Islands in the Argosaronic Gulf: Small gems scattered over the sea
Aigina, Agkistri, Spetses, Hydra, Poros, Salamina and the peninsula of Methana form the island complex of the Argosaronic Gulf in southern Greece. Sprinkled over the Argosaronic Gulf and steeped in ancient mythology, these islands are small havens in close proximity to Athens. Daily ferry connection from the port of Piraeus makes them a lovely, easily accessible all-year-round destination for the Athenians. Visitors here will enjoy natural beauty, historical treasures, unique architecture, and glamorous, yet romantic atmosphere.
The island of Aigina is one of the most popular tourist destinations as it is the closest island to Athens (only 16.5 nautical miles from the port of Piraeus). According to the myth, the island took its name from a nymph, daughter of the river god Asopos, whom Zeus fell in love with and took with him to the island! Aegina is ideal for family vacations, thanks to its nice, smooth beaches. It is the perfect getaway from Athens, and still an original island experience.
Only 19 nautical miles away from Piraeus, Agkistri is an easily accessible Argosaronic Gulf paradise. Azure waters, pine trees and lush vegetation (where many bird species find refuge) are the main characteristics of this tiny, yet charming, island of less than 1,000 inhabitants! There are three large settlements on the island: Megalohóri (or Mýlos), Skála and Limenária.
Spetses, an island boasting a long naval tradition, is famous for its significant contribution to the 1821 War of Independence. It was here that the revolution flag was raised on 3rd April 1821. The island has managed to retain its individual traditional character thanks to its well-preserved grand captain mansions, still bearing eloquent witness to the island’s glorious past. The picturesque old harbour and Dápia, a tourist and commercial centre where the heart of the island’s entertainment beats, are the trademarks of the town of Spetses.
Hydra, built in the shape of an amphitheatre on a slope overlooking the Argosaronic gulf, is one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. Traditional stone mansions, narrow cobblestoned streets, secluded squares and above all the banning of cars and the use of around 500 donkeys as means of public transportation, explain the reason why Hydra preserved its distinctive atmosphere through the passage of time.
According to the myth, the name Salamina (Salamis) was given to the island by Kychreas in honour of his mother Salamis, one of the five daughters of the river god Asopos.
Lush pine trees vegetation, crystal clear beaches, a lively waterfront adorned with shops, cosy cafes and restaurants, a picturesque capital (it has been declared protected settlement) with grand traditional mansions and picturesque cobbled streets, as well as a wide selection of entertainment venues are the ingredients of this quiet, yet cosmopolitan, destination that attracts visitors from all age groups.
The peninsula of Methana with its two steep volcanic slopes is actually a volcano that emerged from the sea! Welcome the opportunity to explore a stunning volcanic landscape with dense vegetation, coastal villages and diverse flora and fauna. The establishment of the spa complex in 1870 made it a popular spa town attracting mainly senior citizens from many European countries.