Among the magnificent island clusters that are outspread all over the Greek seas and embellish the country in a bedazzling manner are the small but beautiful Saronic Islands. They are considered to be an ideal resort for long-term vacations as well as for a weekend escapade.
Some of the very prettiest islands in Greece, they offer clear watered harbour towns, which wind up through pine forests to medieval monasteries. Many of them have a buzzing nightlife, but they're not party islands, per se, which leaves space for a civilized, laid back approach to vacationing in Greece.
The cluster of the Saronic Islands is comprised of the following exquisite islands: Angistri, Salamina, Aegina, Hydra, Poros and Spetses.
The verdant island of Angistri is small but offers crystal clear beaches. The far side of the island is mostly agricultural and in the village of Limineria, the residents devote themselves mostly to farming and fishing.
The historical island of Salamina is the closest to the mainland. Here one can find reasonably sandy beaches at Iliakti, Kanakia, Moulki and Peristeria.
Aegina is relatively flat. Its beautiful villages are dotted among the pine trees and lush green pistachio orchards, which it is famous for along with its ceramics. Here you can see the Temple of Aphaia and Perdika, a pretty fishing village with a good sandy beach.
Hydra, known for its naval tradition is a barren, rocky, car-free island (only donkeys are permitted for transportation). Built into the hill overlooking the harbour, it is a labyrinth of steep cobblestone streets, filled with chic bars, restaurants and art galleries. It is popular with artists and jet setters, primarily for its beauty.
Poros is a thickly wooded island separated from the Peloponnese by a very narrow channel. It is known for its white buildings with blue woodwork, typical of Greek island architecture. Here lie the remains of Poseidon’s Sanctuary. The best sand beaches lie at Askeli and Neorio.
Spetses has long been a popular holiday retreat because of its beaches and beautiful pinewoods. Cars are forbidden here to, except to residents. The best beaches lie at Agia Anangiri and Agia Pasaskevi. Vrelos and Kaiki Beach offer many water sports for you to enjoy.
While on the islands, don’t miss out on seeing the village of Paleochora (formerly known as the ‘town of 300 churches’, whereas today there only exists about 15.), hiking to the deserted Episkopi Monastery, scuba diving and hang-gliding, swimming in deserted coves, touring the enormous lemon grove of Lemonodassos and watching US/UK films at the Diana open-air cinema. There are also many opportunities to enjoy sailing, wind and kite surfing, parasailing, paddleboats and canoes.
Of course, whichever island you choose, there will be enough choices as to dining experiences, with the numerous bars, cafes, restaurants and clubs and lodging accommodations in the many inns, apartments and the two, three and four-star hotels.
So come, relax and have a vacation of fun-in-the-sun in the little but beautiful Saronic Islands. You’ll bring home with you a lifetime full of great memories to relive and share.