There are budget-friendly day trips that are easily accessible from Athens, Greece. While the metropolis that is Athens can keep you occupied for days on end, you can explore more of Greece within hours. From island fun to historical tours, there are options for everyone.
The following are our top five favorite day trips from Athens:
The island of Aegina is a short 40-75 minutes ferry ride from the Port of Piraeus in Athens to the Port of Aegina. It’s a great choice for one of your day trips. Leave first thing in the morning and catch a sunset ride back in the evening. Aegina offers beaches, mountains, archaeological sites, and fresh seafood.
When you arrive at the Port of Aegina, you will be within a short walk to restaurants, shops, the bus stop, and transportation rentals. The bus is easy to navigate and stops near the Fyki Beach Restaurant on the southwest side of the island. This is a great place to swim and rent beach chairs and an umbrella for the day. You can also rent a car, scooter or bike to get around Aegina. Having the freedom of your own transportation allows you to discover the villages and gorgeous views around the island.
Must See: Agios Nektarios is a church and monastery located in the center of the island. It’s absolutely stunning and provides you a unique glimpse into the community of Aegina. Click here for more information and directions via car and bus.
Delphi is among popular day trips from Athens. It draws travelers and Greeks alike who are looking to get up close and personal with the country’s ancient past. The area around Delphi offers access to the famous archaeological site as well as multiple tavernas to grab lunch, overlooking the countryside.
The least expensive way to get to Delphi is via the bus. However, it is also the least convenient. We recommend going on a private tour or renting a car. It takes approximately 2.5 hours to get to Delphi from Athens via car. Private tours are for the full day, and you can find options online or at your hotel or a travel agency in Athens.
Must See: When you’re walking through the archaeological site at Delphi, be sure to go all the way to the highest point to reach the Stade de Delphes. This is one of the best preserved stadiums, dating back to the 5th c. B.C. It overlooks the sanctuary of Apollo and gives you spectacular views of the modern hill country.
Visiting the island of Hydra, in the Saronic Gulf, is like stepping back in time. Since no cars are allowed on Hydra, you can visualize what a Greek village was like before the industrial revolution. This quaint, picturesque island is one of the most relaxing day trips from Athens.
You can take a fast ferry from the Port of Piraeus in Athens to Hydra and arrive in 1.5-2 hours. Most ferries on this route stop at Poros island as well, but we recommend spending the entire day on Hydra. Upon arrival to Hydra, you’ll be greeted by the alluring architecture. On your self-guided walking tour of the island, you’ll stumble upon shops, local cuisine, beaches, musicians, windmills, remnants of the past, and sailing adventures. Be sure to watch your step – donkeys frequent the walkways just as much as pedestrians!
Must See: We highly recommend wandering up through the alleys of Hydra. Go explore. Walking through the village allows you to observe the Greek culture up close and personal.
4. Nafplio and Corinth Canal
Getting to the Peloponnese, the peninsula on the southwest side of mainland Greece, from Athens, is quick and easy. And Nafplio is our favorite seaside day trips in the Peloponnese. On the way to Nafplio, you’ll cross over the jaw dropping Corinth Canal. You may also want to make a quick stop at the archaeological site in Corinth.
Nafplio is approximately a 2 hour drive from Athens. We recommend renting a car or taking a tour with a private driver. Once you arrive in Nafplio, enjoy a walk through the narrow, stone streets. Then head to the Palamidi Castle, which overlooks the city and sea. It’s a 999 step climb to get there, but it’s worth it!
Must See: The fortress in the sea! Bourtzi is a small Venetian fortress that sits out from the shores of Nafplio. You can take a boat out there to learn more about its history and get some outstanding photos at the same time.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is unlike anything you will see in the world. With monasteries towering high above on cliffs, Meteora is breathtaking, inspiring, mystical, and spiritual. The words, “Pictures can never do it justice,” will surely come out of your mouth when you visit.
Meteora is such a magical place that we typically recommend making it a 2-day trip. But it is possible to visit the monasteries of Meteora on a day trip from Athens. If you rent a car, it will take you about 4 hours, and this option gives you the most flexibility to see everything you want to in the Meteora area. You can also visit via a full day, partially guided train tour from Athens. Whether you go by car or train, the journey through the countryside of Greece is an added bonus to this day trip.
Must See: If you have the opportunity to experience Meteora – everything is a must see! Whether you have a day or five to visit, you will leave in awe of this place. Check out Visit Meteora.travel for more information.
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