Greek Islands to Visit a Short Ferry Journey from Athens

Greece is among the most popular holiday destinations for British tourists. A combination of favourable weather, incredible history and excellent food makes this a part of the world that’s difficult to resist. More than four million Brits made the trip to Greece in 2022. 

islands to visit from ferry from athens

Athens, in particular, offers an impressive range of attractions. Should you have the good fortune to find yourself in the city, you’ll have no shortage of places to visit, hills to climb and monuments to marvel at. Stay in the city for around four days, and you’ll give yourself plenty of time to see it all.

However, there’s another opportunity offered by the Greek capital: it’s just a short boat ride away from some of the most picturesque islands in the region. 

Islands within 2 hours of Athens

If you’re willing to spend a couple of hours on a ferry, then there are a number of islands you might seek to make time for. You might even look for a villa in the area, so that you can stay for a little bit longer in your chosen corner of the Saronic Gulf.


This island is one of the Saronic islands, just a short trip from the mainland.

islands to visit from ferry from athens

There are temples here dating back more than two thousand years, as well as a monastery and a former medieval capital.

In other words, it’s a location for history fans – but there’s a quality beach here, too. Aegina is particularly famous for its pistachio nuts – so be sure to sample some while you’re visiting the island!


One of the best things about Hydra is that motor vehicles are forbidden from travelling the island.

islands to visit from ferry from athens

As such, it’s a perfect complement to the hustle and bustle of the capital. Look for one of the more secluded beaches during your trip: Bisti, Limnioniza and Agios Nikolaos might all appeal in various ways.


This particular island played a key role in securing Greece’s independence from the Ottoman Empire.

islands to visit from ferry from athens

Much like Hydra, cars aren’t allowed on the island, and thus you’ll be getting around on a rented scooter. There are many wonderful beaches on the island, as well as plenty of museums.


You might think of Poros as two distinct islands, connected to one another via a canal.

One island, Sferia, is covered with amazing neoclassical architecture. The appeal of the second, Kalavria, stems from its wonderful secluded beaches and abundant pine forests.

If you’re in the area, it’s worth hiking to the top of the island, from which you’ll enjoy peerless views of the surrounding oceans.


Being just a short ferry ride from Athens, Agistri (or Angistri) is a destination that’s enormously popular with Athenians.

You’ll find plenty of visitors from the capital on the pebbly beaches, especially during summer.

The water here is perfect for swimming, and other recreational water activities. You might enjoy a spot of diving, possibly with the aid of a snorkel or SCUBA equipment.