13 day trips from Athens

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Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Athens? Discover our ideas for day trips from Athens.

A cradle of civilization with infinite cultural riches, Athens is also a bustling metropolis. After a few days of wandering its bustling streets and crowded monuments, you may be in the mood for some fresh air. Just the thing! Just a few dozen kilometers from the capital, you’ll find many treasures worth the detour. Whether you’re looking for nature or culture, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

Discover our selection of the best day trips from Athens!

1. Corinth, Cape Heraion and Loutráki

Visiter Corinthe à Athènes

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Antoine2K

📍 83 kilometers

🚗 By car: 1 hour and 5 minutes

📷 What to see / What to do: Corinth Canal, ancient site of Corinth, Loutráki Bay, Temple of Heraion

Just an hour’s drive from Athens, this excursion is sure to delight those with a passion for antiquity. Corinth is the gateway to the Peloponnese, the mythical peninsula in south-western Greece. To reach it, cross its famous canal via a suspension bridge. Bordered by impressive chalk cliffs, it is a clear and impressive cut in the hillside rock.

While the modern city of Corinth is of little interest, its Greco-Roman remains are well worth a visit. The columns of the ancient temple of Apollo and the arcades of the shops stand proudly in the heart of the hills. From the top of the Acrocorinth, you can admire a superb panorama of the gulf.

After this visit, head for Héraion! This pretty rocky headland, topped by a small lighthouse, is the ideal spot for a picnic while admiring the deep blue waters of the gulf. Once you’ve had your fill, discover the ancient site, its temples and cisterns. The most impressive of these remains is the temple of Hera Akraia, dating from the 8th century BC.

On the way back, stop off in Loutráki for a drink on one of the seaside terraces. Particularly popular with Greeks, this small seaside resort is nestled in a pretty bay bordered by mountains.

2. Cape Sounion

Visiter Cap Sounion

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Karl Allen Lugmayer

📍 68 kilometers

🚗 By car: 1 hour and 15 minutes

📷 What to see / What to do: Poseidon temple, sunset

Located at the southern tip of Attica, Cape Sounion National Park is just over an hour’s drive from the capital. As such, it’s perfect for a day trip from Athens.

Cape Sounion is an important mythological site. It is said thatAegeus threw himself into the water, convinced that his son Theseus had failed to defeat the Minotaur. Loaded with legend, this headland was even dubbed « the sacred promontory of Athens » by Homer.

The majestic ruins of Poseidon’s temple stand at its summit, overlooking a bewitching sea. The temple’s 6-metre-high columns seem to hang in the wild, superb landscape. As the sun sets, the setting is enveloped in magic…

3. Mycenae

Visiter Mycènes

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Irina Rogova

📍 120 kilometers

🚗 By car: 1 hour and 30 minutes

📷 What to see / What to do: ancient citadel

Head for the Peloponnese to discover one of the country’s most emblematic archaeological sites. A city not to be missed in the Homerian legends, Mycenae is the cradle of the Mycenaean civilization. This mythical and mysterious civilization died out for reasons that are not yet fully understood. However, archaeological excavations have uncovered a warlike and opulent society.

Today’s visit to this incredible citadel will take you back in time. Once you’ve passed the majestic Lioness Gate and admired the Cyclopean walls, you’ll discover some impressive remains. The site is famous for its palace, tomb circles and domed burial chambers. Finally, the archaeological museum, opened in 2007, will round off your excursion.

4. Nafplio

Visiter Nauplie proche d'Athènes

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Karl Allen Lugmayer

📍 140 kilometers

🚗 By car: 1 hour and 50 minutes

📷Sightseeing / activities: old town, seafront, Palamedes citadel and optional nearby archaeological site of Tirynthe

The pearl of the Peloponnese, the pretty town of Nafplio has an air ofItaly about it. After all, it was once in the hands of the Venetians. Its narrow streets, tiled roofs and neoclassical buildings washed by the turquoise waters of the bay give it an incredible charm.

The old town is full of treasures, from Syntagma Square to the Komboloi Museum and pretty churches. You’ll be delighted to lose yourself in this pretty maze, before enjoying a light meal by the sea. After all, you’ll need to keep your strength up before climbing the 999 steps to the impressive Palamede citadel!

A visit to Nafplio is enough to fill a day’s excursion from Athens. However, you can round off your trip with a detour to the archaeological site of Tirynthe, just a few kilometers away.

5. Delphi and Mount Parnassus

Se rend au Mont Parnas

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Dmitri Ometsinsky

📍 180 kilometers

🚗 By car: 2 hours and 15 minutes

📷 Things to see/do: the ancient site, skiing on Mount Parnassus

At the foot of Mount Parnassus lies the ancient sanctuary of Delphi, dedicated to the god Apollo. Today, Delphi is one of the country’s major tourist attractions, but its influence was already immense in ancient times. Pilgrims came from far and wide to consult Pythia and receive her oracle.

Around the remains of Apollo’s temple, the ancient stadium and theater bear witness to the life of the city at the time. Nestled in the heart of the mountains, with a splendid panorama over the valley, the site is breathtaking! Even so, try to take your eyes off the site to discover the fascinating museum.

Take the time to climb Mount Parnassus for a breathtaking view. In winter, you can even ski down its slopes!

6. Lake Vouliagmeni

Aller au lac vouliagmeni

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Sven Hansche

📍 25 kilometers

🚗 By car: 30 minutes

📷 Things to see and do: swimming and lounging

After a few days in the hustle and bustle of Athens, you may be in the mood for some fresh air. Lake Vouliagmeni is an easy excursion from Athens, and one that will delight families in particular. Bordered by a cliff, it is connected to a network of tunnels that lead into a grotto.

