Best Day Trips from Athens

Athens, one of the oldest cities in Europe and an absolute highlight for culture lovers and foodies, has so much to offer that you can spend several weeks in the Greek capital without getting bored.

But it’s also worth taking a look at some of Athens’ nearby destinations, which are very easy to reach as a day trip by boat or by land. Outside Athens, beautiful Greek islands, turquoise waters and many impressive archaeological sites await you. Here are the most charming villages and islands that you can easily visit as day trips from Athens.

Tourist walking around at the temple of Delphi.

Delphi (100 miles)

In the middle of the mountains of central Greece lies a place full of mysticism and timeless beauty: Delphi. Just a stone’s throw away from the vibrant metropolis of Athens, this place invites you on an unforgettable journey through history, mythology and natural beauty.

Imagine yourself transported back to the time of the ancient Greeks, where oracles whispered prophecies and gods walked the earth. Delphi, once considered the center of the world, still fascinates visitors today with its scenic beauty and archaeological wonders. From the Temple of Apollo to the imposing theater, every ruin holds a story of ancient glory and human ambition.

A giant rock with the monasteries of Metéora in Greece with cloudy sky.

Metéora (222 miles)

Now we invite you on a journey like no other – a pilgrimage to the mystical monasteries of Metéora. Rising like giants from the rugged landscape of central Greece, the rock formations of Metéora are a sight to behold. Weathered by centuries of wind and rain, these imposing cliffs rise out of the earth and create a landscape that resembles a fairytale.

But it’s not just the natural beauty of Metéora that makes it a must-see. The ancient monasteries that gave the region its name are perched on the steep cliffs. The monasteries were built in the 14th century by monks seeking solace and seclusion.

Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon (43 miles)

Temple of Poseidon at sunset.

Just a short drive from the bustling streets of Athens lies Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon.
Perched proudly on a rugged cliff above the sea, the Temple of Poseidon watches over the waters below like a silent sentinel. This ancient temple, built in honor of the mighty god of the sea, dates back to the 5th century BC and offers visitors an insight into Greece’s rich past.

Capture of a lagune with cristalclear blue shining water.

Day Trips from Athens to the Greek Islands

Dreaming of escaping the bustling streets of Athens for a day of island hopping? Look no further! From the azure waters of Mykonos to the stunning cliffs of Santorini, the Greek islands offer a plethora of breathtaking experiences just a stone’s throw away from the capital city. Here you can find out how to embark on your island adventure, how much a ticket for a high speed ferry costs and how long the journey takes.

Piraeus Port of Athens with two big ferries.

By Fast Ferries to greek islands

Fast ferries are the ideal choice for those looking for a quick yet scenic journey. From the port of Piraeus, ferries from companies such as Golden Star Ferries, Blue Star Ferries and Hellenic Seaways will take you to your island paradise in no time at all.

High-speed ferries usually take between 2.5 and 5 hours and ferry tickets cost between €50 and €80 per person, depending on the route and destination.

By Slow Ferries

Prefer a leisurely voyage? Opt for a slow ferry and immerse yourself in the serenity of the Aegean Sea. Departing from the Piraeus Port, companies like Anek Lines and SeaJets offer regular services to various islands. While the journey may take a bit longer, the opportunity to unwind and soak in the beauty of the passing landscapes makes it all worthwhile. Slow ferries typically take between 7 to 9 hours.

A couple sitting on a hill looking at an island direct infront of them sourounded by cristalclear blue waters.

By Plane

If you want to be comfortable and fast, you can take a short flight from Athens International Airport. The Athens International Airport (AIA) is located 12 miles (20 km) east of central Athens. With airlines such as Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air, you can quickly get to popular islands such as Mykonos, Crete or Santorini and make the most of your time in paradise. Fares usually start at €100 to €150 per person and flights take between 30 minutes and 1 hour, depending on the island.

Three white towers of Mykonos City with the sea next to them.


