Athens Day Cruises: Daily Tours of Islands Close to Athens

Coming up: boat-tripping, beach-hopping, the Saronic Islands, tasty local food, some of the best beaches you’ve ever seen, and world-class daily tours from Athens.

Some fun facts on Athens and Greece before we get started:

  • Greece is home to more than 6,000 islands
  • Only around 4% of those islands are inhabited 
  • They’re often very different from mainland Greece, with unique and isolated cultures 
  • Many are more rural and remote than famous islands like Crete, Corfu, and Mykonos
  • And Athens is the ONLY capital city in Europe from where you can visit three (or more!) separate islands in one day trip.
Athens Day Cruise Saronic Islands Tour Upiria

… now, we know what you’re thinking: 

Why are we telling you this?

Well: for many reasons.

But mainly because we know some special local people...

… and those special local people can take you to some of these unique islands on multi-stop trips from Athens.

Coming up, three separate adventures (and we guarantee you’ll want to do one of them!):

  1. Athens Day Cruise

The most popular option, this daily tour from Athens features visits to three of the area’s iconic Saronic islands:

  • Hydra: a completely-car-free island, locals here get around by riding on donkeys. Also a hub for hiking and horse riding, Hydra is known for cobbled streets, narrow alleys, orange-topped homes, and a rocky harbor. It features 300 churches, 6 monasteries, and a population of only 2,000 people—and many movies have been shot here. 
  • Poros: the smallest of the three islands you’ll visit, highlights include a lemon-tree forest, many whitewashed homes, some of Greece’s best easy-to-access beaches, and the island’s pretty little clock tower (which sits high on a hill).
  • Aegina: kooky and colorful, Aegina offers fishing villages, seafood-serving tavernas, weekend-tripping Athenians, and the hilltop Temple of Aphaia (one of the most important archaeological attractions outside of Athens) Fun fact: Aegina was the first-ever capital of modern Greece!
Athens Day Cruise Aigina Day Cruise Upiria

On all three islands, you have two choices. You can:

  • Wander aimlessly, sipping on coffee and ouzo, soaking up the sea and sun, getting lost down little alleys, and exploring each island however you want.
  • Or you can take extra excursions. These include walking tours, speedboat rides, temple and monastery tours, and across-island drives. Expect traditional tavernas, sea-swimming, unusual architecture, pistachio groves, cultural insights, history lessons, mythological tales, and hangouts only the locals know.
athens day cruise saronic islands tour and activities upiria

You cruise between each island on a modern three-deck boat—and on-board fun includes: 

Athens Day Cruise Day Cruise on greek islands on deck views upiria

  • Lounge chairs
  • A live orchestra
  • Traditional music
  • Greek dance lessons
  • On-deck views and sunshine
  • Locally-sourced Mediterranean cuisine and wines

… and in total, you get almost 12 hours of fun.

  1. Athens VIP Day Cruise

We won’t go into much detail here: because the Athens VIP Day Cruise is similar to the cruise we’ve just spent a long while telling you about:

You visit the same Saronic islands, you get the same experiences, you can hop on the same excursions, and you see the same sights.

Athens Day Cruise Athens VIP Day Cruise Upiria

But the big difference—you also get some high-end exclusive perks, including:

  • Next-level hospitality 
  • A separate VIP lounge
  • A finger-food lunch buffet
  • A private captain-led tour of parts of the boat 

Athens Day Cruise VIP Lounge Cruise Upiria

In short, it’s the most luxurious Saronic tour you can get.

  1. Athens Swimming Cruise

While the other two Athens cruises largely feature class and culture, this one’s mainly about partying and playing.

On the Athens Swimming Cruise, you visit three (or maybe even four!) islands close to Athens (some of them different to the ones we’ve already brought you). 

Locations include:

  • Agistri: home to only three villages and 1,200 inhabitants, pine forests cover 70% of the island.
  • Metopi: completely uninhabited, Metopi is home to sea turtles, vineyards, and the bluest seas you’ve probably ever seen
  • Perdika: sitting on the southwestern tip of the large island of Aegina, Perdika offers some of the nation’s best seafood. Expect real Greek specialties (not just what the other tourists eat!). 
  • And if you have time, you might also visit Moni. Just off the coast of Perdika, it’s famous for being home to some of Greece’s best hidden-away beaches.

… but aside from these shoreside destinations, you can also expect:

  • Sea swimming
  • Unlimited wine
  • A live on-board DJ set
  • A younger crowd than the other tours
  • Some of the bluest beaches you've ever seen 
  • A locally-sourced lunch (with a combo of Greek classics and unusual treats)

In short, it’s a big 9-hour on-boat party, where you combine dancing and drinking with lots of local culture.

Athens Day Cruise DJ Deck on Board Party Upiria

Why would I spend my Athens time visiting somewhere outside of Athens?

You’ve heard about Greek islands:

… and you’ve heard they’re some of the most beautiful places in the world.

You know about the:

  • Beaches
  • Blue seas
  • Suns and shores
  • Mediterranean food
  • Hospitable age-old locals
  • Unique and traditional way of life
  • Proud culture, history, and heritage 

But maybe you don’t have time to visit other islands, like Kefalonia or Crete. But with these day cruises, you get to see Greek island life in ONE DAY from Athens. A perfect time-saver!

(oh, and all experiences offer hotel pickup from most Athens hotels)

But most importantly, the places you visit on these daily tours from Athens are VERY different from the nation’s capital. On these islands close to Athens, you get to see the real Greece.

And here at Upiria, we love introducing visitors to real Greek people and real Greek culture. 

In which languages can I take a Saronic tour?

ALL experiences are available in Greek, English, French, Spanish—and other languages are available on request.

So, as we say in Greece: páme!

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