The Saronic Gulf Islands
The Saronic Islands are a group of four islands all in very close proximity to Athens. Named after King Saron of Argos, who, according to myth, drowned in the gulf chasing a deer which had taken to the water to evade the keen hunter. All rich in archaeological interest and natural beauty in their own way, they are the most easily reached of all the Greek islands and receive visitors from Athens as well as abroad.
Saronic Gulf Island Holidays in Aegina
Aegina is the closest of the islands to Athens. Sprayed with beautiful white sandy beaches and archaeological treasures this island is definitely worth a visit. Thought to be the birthplace of currency in Europe, it once competed with Athens for maritime and economic superiority of the region. It is now Greece’s main producer of pistachio nuts and much of the population live in idyllic fishing villages. The capital, Aegina Town, is a bustling port situated on the west coast.
Saronic Gulf Island Holidays in Poros
Only a stones throw from the mainland, Poros is actually two islands, connected by a small road bridge. The smaller of the two, Sferia, is where the islands capital, Portos Town, is located. Approaching the island by sea provides an unforgettable sight, the rocks seemingly rising straight out of the sea. Don’t let this deceive you, it is ringed by beaches where the pine grows nearly down to the sea. It is also home to the Temple of Poseidon. Built in the 6th century as tribute to the Greek god of the sea, it commands a fantastic view of the Salonic Gulf.
Saronic Gulf Island Holidays in Hydra
Hydra is the most internationally renowned of all the islands and the worlds artists, film producers and other members of the jet set can often be found relaxing here. One of the reasons they come is that the island is completely free of motor vehicles. Donkeys feature largely as transport here, as do bicycles, which can be rented. The island itself is quite rocky and has a number of historically important churches and monasteries. The stylish capital, Hydra Town, is peppered with cafes and bars and, like the rest of the island, bathed in the magical light which drew so many painters and film makers to the island.
Saronic Gulf Island Holidays in Spetses
Spetses has been inhabited since 2000 B.C. and its people are said to have been fierce fighters and celebrated shipbuilders. During the Greek war of independence they achieved notoriety by tying burning boats laden with explosives to the ships of their enemies and then quickly sailing full speed away. The island itself is dominated by pine trees and superlative beaches and is again free of cars. Essential places to visit include the old harbour in Spetses Town and the idyllic beach of Ligoneri.