An island paradise like no other – Mykonos. Known for its vibrant nightlife, picturesque beaches and charming Cycladic architecture, this Greek island offers the perfect combination of relaxation and excitement, just a short ferry ride from the mainland.

When you step off the ferry and reach the beaches of Mykonos, you’ll immediately be captivated by the island’s unique charm. Take a walk through the narrow, cobbled streets of Mykonos Town, where bright white buildings with colorful shutters and alleyways planted with bougainvillea provide a postcard-perfect backdrop at every turn.

But Mykonos is much more than just a beautiful place – it is also a paradise for beach lovers and water enthusiasts. From lively Paradise Beach, where beach parties go on until the early hours, to tranquil Agios Ioannis, there’s a beach to suit every mood and preference.

The ferries from Athens to Mykonos usually take between 2.5 and 5 hours, so you have enough time to make a day trip from Athens.

A blue painted door and window of a small white house in Crete.


Join us on a journey to the largest island in Greece, where ancient history, wild landscapes and a vibrant culture await you – Crete.
Crete is a treasure trove of archaeological wonders and no visit would be complete without exploring the legendary Minoan palace of Knossos. What makes the palace so special are the intricately painted frescoes on the palace walls and the beautiful sculptures depicting the gods and goddesses of the time. You should plan at least 2 hours for the visit.

For nature lovers, Crete offers a wealth of outdoor adventures. These include the breathtaking Samaria Gorge, one of the longest and most impressive gorges in Europe. Or relax on the pristine beaches of Elafonissi and Balos, where crystal-clear waters and powder-fine white sand beckon.

As the day draws to a close, you can enjoy the sunset in the historic Venetian port of Chania, where pastel-colored buildings and waterfront tavernas create a picturesque backdrop.

Crete has it all: ancient ruins, local delicacies and a natural island beauty that will keep you coming back for more.

If you are traveling to Crete, be prepared for a longer journey, as the ferries take between 7 and 9 hours. The fastest way to travel from Athens to Crete is by plane.


Port of Chania in Crete during the day.

The elegant island of Hydra is a place that has inspired international jet setters and artists such as Chagall and Picasso. Just a short ferry ride from Athens, this jewel in the Saronic Gulf is home to car-free cobblestone streets, crystal clear waters and traditional Greek architecture.

One of the highlights of any visit to Hydra is exploring the island’s stunning coastline and secluded beaches. Relax on the pebbled shores of Mandraki Beach or dive into the azure waters of Vlychos Beach. Hydra offers a variety of idyllic spots where you can soak up the sun and feel the gentle sea breeze on your skin.

The ferries from Athens usually take around 1.5 to 2 hours, so you can escape the city center at your leisure.

Street in Mykonos City with Colorful flags as decoration.


Our last day trip from Athens we present to you takes you to Santorini. Just a short flight or ferry ride from Athens, Santorini attracts visitors with breathtaking views, romantic sunsets and unique volcanic landscapes.

Start your day trip by exploring the charming villages. Oia is particularly beautiful, where blue domed churches and cozy cafés line the cliffs and offer breathtaking views of the caldera below. Then make your way to Fira, the island’s vibrant capital, where bustling markets, lively tavernas and picturesque squares await.

Are you looking for a little adventure? Then hike the scenic trails that wind through the island’s countryside or take a boat trip to the volcanic islands of Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni, where you can bathe in hot springs.

No visit to Santorini is complete without experiencing the island’s world-famous sunset. Find one of the many viewpoints, such as the ruins of the Byzantine castle in Oia or the cliff terraces of Fira, and be mesmerized as the sun sinks behind the horizon and bathes the sky in shades of pink, orange and gold.

By fast ferry, the journey from Athens takes around 5 hours, or you can opt for a quick flight, which takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour and guarantees a seamless transition to paradise.


Views of Santorini and Caldera: Oía 847 02, Greece (next to the Londsa Castle)

No matter which day trip from Athens you choose, you’re sure to have a wonderful time. We wish you lots of fun and a beautiful vacation!

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