The capital city of Greece is a bustling city with an active nightlife and at the same time a city rich in history dating back to the 5th century BC. Athens is the best home base you could have to see all the archaeological sites. If you can’t get enough of the capital of Greece, here are the 10 Awesome day trips from Athens.
Day Trips from Athens: Delphi
Considered to be the place where the Olympics originated, Delphi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Private bus tours can get you there in 3 hours from Athens and will take you along the Parnassos Mountain. Breathtaking mountain views combine with elegant ruins to take you back in time to a place that was once the center of the world. History buffs will love the tours complete with a trip to the archeologist museum. But if you aren’t sold on a bus tour, you can cruise the islands.
Aegina, Poros and Hydra
With pick up service from most hotels in the area, a cruise tour is a great way to get a taste of the islands. The trip is an all-day affair that lasts 11 hours, so clear your schedule. The cruise comes complete with live entertainment, a guide, and food. Hydra will charm with cobblestone streets, Poros is green, lush and full of lovely beaches and Aegina has the historical flare including the Temple of Aphaea. Tours off the boat will cost extra but you won’t regret it. And after a day on a cruise ship, you might decide you want something different. So why not go by train?
Meteora – Day Trips from Athens
Hop on the train at Kalambaka Station and head out to two historic monasteries. Charge the batteries on your phone and digital camera because Meteora has incredible picturesque views of gigantic rock pillars and world famous monasteries which are built right into the mountains. This tour takes 14 hours and leaves 8:20 AM. Your guide will speak English and convey the history of the area to you. Round trip tickets are included. Monastery tours will cost you extra to enter. Once you’ve had a lovely time in Meteora enjoying the views, you might want to check out the sunset at the Temple of Poseidon.
Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon
You can get to the Temple of Poseidon and Cape Sounion on a bus tour that takes 2 hours or by public transit. Cape Sounion gets hot, so it’s best to go earlier in the summer before the heat becomes too much. However, if it is hot, visit the temple and hop in the ocean at the Aegean Hotel to cool off. The view is unparalleled. Search for the Greek Tavern at the edge of the beach to sample the local seafood. If you don’t have time for an all-day excursion, sunset tours lasting 4 hours are available and leave from Athens around 5 pm. After more history and a nice swim in the Aegean, why not go shopping?
Take a car or bus from Athens and be in Nafplio, the first capital of Greece in 1.5-2 hours. Once in the old part of the city you can choose the bus or the more romantic horse-drawn carriage to get around. Cobblestone streets and quaint shops are just waiting to be explored in this picturesque town. Several beaches are dotted around for summer vacations so swimsuits are a must. From the beach, you can see Bourtzi, an old Venetian fortress. You can tour it or you can head over to Palamidi castle. Take a car or climb the 999 steps for an epic view. And that’s only a small taste of what you can do there. Once you’re done baking in the sun, another great trip to take would be Corinth.
Leaving from Syntagma Square, there is a 5 and a half hour tour to Corinth. Travel along the coast and get your fill of the elegant Corinth Canal and the Saronic Gulf. Once in Corinth, spend 90 minutes enjoying the archeological site. A guide will tell you the rich culture of the area where St. Paul was said to have preached for two years. The coaches are air-conditioned, and the site fees are included.
Nemean Wine Country
Additionally, all this culture calls for a drink! Take a 9-hour tour of Nemean Wine Country to experience 3500 years of traditional winemaking. With lunch, wine tasting and entrance fees included, you can take a small tour of Ancient Nemea. See the history and then visit a winery to learn about how far wine production has come in the last few thousand years. Enjoy lunch in a beautiful setting before hopping back into your coach and returned to Athens for a break before heading out for your next day trip.
Enjoy a leisurely ride from Athens to Attica in a private car on a half day tour lasting approximately 5.5 hours. Along the way,you can’t resist the beauty of the olive groves and surreal mountains in the Attica region. Once there, visit the Brauron Archaeological Museum. Entrance to the museum is extra but reasonable. Though it is a small-scale museum, it houses the remains of the ancient temple of Athens’ history. Thus making it a huge part of Greece’s History. The area also boasts taverns and cafes to make your trip complete.
The Island of Aphaia
A self-guided electric motorbike tour is a more active way to take in Aphaia, once you take the ferry from Piraeus port. The tour is 9 hours and includes a mapped route that includes historical sites, museums, and attractions. Admire Tzikides village and several churches as the ride goes through forest areas. When you’re dropped back off at the pier, you can take the ferry back, rest up and be ready to hop back on an air-conditioned coach for your next trip.
Mycenae and Epidaurus
Travel to the fortified city of Mycenae where you enjoy a walking tour of the ruins. See the tomb of King Agamemnon, the Lion’s Gate and the palace. Continue on to see the grand Epidaurus Theater. Take the opportunity to sing in an ancient theater with perfect acoustics and check out the museum. The tour is 9 hours and drops you off back at the hotel.
