The Saronic Gulf and the Athens Riviera

The Saronic gulf lies to the south of the Greek capital Athens, providing a quick, yet satisfying getaway from the busy capital. It lies between the north eastern shoulder of the Peloponnese and the Attic Coast on which Athens and its main port Piraeus are located. The Saronic gulf islands include some beautiful small harbours and coves while its islands can be easily reached within a couple of hours making them ideal for day trips and overnight stops from Athens even in the winter.

Many mainland Greeks own vacation homes in the Saronic Gulf. Its islands are small havens in close proximity to Athens and steeped in ancient tradition. Visitors of the Saronic gulf will enjoy its natural beauty, many historical treasures, unique architecture and glamorous, yet romantic atmosphere, which is suitable for families and jet-setters alike.

Cosmopolitan Aegina

Aegina's main port is a cosmopolitan miniature town with nice little shops in narrow back streets, elegant cafes and seafood tavernas along the waterfront. One of the better preserved doric temples in Greece is the Temple of Aphaia above Agia Marina -a must-see for lovers of ancient Greece.

The views of the Saronic Gulf are stunning from up there. Don't miss the sunset from Perdika, a charming fishing village to the south-west of the island with seafront tavernas and bars. Because of its proximity to Athens, Aegina does not appeal to mass tourism but retains its distinct Greek character, making it an ideal getaway even during the winter.

Jet Setting Hydra

A jet setter haven, Hydra has been home to Leonard Cohen and other celebrities. This island's jet set reputation is second only to Mykonos in the Cyclades. In the summer months Hydra is bustling with vibrant nightlife, good restaurants, bars and cafes on the waterfront. The town is well preserved to reflect its initial grace and the inhabitants' prosperity of the 1800s is still obvious.

The island has no cars, only donkeys and water taxis are used as a means of transportation. 'Proper' beaches simply do not exist but one will surely enjoy swimming off the rocks. This island will appeal equally to nightlife lovers and families. Hydra provides a good base for organised excursions to ancient Mycenae, Epidavros and the beaches of the Peloponnese.

Angistri, Poros and Spetses

If a more unspoiled island with sandy beaches is what you are after, then the small island of Angistri, just west of Aegina, will surely appeal to you. This verdant little visited paradise is one of the first Greek islands to have a nudist beach.

The island of Poros is less than 5 minutes away from the Peloponnese mainland and its attractions like Naphlion, Myceneae and Epidavros. This island boasts forests that come right down to the beach, nice restaurants and organised water sports facilities.

The old harbour of Spetses is a nightlife attraction but the island's nice beaches and pine trees will not leave naturists disappointed. Get to know the island by bicycle or water taxi or catch the excursion boats and buses to nearby beaches. Nafplion and the Peloponnese are only minutes away by boat.