This text is part of the article “And the Living is A-Z”, published in Greece-Is Athens, Summer 2018 Edition. By Paulina Björk Kapsalis, Maria Coveou, Nena Dimitriou, Alex King, Maria Korachai, Pagona Lipsati & Alexandra Tzavella.
When the islands are calling you, but you have only one day to spare, head to Aegina, Agistri, Hydra, or Poros; all charming in their own unique way.
Aegina (35-80 min away) is a great choice for those in search of excellent seafood and ouzo by the sea. We like Skotadis in the port and NOA on the pier; both perfect for watching the sailboats come and go and the horse-drawn carriages take tourists on rides around town. If you have time, visit the well-preserved 500 BC Temple of Aphaia.
Agistri (55-95 min away) has crystal-clear waters and gorgeous beaches. Chalkiada, with large round white rocks and pebbles, is a bit hard to get to, and popular with nudists. Aponisos is a tiny islet connected to Agistri by a little bridge, featuring amazing views towards Methana (on the Peloponnese), where you’ll be in the company of birds and friendly animals which roam free. At Dragonera, a beach popular with campers, you can relax in the shade of the pine trees.
For picturesque alleys and village charm, Hydra (40-135 min away) simply can’t be beat. Walking around the main town, which is amphitheatrically built around the port, you’ll discover a perfect mix of tradition (there are no cars on the island – travel is on foot or by donkeys) and luxury; big, beautiful mansions line the walkways.
For more action, head to Poros (60-155 min away from the port of Piraeus, or 120 min by car to Galatas, on the Peloponnese, plus a 5-min ferry ride) where the narrow channel separating the island from the Peloponnese is often as still as a lake and is perfect for some serious waterskiing. The Passage Water Ski Center (www.passage.gr) rents equipment and employs expert instructors.