This Post is authored by Pierre . He moved to Norway in 2014 . Since then, his life was never the same again. Now, healthcare worker by trade, adventurer by passion, blogger wherever he goes, Pierre writes about his travels and his life on Anything Under Our Stars. He is passionate about inspiring others to travel and discover the world to see new places and experience different cultures
32 thoughts on “10 Awesome Day Trips from Athens You Need to Experience Once in a Lifetime”
Delphi would be #1 on my list Ami. I instantly think of the Oracle of Delphi, and hallowed antiquity, and all that jazz LOL. Greece and Athens feel like the beginning of civilization in so many ways. All look like rocking day trips. Keep churning out the rocking content!
Thanks Ryan. I need to see these myself. Pierre has got me quite curious now.
Fascinating indeed! Athens is surely a beautiful place with beautiful history.
Indeed. So much to do here.
Beautiful description . Loved the pictures 🙂
Thank you. I am glad you liked it.
Greece is such a wonderful country! I went there last year and I felt in love right away! Athens are definitely on my list to visit asap! The history and architecture is just amazing! I actually had no idea that there is so many wonderful place for a day trips from it! I am gonna have to take a look again at it when I book my flight finally as I do love visiting more than just a city when I travel!
Pierre did open up a new world for those heading to Athens. I hope to do these myself. Thanks for stopping by
While going through this post, the pictures reminded me of my Jordan trip, so many similarities. I love to cover many places at one go because of leave problem, courtesy, a full time job. So places like Athens and around, when have so much to offer, a traveler like me has to check It off their list. Nicely written.
Indeed! It is always the paucity of time that makes it difficult to cover it all. Pierre has whetted my appetite for travel to Athens with this post.
Thanks for sharing this post. Comes at perfect timing as I am looking forward s to my visit to Greece next week. The history and culture of Athens is amazing and your photos say a story itself. Very helpful and well presented.
Lucky you, I hope you can do some of these trips. Have a good time.
I’m in Athens right now!! I haven’t even heard of half these places and wish I had more time here now to experience everything. Meteora has been on my list for a while now, and I hope to be able to visit there soon. Awesome list – saving it for future reference.
Gosh, I so envy you right now. Pierre had my wanderlust at its peak with this article and I wished Athens. And you tell me that you are there. Hope you can manage at least one of these trips.
Wow! These are place I definitely want to see someday! Absolutely beautiful, and such historical and important places. I have never been to Athens and I didn’t even realise that one could hit all these on a same trip. I’m excited. I have visited several islands in Greece and I loved it.
I agree… Till Pierre shared this, even I did not realize that one could cover these from Athens. Thanks for stopping by, Paula
Your post revived my Greek vacations during last year and same time. My favorite day trip from Athens was Delphi and Meteroa. The drive from Athens to these places was stunning and even I loved the monasteries of Meteora. I must say these day trips are worth going from Athens. Many people skip Athens and there near by places because they opt for Greek islands, but they should go for nearby places of Athens too.
Pierre’s post did reveal a lot to do around this historic capital. I hope I can go too and I hope you can manage the rest of the places that you missed.
I just loved Athens especially because of all of the ruins and history. I also done a day trip to Delphi and I was taken back by the place. I would love to go to Meteora though and it is definitely a buckelist item on my return. I didn’t know about Nafplio but that is definitely on my list now too.
Sigh, all of you really make me want to get there soon. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience.
Athens is so so much in my wishlist! I really hope to go there early next year.
Athens is a city that I’ve studied about so much in my art history classes.
With such day trips from there like Meteora, I guess I should plan atleast a 4 day trip.
Definitely seems like you need at least 4 days. Hope you get there soon, Bhushavali.
Oh my, reading this post has got me dreaming of Greece. It’s amazing how much you can do from Athens. An 11 hour day cruising actually sounds fun! I’d totally love to get off the boat and explore the island so I would pay the extra. It feels like you could easily spend at least 5-7 days in Athens!
From what Pierre tells us, definitely need 4 to 5 days at the minimum. I am raring to go too. Thanks for stopping by
When we were in Athens we planned for a day tour of Athens and lost valuable time in that, instead we could have visited one of these places.
I guess you could go again. 😀 Thanks to Pierre, I know now where to go 😀
Athens itself is such a historic place and the places around it do make for awesome day trips. Greece is such a wonderful place with a rich history and heritage. Greece is indeed a destination that mesmerizes with its natural beauty and the intrigue of a rich history. Delphi is the favourite of mine among these.because of its association with the famed Oracle.
Indeed. Athens is so high on my bucketlist with all its Greek origins and stories. I too want to visit the Delphi for the oracle. Sigh!
Thanks for sharing this post. The history and culture are amazing and photos say a story itself. Very helpful and well- presented.
Glad you liked it. I too, love the history of the place. It is just so awesome.
I really need to revisit Athens and the surrounding region, especially looking at your suggested day trips, there’s plenty to see to make a full week or more here. I love historical / archeological sites, plus have always wanted to visit a mountain monastery such as Meteora and you have listed some beautiful coastal villages also.
Thank you Kavita. Pierre certainly has listed a variety in these trips. Nature and heritage is a heady combination. I fear a week seems to be a min here.