An overview of the most popular day trips in Greece:
3. Mycenae and Epidaurus Day Trip from Athens
From Athens, it is possible to spend an entire day exploring ancient ruins and historic landmarks. Step back in time and tour hilltop ruins, fortified cities and ancient tombs, not to mention world-class archeological sites, in Mycenae and Epidaurus.
The day begins with a pick up in Syntagma Square, Athens. A comfortable coach ride awaits, driving you along scenic spots like the Saronic Gulf until you arrive in Mycenae. This hilltop city was once ruled by King Agamemnon, and in the second millennium BC it was a powerful, rich settlement in ancient Greece. In Mycenae, you’ll be able to see incredible landmarks like the Mycenae Palace, the Temple of Agamemnon and the famous Lion’s Gate. After the tour, head back to the coach for a brief drive to Nauplia, a charming seaport with exceptional views over the water.
The next stop on the itinerary is Epidaurus. In ancient Greek mythology, Epidaurus is important because it was the birthplace of the god of healing, known as Asklepios. Many of the relics in the city of Epidaurus are in ruins today, but they are still a stunning place to explore. The Sanctuary of Asklepios may contain buildings that are crumbling, but they simply set the scene. Strolling through the ruins of such a mighty city is a surreal experience, and one that definitely warrants a lot of photographs.
One Epidaurus landmark not in shambles is the breathtaking ancient theater. Constructed over 2,400 years ago, this enormous theater is renowned as one of the most beautiful on the planet, and it has served as a model for countless other theaters that try to recreate the spectacular acoustics. Believe it or not, performances are still held in the Epidaurus theater to this day. The return journey winds back along the Saronic Gulf, providing 90 minutes of scenery through the beauty of Peloponnese.
2. Day Trip from Athens to Hydra, Poros and Egina
One of the best ways to see Greece is by boat. With so many spectacular Greek islands to choose from, it would be a mistake to spend your entire trip on the mainland. From Athens, it is possible to set sail on a one-day boat cruise that makes stops at three separate Greek islands near Athens: Hydra, Poros and Egina. Prepare for unparalleled views, incredible history and a wonderful day at sea.
From Athens, take a 20 minute ride on an air-conditioned coach to the port of Piraeus. From there, you’ll cruise to the first island destination of the day: Poros. On Poros, you’ll have an hour or so to wander and explore independently. Make the most of your time by checking out the 19th century Russian dockyard called Trinzia, or just relax at a taverna overlooking the waterfront and soak in the views.
It’s back on the boat for the next section of the cruise, where lunch will be served at the onboard restaurant. After a Greek feast, you’ll arrive at Hydra. Two hours in Hydra will fly by as you use the time to tour the Cathedral of Hydra, admire the Hydriote mansions overlooking the water or browse the shops in search of souvenirs.
Back on the boat, it’s another scenic cruise to the third and final island destination of the day: Egina. You can choose to take a brief excursion to the Temple of Aphaia, or you can relax closer to the port. Egina is the perfect place to enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine in a charming taverna. On the return journey from Egina to Piraeus, you’ll be treated to a Greek folklore show with traditional music and dancing, a wonderful way to pass the time as you head back to Athens.
1. Day Trip from Athens to Delphi
If you’re eager to explore the ancient history of Greece, there are few places more suitable than Delphi. In millennia past, Delphi was considered to be the center of the world, highlighting its incredible significance. A day trip from Athens to Delphi lets you explore ancient archeology, legend and culture in a comfortable and convenient way.
You’ll meet your tour guide in Athens and begin a two-hour drive to Delphi on a private bus. Along the way, learn that Delphi was where the eagles of Zeus reportedly gathered, and hear ancient tales about the incredible city. Out the window, you’ll pass the charming towns of Levadia and Arachova. When you arrive in Delphi, head straight for the archeological site. This is the hub of tourism in Delphi, and it is easy to see why. You’ll have the freedom to walk around the ruins, spotting iconic landmarks like the Temple of Apollo and the Ancient Theatre.
The next stop will be the incredible Delphi Archeological Museum. The extensive museum boasts 15 rooms filled with historic artifacts, all of which are laid out in chronological order. Start with the 15th century BC and work your way forward, admiring famed pieces like the Charioteer of Delphi made from bronze or the Sphinx of Naxos.
Lunch will be at a Delphi hotel, allowing you to try the local culinary delights with a spectacular views of the ruins as well as of the surrounding hills. On the bus ride back to Athens, a brief stop in the town of Arachova is the perfect time to grab a coffee or just admire the colorful carpets for which the town is so well known.