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Greek Island Hopping: three lesser known islands near Athens

Andros ● Cyclades ● Kea ● Kythnos ● 23 February 2018

Island hopping from Athens is an excellent way to combine your vacation in the Greek capital with the visit to the beautiful Greek islands. Athens has many islands in a short distance, mainly in the Saronic Gulf. These islands, such as Aegina, Hydra or Spetses, are widely known as perfect destinations for a day trip or a weekend from Athens. However, there are three islands in the Cyclades that are also very close to Athens, and especially to the ports of Rafina and Lavrion in the eastern side of the city. These islands, in spite of their proximity to Athens, are lesser known than the Saronic islands. Discover them, get inspired and book your accommodationl and ferry tickets to live the experience of Greek Island Hopping in Cyclades.


Kea (also known as Tzia) is the closest island to Athens (1,5 hour from Lavrion port) and gets popular during the weekends of summer. However, it has kept its authentic character, and most of its beaches are secluded offering you the privacy you want. Organised beaches with touristic facilities are Gialiskari, Koundouros and Korissia with their golden sand and turquoise waters making swimming and sunbathing a wonderful experience.

Kea has the typical mountainous wild landscape of Cyclades, but the architecture of its seaside villages is not typically Cycladic as they are built with neoclassical houses that are still well-preserved. Ioulida is the Chora of the island on the slopes of the hill, and it is a perfect spot to spend your weekend away from mass tourism. Korissia is the port of Kea and the main tourist resort. Other picturesque villages are Otzias, Vourkari, Pisses and Spathi.


Kythnos is the next island near Kea, which impresses with its wild beauty. Kythnos is an island that now becomes known, but it is still an untouched paradise. The most famous beach of Kythnos is Kolona with its both sides overlooking the crystal waters, but Kythnos has numerous gorgeous beaches, most of them unorganised and ideal for relaxation.

The most traditional villages on the island are Chora and Driopida, which have stone houses and paved streets, while Merihas and Loutra have the most touristic facilities. You can go to Kythnos from Lavrion port (2 hours) or Piraeus port (3 hours).


Andros is a large island with rich history and stunning beaches. You can go to Andros from Rafina port in less than 1,5 hour by ferry. You will be impressed by the port of Andros, Batsi, which stands imposing by the sea. Andros is not typically Cycladic. Batsi as well as its Chora and the other villages have neoclassical elegant and not white-washed houses, while the island is also green, full of trees and verdant nature.

Batsi is the most touristic spot of Andros, while Chora is a cosmopolitan town full of museums and art shops. The most famous organised beaches of Andros are Agios Petros and Golden Beach, while astonishing are also the beaches of Ahla, Vlychada and Vitali. However, these beaches are unorganised, and the road to reach them is dirt road.

Where to Stay

Hotel in Athens, Greece Hotel Cybele
Hotel Cybele
7, Kolokotroni & Dagkli str.,Pefki, 15121 Athens, Greece

Hotel Cybele is located in Pefki, just an 11-minute walk from Maroussi Metro Station. Athens city centre is 19 km away and Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" is 28 km away.

Hotel in Athens, Greece Arethusa Hotel
8.6 10
Arethusa Hotel
6-8, Mitropoleos Str., 10563 Athens, Greece

Located in Athens, right next to scenic Plaka, Arethusa Hotel is just a 3-minute walk away from Syntagma Metro Station. Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" is a 40-minute drive away.

Hotel in Athens, Greece Delice Hotel - Family Apartments
8.6 10
Delice Hotel - Family Apartments
3, Vas. Alexandrou Str., 11528 Athens, Greece

Situated in the centre of Athens, Delice Hotel -Family Apartments is just a 6-minute walk from Evangelismos Metro Station. Syntagma Square is one stop away using the metro. Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" is 33 km away.