Day & Weekend Trips in Greece

Athens has much to offer, but it is definitely worth it to explore the surrounding areas as well. Whether you want to go sightseeing or spend a day by the beach, you have plenty of choices.

The stretch of coastline from Athens to Cape Sounion is known as the Athens Riviera. From the centre, you can reach pristine beaches, many with water sports, in less than an hour. The better beaches charge an entrance fee and provide amenities such as umbrellas, beach chairs and refreshments.

The suggestions here are all within a few hours or less of Athens, and they can all be done as day trips, although Crete, Santorini, Poros and Thessaloniki are better suited for a weekend trip. The islands in the Saronic Gulf – Aegina, Hydra and Poros – are quickly reached by hydrofoil from the Port of Piraeus. For Santorini, Crete and Thessaloniki there are convenient daily flights, with a flying time of about an hour. Sounion, Delphi, Epidauros and Nafplio are driving distance from Athens. If you do not feel like driving yourself, several companies provide cars with knowledgeable, English-speaking drivers.

Travel Greece on day trips and weekend adventures

Handpicked List

Nafplio

Nafplio served as the capital of Modern Greece from 1821-1834. A large part of the neoclassical architecture has been preserved, giving the town great charm. Nafplio faces the sea and there are several good beaches nearby. On the seafront, you will find several excellent fish tavernas for a leisurely lunch.

Go by car, taxi or with an organised tour.

Epidauros

The Ancient Theater of Epidauros is famed for its exceptional acoustics. The theater is situated in a beautiful area close to the sea, and in Ancient times, there was also an Ascleipeion – a hospital – here, which was the biggest and most famous in Greece. The theater is still in use for performances of the Ancient Greek plays as part of the Athens Festival, with plays performed regularly from late June till early August.

Go by car, taxi or with an organised tour.

The site is open daily from 8:30 AM till 3 PM in winter and till sunset in summer. The ticket price, which gives access to both the archaeological site and the museum, is €12, with half price for students and seniors.

Delphi

The Ancient Greeks considered Delphi, sitting on the lower slopes of Mount Parnassus, the centre of the world and Delphi was home to a famed oracle. The archaeological site is vast and is built on several levels of the mountain slope, with a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. The onsite museum houses the finds of excavations on the site as well as reconstructions of what the buildings looked like when still intact.

Go by car, taxi or with an organised tour.

The ticket price, which gives access to both the archaeological site and the museum, is €12, with half price for students and seniors.

Aegina

The island of Aegina is only 30 minutes by hydrofoil from Piraeus, making it perfect for a day trip. The island has lovely towns to explore, excellent seafood tavernas by the seaside, numerous beaches, as well as archaeological sites. Kolona Beach is an easy 10-minute walk from the main harbor, but if you want to go further afield, you can hire a taxi or rent a beach buggy. The main archaeological attraction is the Temple of Aphaia, where there is also a small museum.

Taxi to Piraeus Port, Gate E8 Hellenic Seaways and Aegean Flying Dolphins operate hydrofoils to Aegina. You can buy tickets at the ticket offices on the quay or book online. Check the websites for timetables and to book tickets.

Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki, the bustling port that has connected east and west for millennia, is named after the sister of Alexander the Great, who founded the city in 315 BC. Today the city remains an important center for trade, and is known for its interesting music scene, creative start-ups, and great restaurants.

The best way to enjoy the city is by foot, and you mustn’t miss a stroll down the wide promenade along the sea. Stop in Aristotle Square for Greek coffee and the city’s renowned bougatsa, a delectable cream-filled pastry.

You can go by train, which takes about 6 hours. However, the easiest way to Thessaloniki is to fly. The flight is short enough that you can fly up in the morning and back to Athens the same day.

Sounion

The striking Temple of Poseidon at Sounion is perhaps the best-known archaeological site in Greece after the Parthenon. The temple sits on the southernmost tip, Cape Sounion, of the Attica Peninsula, the final point of the Athens Riviera. The drive down the coastline from Athens is lovely, and if you drive you have the option of stopping at enticing beaches or enjoying a meal at one of the many seafood restaurants overlooking the crystalline blue waters.

Go by car, taxi or with an organised tour.

The archaeological site is open daily from 9:30 AM till sunset. The ticket price is €8, with half price for students and seniors.

Poros

Poros is popular with Athenians for day and weekend trips, and it is easy to see why. The neo-classical architecture of the main town is lovely, and there are beaches nearby. Henry Miller spent time here as did Lucian Freud and the Greek poet Seferis. In the first half of July the Poros Arts Festival offers exhibitions and a series of concerts.

Taxi to Piraeus Port, Gate E8 Hellenic Seaways operates hydrofoils to Galatas, the mainland port across from Poros. You can buy tickets at the ticket offices on the quay or book online. Check the website for timetables and to book tickets.

Once you arrive in Galatas, you will take a small taxi boat across to Poros.

Hydra

No doubt the most picturesque of the Saronic Islands, Hydra takes you back to a different era. The island does not allow cars, but you can rent a donkey in the harbor or simply stroll among the white-washed houses. The island’s beauty has drawn many artists to its shores, resulting in a traditional, yet cultivated, atmosphere.

Taxi to Piraeus Port, Gate E8 Hellenic Seaways operates hydrofoils to Hydra. You can buy tickets at the ticket offices on the quay or book online. Check the website for timetables and to book tickets.

Santorini

The iconic island of the Aegean, Santorini is famed for its sunsets, whitewashed architecture and winding, romantic paths. The unique shape of the island was created by a massive volcanic eruption about 3500 years ago, which destroyed its highly advanced Minoan civilization. Over the centuries, many people have thought that the Atlantis of myth could have been ancient Santorini. The volcanic soil on the island also produces distinctive flavors in the local wines, which are not to be missed.

You can go by ferry to Santorini, but it is a long ride. For a short trip, the simplest mode of transportation is to fly.

Crete

It is impossible to sum up Crete briefly. A large island, Crete offers a varied landscape and endless sights and experiences. The Cretan beaches are wide and sandy, and can go on for miles. The food is spectacular and the local wines hearty and full-bodied. If you fly, it is perfectly possible to go for the day, but you will want to stay longer.

Crete can be reached by several ferries, but it is faster and easier to fly. Crete has two airports, at Heraklion and at Chania. Check your final destination in Crete before booking your flight to minimise driving time once you arrive.

Partners of Greece Investor Guide

Rising from 63% to 83% of the EU average, Greece showed one of the biggest improvements in performance among European countries in the European Commission’s Innovation Scorecard.

"All Greek airports will open on Wednesday on conditions of safety," Deputy Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias said on Monday upon his arrival at the airport of Lemnos

https://www.amna.gr/en/article/469697/Hardalias-All-Greek-airports-will-open-on-conditions-of-safety

Thessaly may be located in central Greece, but it’s well connected to Thessaloniki and Athens via upgraded rail and roadways, and you can even get to the sea via the port at Volos.

Startups in Greece are using technology in previously unheard-of ways to make everyday life for ordinary Greeks a little easier.

Greek wines have recently exploded in popularity worldwide, with once-obscure grapes like assyrtiko and malagousia now becoming recognised at restaurants and wine bars everywhere.

Load More...
Back to top button
Close
Close