Top 9 Destinations for the Best Athens Day Trips
Although there are plenty of things to do in Athens, Greece, you may find yourself with some extra time depending on how long you stay. Besides, some of the best and most historical sites in Greece are located within a comfortable driving distance from the main city, which means that you definitely need to opt in for some of the best Athens day trips.
Even if you are in Athens for simply a couple of days, we urge you to spend a day at one of the below destinations which according to us are the most ideal for a daily excursion.
Day Trip 1: Epidaurus in Peloponnese (for the archaeology admirer)
A quintessential Classical Greece tour: cross the plain of Argos on to the archaeological sites of Mycenae, see the Ancient Epidaurus Theatre and Venetian fortress of Palamidi at the town of Nafplio with its fortified islet of Bourtzi afloat in the middle of the bay. This trip renders the ultimate sight-seeing kaleidoscope in less than 12 hours.
Day Trip 2: Meteora Monasteries (for the cultural explorer)
A UNESCO World Heritage landmark, Meteora is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. Its edifices are erected on top of rock towers, making for a breathtaking view of the valley below. There is a number of hiking trails, pristine villages and archaeological sites in the area, as well.
Day Trip 3: Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon (for the sunset lover)
Sounio is located only 69 km away from Athens making it the perfect half day or full day trip from the Greek metropolis. At Sounio, you will have the chance to visit the temple of Poseidon that dates back to 44 BC and admire the jaw-dropping view across the Aegean sea. During the summer months you can swim at the crystal clear waters of a nearby beach and have some fresh seafood in a seafront taverna. Don’t forget to admire one of the most magnificent sunsets.
Day Trip 4: Achaia Clauss Winery (for the wine and gourmet connoisseur)
Drive for a degustation at hilly Patra's Achaia Clauss Winery along the panoramic Peloponnese coastline. The winery is one of the largest and oldest in Greece; its multiple labels are well-known abroad and attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
Day Trip 5: Ancient Olympia (for the sport and history enthusiast)
One of the most sacred ancient centers of religious worship, Olympia, built in honor of Zeus and once easily accessible by boat, was chosen as the birthplace of the Olympic Games. In times of peace and war, the Greeks would compete for a crown wreath made of olive leaves. The Olympic Museum houses ancient sports artifacts including bronze athletes' discuses, bronze strigils used by athletes to scrape the oil and dust off their bodies, and halters, stone or lead weights held by jumpers for greater momentum.
Day Trip 6: Hydra (for foodies and architecture aficionados)
Hydra is a cosmopolitan 50 kilometers square island located in the Saronic gulf, perfect for foodies, art lovers, and architecture aficionados. Widely-known by sailors, the island is a no-car paradise, where more than 1000 photogenic donkeys and mules are the only means of transport. With beautiful stone mansions, amphitheatrically built around its harbor, Hydra is considered to be one of the most charming Greek islands. Wander around the cobbled streets and admire the houses rising on the hills. Don't forget to sign up for a scuba diving lesson or go sailing in one of the top destination for yacht owners.
Day Trip 7: Archaeological site of Delphi (for the archaeology buff)
The archaeological site of Delphi, the famous oracle of ancient Greece, includes the holy spring of Castallia, the temple of Apollo, the Stadium, as well as plenty of space to stroll around in the beautiful surroundings.
Day Trip 8: Aegina (for the relaxation seeker)
Aegina, the closest sizeable island to Athens, makes for a fantastic day trip from Athens. The island's main settlement, Aegina Town, manages to be lively and relaxing, very much at odds with the hectic pace of the big city. In Aegina Town itself, find pleasant cafes and restaurants and a gentle pace. Pistachios are the trademark local food, and if you're not offered a bowl of the local delicacy at a cafe, be sure to request a handful of nuts.
Day Trip 9: Ancient Corinth (for the activity fan)
Corinth is one of the most ancient Greek city-states, where the Greek civilization flourished, and possesses unlimited “hidden” traditional treasures that every visitor should discover. Corinth combines unique landscapes and small, picturesque, rural mountain villages that offer breathtaking views, in just over 1 hour away from Athens. In our single day tour, you can experience an “unexplored” agricultural area and enjoy nature while taking part in activities such as horse riding, archery, agriculture and walking tours through the “secret” small villages.