Above all, it is fed by a hot spring that guarantees a temperature of over 21°C all year round. The benefits of these waters are often praised, and the little fish will give you a natural pedicure! What’s more, the site is perfectly laid out, with a small guinguette for refreshments.

7. Around Marathon

Visiter Marathon proche d'Athènes

Photo Credit: Shutterstock – Aerial-motion

📍 45 kilometers

🚗 By car: 45 minutes

📷 Things to see and do: Lake Marathonas, Schinias beach, Marathon museum

Marathon, which became a legend when it gave its name to the famous foot race, is now an ordinary town. And yet, there are many good reasons to take a trip to the area from Athens.

First of all, you can immerse yourself in history by visiting Marathon’s archaeological museum. The combined ticket also includes a visit to the proto-Hellenic cemetery at Tsepi and the sanctuary of the Egyptian gods at Nea Makri.

Nature lovers will appreciate the limni (lake) Marathonas, a pretty artificial lake bounded by an imposing dam. You can also relax on the wide beach of Schinias. On the menu: fine sand, clear waters and lush Mediterranean vegetation!

8. Mount Parnitha

Excursion au Mont Parnitha vers Athènes

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Laokoon

📍 40 kilometers

🚗 By car: 50 minutes

📷Sightseeing / activities: forest, cable car, monasteries and churches, Filis fortress, Tatoi park, casino, sports activities

Parnitha Nature Park is a mountainous and forested area near Athens. Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do here, from hiking to mountain biking to horseback riding. And if you’re a bon vivant, you’ll love a good meal in one of the many tavernas.

As you explore Mount Parnitha, you’ll discover many natural and man-made sights:

  • The Filis fortress, built in the 4th century BC;
  • Tatoi, the former royal summer residence, and its park;
  • Numerous churches and monasteries, and even a casino perched atop the mountain!

9. Nemea and its vineyards

Excursion à Némée proche d'Athènes

Photo credit: Shutterstock – ollirg

📍 115 kilometers

🚗 By car: 1 hour and 15 minutes

📷 What to see / What to do: ancient site, vineyards

The ancient religious site of Nemea is the remains of a sanctuary dedicated to Zeus. There is also an ancient stadium, which hosted the famous Nemean Games in homage to the King of Olympus.

Today, Nemea is also worth a day trip from Athens for its wine route. This region of the Peloponnese is home to a number of vineyards, renowned for their Agiorgitiko varietal wine.

10. Epidaurus

Visiter Epidaure vers Athènes

Photo credit: Shutterstock – LouieLea

📍 138 kilometers

🚗 By car: 1 hour and 50 minutes

📷 What to see / What to do: archaeological site

Epidaurus is one of Greece’s most famous archaeological sites, not least for its spectacular theater. With its 14,000 well-preserved seats, it still hosts a major summer festival. During visiting hours, you can improvise on the stage and admire the incredible acoustics.

The site also boasts a temple, a stadium and a mysterious circular construction lined with columns. No wonder it’s one of the most visited sites in Greece!

11. Saronic Islands: Aegina, Agistri, Salamis

Se baigner à l'archipel des Saroniques

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Sven Hansche

⛴️ By ferry: 10 minutes to Salamis from Athens, between 40 minutes and 1h15 to Aegina from Athens, 10 minutes from Aegina to Agistri

📷 What to see / What to do: port of Aegina, temple of Aphea Athena, beaches, port of Mylos at Agistri

The Saronic archipelago is easily accessible for a day trip from Athens, particularly the islands of Aegina, Agistri and Salamis. To book a ferry crossing, visit Direct Ferries.

Let yourself be seduced by Aegina’s turquoise waters, fishing boats and charming buildings. Among the many historic monuments, don’t miss the temple of Aphea Athena.

If you’re looking for peace and quiet, the small island of Agistri is the place for you! It offers a wide variety of landscapes, from villages to coves and forests.

From the port of Piraeus in Athens, it takes just a few minutes to reach Salamis by ferry. The island is perfect for a short getaway, for example, to enjoy the beach.

12. Saronic Islands: Hydra and Spetses

Excursions aux îles Saroniques proches d'Athènes

Photo Credit: Shutterstock – Aerial-motion

⛴️ By ferry: 1 hour and 35 minutes to Hydra from Athens, 40 minutes between Hydra and Spetses, 2 hours and 25 minutes between Spetses and Athens

📷 What to see / What to do: Hydra harbor, hiking, chapels, neoclassical architecture in Spetses, beaches

After a ferry crossing, discover the two most elegant of the Saronic islands: Hydra and Spetses. Protected from pirates, both islands have developed beautiful villages, Hydra picturesque, Spetses majestic. They share a notable asset: the total absence of cars!

Throughout the 20th century, Hydra has attracted jet-setters in search of idleness, from Leonard Cohen to Jackie Onassis. But beyond its busy port, this mountainous island offers superb hiking. As for Spetses, steeped in history, it is dotted with elegant buildings as well as beautiful natural spots.

13. The Meteors

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Photo credit: Shutterstock – proslgn

📍 350 kilometers

🚆 By train: 3 hours and 30 minutes from Athens to Kalambaka (line 52 then 3880 with stopover in Palaeofarsalos)

📷 What to see / What to do: Meteora and its monasteries

If a day trip from Athens is an option, we recommend an overnight stay in Kalambaka or Kastraki. This will allow you to take full advantage of the breathtaking Meteora!

These incredible rocky peaks were formed under the sea, and seem to have been sculpted with care. Perched atop them are monasteries whose tiled roofs brighten up the mineral landscape. Six of these can be visited. Although a little further from Athens, Meteora is one of Greece’s most incredible excursions.

Athens is the perfect epicenter for visiting Greece. In addition to the endless riches to be discovered in the city, you can easily explore many breathtaking sites on day trips from Athens.