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Here’s my review of the popular full-day Greek island cruise from Athens. One of the best day trips from Athens, it takes you to three of the Saronic Islands.
I spent four nights in Athens and I knew I had to spend one of my days visiting a Greek island. It didn’t matter which one, I just really wanted to step foot on a Greek island 😂. Well, my wish came true thanks to Tinggly! I went on this full-day Saronic Islands day trip from Athens. It was a long day, but it was definitely worth it. Here’s my recap of this particular Greek island cruise from Athens.
Firstly, a brief overview of Tinggly
If you’ve been following along for a while, you may know that I worked with Tinggly when I visited Hawaii in 2017. I did a day tour that allowed me to see some of Oahu’s top sights – it was awesome. Tinggly is all about gifting experiences. You basically pay a set amount and the recipient can choose from hundreds of experiences in over 100 countries. Tinggly is also committed to supporting sustainable projects. “With the help of our partners, one Tinggly gift not only removes 15kgs of plastics but also offsets 200% of CO2 emissions produced during the chosen experience.” It’s the best present to buy that special someone year-round.
Full-day Greek island day trip from Athens
Just one of the experiences a recipient can choose with a Tinggly gift is a Greek island cruise from Athens. Now, when they say it’s a full-day trip from Athens, they mean it. I was picked up from a hotel near my hostel before 7 a.m. and didn’t return until it was close to 8 p.m. It was a long day, but a good day. I wanted to talk a bit more about the onboard experience before I dive into the three Greek islands we visited.
I personally thought it was a very well-organised tour through the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, with voiceovers in multiple languages and several seating areas. However, I recommend bringing snacks because the food available is quite expensive. In saying that though, I loved the buffet lunch. We had pasta, chicken and fish dishes, and salads to choose from. The drinks aren’t the cheapest either, but you can purchase alcohol onboard.
There’s also a lot of downtime. It takes nearly three hours to get to Hydra, the first island. Therefore, definitely bring a book if you’re travelling solo like myself or a power bank so you can waste time on your phone. If you also do the tour in autumn, don’t forget a jacket as it can be cool outside when cruising. Okay, let’s get into the cruise now!
Hydra is the first Saronic island we visited and it was hands down my favourite. There are no cars on the island, so the traditional mode of transport is a donkey. You can choose to do a walking tour here as an optional extra, but I am glad I decided to go off on my own. I walked along the waterfront and down some back streets, picked up a delicious cheese pastry from a local bakery (I could eat another right now, to be honest) and found a great viewpoint. There are some stairs near where the ship docks and I highly recommend heading up them for a better view of Hydra.
This was where I met my Greek sidekick – this cute cat. I’m not a cat person, but he/she was very photogenic. You will quickly learn that cats are everywhere in Athens and the islands, but they’re well taken care of by locals.
The second Greek isle we visited was Poros. The best thing to do in Poros is to follow the steps and signs from the port up to the clock tower. From this viewpoint, you see across to mainland Greece, which is pretty cool. There are also souvenir shops conveniently located right where the ship docks. I also went for a walk towards the town, but there wasn’t a lot happening on this sleepy Sunday in Poros.
Our final destination on this Greek island cruise from Athens was Aegina. As it’s the island closest to the capital in the Saronic Gulf, Aegina is both a popular day trip from Athens and a summer holiday destination for Athenians. Apparently, many locals have summer homes on the island, which is known for its pistachios. There are two optional bus tours you can do on Aegina: the Temple of Aphaia and St Nektarios Monastery tour and the Panorama tour, which also takes you to the monastery.
It wasn’t the cheapest (about $40 AUD for a one-hour tour), but it’s the only way to see the large island. If you decide not to do the optional extras, you’re really stuck on the waterfront where the ship docks, which is just home to some shops and restaurants. On the Panorama tour, we saw a few interesting sights and got to sample some Greek appetisers at the end. Afterwards, we still had time, so I (naturally) picked up some pistachio ice cream to enjoy. Then we sailed across the Saronic Gulf back to Athens.
Final thoughts on this Greek island cruise from Athens
If you’re like me and just want to see the Greek islands on a day trip from Athens, then I believe this is the tour for you. But if you have more time, I suggest heading to one of the more popular Greek isles, like Oia or Paros. I also believe doing this tour in summer would be a completely different experience, as swimming would be involved. The water around Hydra looked very inviting, let me tell you!
Anyway, I hope this post has helped you plan your own Greek island day trip from Athens! If you have any questions, leave a comment below or find me on Instagram and Facebook. You can also find everything you need to know about Athens, check out my Athens travel guide.
I received a complimentary tour through Tinggly but paid for optional extras myself. All opinions are my own.