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Argosaronic Islands

The Peloponnese’s east shoreline and the islands dotting the Argolic & Saronic Gulf waters are popular tourist destinations in close proximity to Athens. Methana, Salamina, Aegina, Agistri, Poros, Hydra, and Spetses can offer their visitors memorable experiences that include views of beautiful land & seascapes, impressive archaeological sites, museums, stately homes, picturesque villages and wonderful beaches.

 



Aegina

Aegina Island is a popular tourist destination and the ideal weekend getaway – only 16.5 nautical miles away from Piraeus Harbour, if you travel from Athens. According to the myth, the island was named after the nymph (a lesser female deity) Aegina, daughter of the river god Asopos, with whom Zeus fell in love and lived his romance with her here. It’s a great choice for family holidays, as the island’s mostly sandy beaches are washed by calm waters.
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Spetses

Set sail for Spetses Island and visit a place with a long and glorious maritime history. By the harbour you will see carriages waiting in line to take you on a tour of the island; make the most of these trips on offer, as cars are not allowed on Spetses.
Follow the seaside road from Dapia to the old harbour and visit Panagia tis Armatas Church. Stop by the old dockyards and learn about the locals’ shipbuilding traditions which have secured them a leading role in Greek seafaring and naval history. Discover the sights across the island and ride your bicycle in town. Pass by the traditional stately homes; you will be impressed by their architecture.
Visit monuments and museums such as Bouboulina’s house and feel the atmosphere of the early 19th c. turbulent times, when Greece was struggling for independence. See the places where this great heroine lived, and the impressive hand-crafted 18th and 19th century household items, such as English china, rare books and furniture.
Board your yacht and sail around the island’s beautiful beaches and Spetsopoula islet. Bear in mind that September is a great month to visit Spetses, as the Armata festivities take place there. It's a sight not to be missed! For those of you who enjoy participating in running, cycling or swimming competitions we have two tempting suggestions: the Spetses Mini Marathon taking place in October, and Spetsathlon, which is organised every May. Make sure you book in time!
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Hydra

Your next sailing destination is Hydra, the celebrities’ favourite spot. This island has been selected by famous artists, writers and jet-setters, such as Leonard Cohen, Henry Miller and the Greek famous painter N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, who either lived here or visited often. This, too, is an island where cars are banned.
Apart from attracting sailing lovers, Hydra is also an interesting place from an architectural point of view as numerous luxury residences have been built there by Italian craftsmen.
Visit the houses of the locals who fought during the 1821 Greek War of Independence – turned into museums, to get a picture of everyday life during that period. If you’re interested in religious monuments, pick any of the approx. 300 churches and 6 monasteries scattered on the island.
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Poros

Your next destination is Poros Island. As you enter the harbour, you’ll get a fine view of the town, built up the hillsides. The Archaeological Museum’s exhibits date back to the Mycenaean Period (1600 – 1100 BC) up to and including the Roman times. Among the displayed items you will see finds from ancient shipwrecks retrieved from the Gulf area. Take a trip to the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon on the north part of Poros.
Four kilometres east of Poros town, you will see the island’s most impressive religious edifice: Zoodochos Pigi (Our Lady, Fountain of Life) Monastery, built in the 18th c. It has high thick walls all around without openings and there are thirty remaining cells within. Visit the Library where there is a rare collection of service books and patriarchal codices dated several centuries ago.
There is a small ferry boat that will take you to Galatas village, on the opposite shore of the Peloponnese, where you can take a stroll in the local and fragrant Lemon tree forest. This location will offer you a wonderful view of the island. Take a small trip from Poros to nearby islets: Bourtzi, originally a Byzantine fortress, later a Venetian and, after that, an Ottoman stronghold protecting the harbour of Nafplio; Modi, where you’ll see an ancient shipwreck dating to the Mycenaean Period; and Daskaleio with the picturesque Panagia country chapel.
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Methana

The peninsula of Methana has been formed by two steep rock slopes that rose out of the sea waters after a volcanic eruption in antiquity. There are two directions you can follow from here: either head towards Agios Georgios, a fishing village, and then to Pausanias hot springs, one of many in Methana; or visit the ancient town of Methana. In Palaiokastro you will see the ruins of the walls and gates of the acropolis; a big part of them crumbled into the sea after the volcano eruption.
There are 32 craters on the peninsula. If you’re up to the challenge, try reaching the largest one: it’s a 25-minute uphill hike from Kameni Chora; just make sure you wear proper shoes and have some water with you. Walk on the petrified red lava and admire the rugged black and red rocks and the steep drops on your way.
When you return to the village, the cozy little tavernas by the seaside and the seafood fresh off the sea will help you relax and regain your strength. Once you’re back in Methana town, before sailing away, take a small trip to the islet with Agioi Anargyroi Church on it.
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