Make the most of your time in Greece and plan a boat tour from Athens to explore its seaside surroundings. The area around Athens is full of charming small islands or seaside resorts, where you can enjoy a boat day trip. During your journey, you will have a wide choice from lovely temples and rocky coves to fabulous sandy beaches and islets. Visiting archaeological sites, snorkelling, diving or just relaxing are some of the must-do activities.
The Athens Riviera, also known as Apollo Coast is the seaside area in the southern outskirts of Athens, that stretches from Piraeus to the southernmost point of Attica, Cape Sounion. From here, boat tours to the Saronic Gulf are common and headed to many beautiful islands and beaches. There are many options available for a boat trip from Athens to the Greek Islands.
What are the best places to visit with a boat tour?
The island of Aegina is one of the most renowned tourist destinations as it is the closest island to Athens. Hence it is a trendy spot for quick getaways. This is an idyllic place belonging to the Saronic islands. Here, you will find amazing beaches, archaeological sites, small fishing villages, as well as everything you would expect to find on a Greek island and even much more.
Poros is an extremely popular destination nearby Athens. Not only a fantastic place where to spend your journey but also a spot full of lush greenery and beautiful tiny beaches such as Asklei Beach, Vagionia and Love Bay. The clock tower is one of the symbols of the island.
Located in the Aegean Sea, Hydra is one of the Saronic Archipelago of the Greek Islands. The small harbour is enclosed by cafes, restaurants and plenty of traditional shops. The village of stone houses and mansions arises along the hills. The island benefits from several bays and natural harbours and has an influential maritime culture. Indeed, Hydra is a famous yachting destination.
Nea Makri is one of the best seaside resorts close to Athens. Easily reachable, Nea Makri is a laid-back town where you can do snorkelling and scuba diving, exploring the blue waters of the East Attica. Here, Marathon Beach is one of the most demanded spots to sunbath and chill out.
Cape Sounion is the promontory at the southernmost tip of the Attic peninsula. Situated at the top of the cliff, admire the famous Temple of Poseidon, the ancient Greek god of the sea. A place where myths and legends meet. You can even enjoy a cooling swim in the small beach at the bottom of the temple or in any one of the neighbouring beaches, such as Legrena or Lavrio.
Famed for its cliffs, Cape Marathon is crawling with plenty of hidden bays, where you will have the chance to swim in a crystal clear water and climb up the famous cliffs. Snorkel through the coves and be enchanted by the stunning backdrop.
Agistri is the smallest one of the Saronic islands. The combination of the amazing dense pine forest and the different shades of the turquoise clear blue sea are enchanted. Some of the best places to bathe are just rocky platforms where you can lower yourself into glowing pools of clear water, such as Aponisos Beach or Dragonera Beach but there's a family-friendly sandy beach in Skala.
Moni is an excellent place for sailing and excursions. Stunning beaches with unrivalled views over the sea and beautiful sceneries make it one of the most demanded spots next to Athens. The island of Moni is hugely recommended for nature lovers. Indeed, the beautiful forest stretches out beyond the beach with its turquoise waters, clambering up the slope of a steep mountain and covering almost the whole of the northern area of Moni.
Close enough to Athens to be enjoyed as a day trip, Spetse is a popular island among holidaymakers. Wondrous beaches and even a lively nightlife. Get a mind-blowing overview of the history of the island visiting the Poseidon Square and the several historical attractions that Spetse has to offer. Get to Spetse in September during the most popular island's celebration called "The Armata". It involves a fleet of the island's boats, fireworks and music in honour of a naval victory during the Greek revolution.
How much does a boat tour cost?
Prices range from 40 € per person for a boat trip of few hours to about 200 € if you fancy a formula comprising of a more extended day trip on a luxury yacht together with other amenities like a Greek lunch, as well as snacks, beverages, and fresh fruit that are offered onboard.
Private boat tours are more expensive, but they are definitely worth it if you are a large group or if you are looking for more privacy and customization.
How long does a boat tour take?
A boat trip may last a half day or a full day, depending on the number of stopovers part of the itinerary. For instance, many tours include up to three islands. Otherwise, you can pick a boat tour which comprises two or only one stop.
Where do boat tours leave from?
The Athens' Riviera is the Greek capital's hub for sailing. Generally, the boats start from the Port of Piraeus which lies on the northeastern edge of the gulf, Kallithea Marina and Zea Marina. Hence, you have to reach the cruise terminal. Otherwise, they will directly pick you up and drop you off from your centrally located hotel in Athens or even from Athens airport.
Other harbours along the coast are the starting point to explore on a boat trip the well-known Saronic Gulf. The most popular ports to set off from include Flisvos, Agios Kosmas, Alimos and Glyfada, for instance.
When is the best time for a boat tour?
The best time to go on a boat trip from Athens is from March to November. The summer months from June to August are particularly hot, but they are often windy, and the heat is well bearable. Winter is still mild, but the tourist areas in this period are not very busy, and you may find many facilities closed.