamis,” the biggest of all these islands, is well-known for its epic naval battles. These occurred way back in 480 B.C. “Aegina,” home to the highly luxurious Doric Temple of Aphaia, is one of the best Argo-Saronic islands to visit.
1. Aegina – Gorgeous Temples and Natural Wonders
After about a two-hour ride on the ferry, you will reach the highly popular island of Aegina. This island offers weekend retreats and is very popular among both international tourists as well as Greeks.
There is an abundance of 19th-century buildings. Furthermore, most of these served as homes to renowned writers, including one named “Nikos Kazantzakis.” Another sought-after attraction on this island is the gorgeous temple of Aphaia. While built around 490 B.C., it is one of the only Greek temples to survive its own. Today, it remains preserved quite well and is available for crowds to experience it firsthand.
2. Poros – Land of Vines and Flowers
Lose yourself as you make your way through narrow lanes of vines and flowers. The northeast entrance of the island consists of a 350-meter wide passage that provides one enchanting view.
As you near the island, you will be able to witness the orange-roofed town as well as the iconic hilltop clock tower. Built on top of many hills this orange-roofed town is unique and is a spectacle that you must witness in-person. Be sure that you make time to climb the clock tower, which is an adventure that will take you through thick greenery and delight you with an unforgettable view once you reach the top. Poros is, most definitely, one of the best Argo-Saronic islands to visit.
3. Hydra – Barren and Beautiful
The island of Hydra contains mostly barren areas filled with rock with occasional areas of pine. Nonetheless, this remote area offers greystone mansions that are the epitome of what you might see on the back of a postcard making it one of the best Argo-Saronic islands to visit. Also, the vernacular houses are unique and remain quite fashionable in spite of their outdated appearances.
Also, Hydra is one of the few Greek islands declared a reserve for architectural heritage. In an attempt by the government to help the island maintain its natural beauty as much as possible, most motorized transport is forbidden.
4. Spetses – Extensive Tourist Development
Spetses offers much more tourist developmental areas than the previous islands. Although the island has experienced a series of devastating fires in recent years, it does provide some of the best-looking beaches among the islands. And even through this, it has managed to maintain a significant portion of its wooded areas.
If you were to leave the town and travel in the opposite direction, you would eventually run into the “Anargyrios and Korgialenios College.” A Green Version of a public school in America, this also happens to be the area where John Fowles once taught.
Overall, each of these islands is a must-see as they each bring something new and unique to the table.