Day Trip to Aegina-Hydra-Poros, Athens
Looks like it must be a real hot spot in the summer, but an enchanting place to have lunch on 25-12. I got there at 2.45 off the Flying Dolphin hydrofoil from Piraeus. I was hungry by then, so I just dived into the first respectable looking eatery I found.
Souvlaki, pitta bread, taramosalata, french fries, beer...
Then a wander around. I love beach resorts out of season. But, I’d like to come back to this one when its warm.
Then the last (5.05) Flying Dolphin service back to the mainland. Fun to leave at dusk, and come into Piraeus in the dark amid the lights of the city.
Aegina is a small island near Atnehs. Grek call it The island of pistachios because there is a lot of pistachios plantations. There are also 2 beaches, ruins of ancient temple. In small port you can see a lot of ships, yachts.... You can eat in small tavern in the coastline with beautiful view.
Take a day trip to the island of Aegina. Rent a moped for a day and explore the island on your own. Very fun, at your own pace, and take great pics of the beaches, monastery, and ride to the higest point of the island to visit the Temple of Athias.
The Sanctuary of Aphia is the ancient temple on the island of Aegina. The temple dates back to about 500 BC and is remarkable complete (parts of the inner wall are intact. The temple is several miles from the main harbor on Aegina (it is nearer to the harbor at Ayia Marina, but most of the ferries from Pireas go to Aegina.) From either port you will need transportation to the temple site. The city bus, runs from one port to the other. Find the ticket both (we asked at a kiosk selling soft drinks) tell the attendant you want to go to the temple and back and they will sell you a round trip (two one way) ticket. The bus cost about 3 euros per person round trip. The ride from the harbor to the temple takes about 20 minutes and the bus winds through pistachio groves, past a monastery and around a small mountain. There is a modest admission charge. The temple is very interesting, and very complete. Wander around the grounds a bit. There is a wonderful overlook and concession stand across the street (a little expensive, but fun.) You could also rent a car or moped and explore your way around the island. Very much worth the trip.
The guide books said that Aegina was the easiest island to get to from Athens, and they were right. Take the Green #1 metro line south to the end of the line at Pireas, walk across the street. Turn to the left and look for pier 8, select a boat, buy a ticket and you are on your way. There are several travel agencies between piers 7 & * and we used one to book the boat as they would give us advice on all of the boats that were leaving without having to check with several different ferry company ticket windows. Buying a round trip (return ticket) saves a few euros per ticket. We elected for the high speed hydrofoil and it was 18.50 euros per adult round trip. The trip to Aegina took about 40 minutes each way. The traditional ferry boats take about 90 minutes each way. The ferry will drop you at the harbor. The harbor area is charming, lined with fishing boats and restaurants. Pistachio nuts grow on the island and are a local favorite (I paid 10 euros for a kilo bag (3.3 pounds.) You can take a city bus across the island and back for about 3 euros round trip (it stops at the Monastery and the ancient temple (see my tip for the Sanctuary of Aphia on Aegina.) Find the buses and look for the ticket both, tell the attend where you want to go and buy a round trip (two tickets) the attendant will tell you which bus and when it will leave (about every 20 minutes. The driver will check the tickets before you leave the harbor area. If you are feeling adventuresome you can rent a car, jeep, or moped near the harbor and explore the island. The trip was easier then I expected and very fun.
I really enjoyed getting the chance to see a bit of the Greek Islands (Aegina , Poros and Hydra). As I had suspected, it really only gave me a brief glimpse of each of the 3 islands we visited. I believe we spent more time getting to each island than we actually spent on the island. There was entertainment on the ship, in the form of music and dancing. I set myself up inside, but right next to an exit door so I could keep popping outside to check out what we were passing. Unfortunately, I only had a light long-sleeved shirt, so I got quite cold outdoors on the ship.
There were 2 optional tours (for an additional fee) on the third island we visited. If you went on one of these tours you didn't get any free time on the island. I chose to go one of the tours. We were picked up from the wharf and driven across the island to an ancient temple. We had a fairly short amount of time in which to explore this site before we were whisked away to an impressive church. It is relatively new, but beautiful. Once again we had a small amount of time before being taken back to the wharf.
If it is your only chance to get to the islands I would definately do it. However, it is very touristy, as you arrive on the island with many many people from the same ship, have a limited amount of time on the island, then pile back on to the ship, travel to the next island and repeat.
Lunch is included, and is served in 2 shifts, depending on which colour boarding pass you've been given. The first lunch is served between islands 1 & 2, and the second lunch between island 2 & 3. The lunch gave me the chance to meet 7 other people, as you sit at tables of 8. The food was great, but unfortunately the portholes were covered, so you couldn't see out.
I didn't get to swim, as there are no lockers on the ship or on the islands, and I was not prepared to leave my camera and purse lying around while I swam.
The day tour daily 7.45am arrives back at approximately 7pm. Adults are A$142.00 = E$90.00.
You can take a one-day ferry around some of the islands. Usually, I don't like to do tours, but while you can rent a car, it isn't feasible to rent a boat, so we took this one. Operated by a company called Giorgios, it provides lunch, and groups people by their passport, ensuring that no matter how many languages you speak you will be sitting with people who speak your language or at least something close. For me, that meant I sat with a table full of pleasant English people who turned out to be enthusiastic lager drinkers. We remain friends to his day.
I think the cost of this was about $70 per person, and toured three islands, Aegina, Poros and Hydra. You get anywhere from one to three hours per island, and you get to walk around, see things etc. The scenery is free.
Do yourself a favor and jump on a ferry and visit the island of Hydra. Make sure you stand on the deck outside when the ship/boat enter its harbor slowly. Try to preserve this picture into your head forever because no camera can capture it!
Hydra has a VERY interesting history and most of the buildings that you see around have played a significant role in it, so make sure that you do your reading before you visit.
You need at least 2-3 days in order to enjoy it.
This Cruuise last nearly 12 hours(7am to 7pm),srarting from Athens visiting 3 islands(Egena,Poros and Hedra),since 25 years i join this trip 3 times a year,it does mean enjoyment,relaxing,happiness,dancing, shopping,swimming and lot of fun. it is called one day cruise .it is well known for all regular tourists and travel agents..you will leave the bout at evening with alot of new friends and memories
Must pay a visit to the nearby Argosaronic islands! Even as an one day trip, can recharge ones bateries from the crowded and smogy Athens.