Athens can wear you down, especially know that summer is officially over. However the city is close to the most important archaeological sites in Greece and to other areas that are easily accessible on day trips from Athens.
From island hopping in the Aegean Sea and consulting with oracles at Delphi, to exploring ancient Corinth, there is just a wide diversity of places to visit around the area of Athens and so many things to do. Let’s get to know the 8 best daytrips from Athens that won’t leave you disappointed!
Found along the coastal road at the southeastern tip of the Attica prefecture, Cape Sounion is a popular destination, especially for small escapes from the city of Athens. While at Sounio you can visit the remnants of the Temple of Poseidon, watch the sunsets on the Saronic Gulf that can be quite breathtaking and also access stunning beaches with crystal clear waters along the route from Athens. Many daily excursions are organized to Cape Sounion from the centre of Athens. It is considered among the sites you should definitely visit if you come to Athens.
Located on the isthmus which connects mainland Greece with the Peloponnese, surrounded by fertile plains and blessed with natural springs, Corinth is the region’s prominent administrative, commercial, financial and cultural centre. The city thrives on wide roads and beautiful pedestrian walkways, parks and squares, monuments, museums and historical sites and a picturesque port with fishing boats. Corinth is just three miles northeast of the site of ancient Corinth that was one of Greece’s richest cities of the past. Perhaps the most impressive site is the Corinth Canal which cuts through the rock and connects the Aegean Sea with the Ionian. A daytrip to Corinth from Athens won’t definitely be a waste!
Just a 2-hour-drive from Athens, Nafplion is a popular weekend destination all year round. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful towns in the area of Argolis in eastern Peloponnese. The town of Nafplion was the first capital of the newly born Greek state between 1823 and 1834 and has an intense medieval atmosphere. Walk around the narrow paved streets of the Old Town and visit the imposing fortress of Palamidi with the amazing view to the sea. Frankish, Venetian and Turkish conquerors left their mark in the town and strongly influenced its culture, architecture and traditions during the centuries. Visiting Nafplion is like a trip to the past and it’s a great daytrip choice, while its lovely beach resorts make it a great place for summer holidays, too.
Euboea (Evia Island)
Euboea, or also known as Evia, is the second largest island of Greece and is located close to the Prefecture of Attica. The island is a popular and nearby destination for the inhabitants of Athens, with its stunning landscapes, fusing both the dominating mountains and the blue crystal waters of the Aegean Sea and the Evoikos Gulf, its renowned monuments and many charming villages and towns, scattered all across its mainland. You shouldn’t miss out visiting the famous Loutra of Edipsos, which are hot mineral springs known for their healing waters.
Mycenae – Epidaurus, Argolis
Situated at the Argolis prefecture of the Peloponnese, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus and Mycenae are two of the most important archaeological sites of Greece. Marveled for its exceptional acoustics and fine structure, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus is regarded as the best preserved ancient theatre in Greece and is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the other hand, the archaeological site of Mycenae is the acropolis of the well-known Mycenaean civilization. The citadel was constructed using the Cyclopean stonework style, with huge entrances made with large stones and it was administrative headquarters for the rulers.
Saronic Islands cluster
Situated at a close proximity from the capital of Greece and considered to be an ideal resort for long-term vacations, weekend escapades as well as for daytrips is the small but beautiful Saronic Islands cluster. Take a stroll through the picturesque islands of Argosaronikos Gulf that are the hidden treasures between Attica and the north-eastern coasts of Peloponnese. Charming villages, stunning beaches with deep blue waters, paved paths, verdurous scenery, mansions of unique architecture and the warmth and hospitality of the residents will live you breathless and wanting for more. Aegina, Agkistri, Hydra, Poros, Spetses and Salamina await you to discover them!
One of the most well-known sites of Greece worldwide is the sanctuary of Delphi. Set within a most stunning landscape formed by the twin rocks of the Phaedriades at the foot of Mount Parnassos, the sanctuary of Delphi was for many centuries the cultural and religious centre for the Hellenic world. A major site for the worship of the god Apollo, the famous Delphic oracle was regarded as the most trustworthy and important oracle in the classical Greek world between the sixth and fourth centuries BC.
Olympia is one of the most well known destinations in Greece, and the birthplace of the most important athletic mega-event of all times. Situated at western Peloponnese, in the valley shaped by Kladeos and Alpheios rivers and surrounded by lush greenery at the southwest foot of Mount Kronos, Ancient Olympia is where the Olympic Games were held every four years to honor Zeus. While at Ancient Olympia, you will be given the chance to visit the sights and learn more about the past of the area where excavations brought to light the ancient stadium as well as buildings, temples, and many other valuable objects.
These destinations can be reached within hours from the centre of Athens and they will offer you the time of your life. Discover the jewels that are scattered across the wider area of Attica!