Hidden Gems of Greece: Exploring the Argo-Saronic Islands

Aegina, Greece

Greece comprises over 6,000 islands and islets, including the chain that makes up the Argo-Saronic islands.

Located on the eastern shoreline of the Peloponnese peninsula in the Argolic and Saronic Gulf waters, these islands offer impressive views, intriguing archaeological sites, pristine beaches, and much more.

This article takes a deep dive into each of the Argo-Saronic islands and explores what they have to offer to travelers and tourists.


Aegina is one of the closest islands to Athens, and its close proximity makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations.

From 1827 to 1829, Aegina served as the temporary first capital of Greece. During that period, the first governor, Ioannis Kapodistrias, ordered the construction of several neoclassical mansions to serve as his headquarters.

These buildings are well-preserved and still stand on the island today, making them worth checking out, especially if you enjoy architectural tours.

Other exciting sites to visit include the Aphea Temple, which forms an equilateral triangle with the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio and the Parthenon at the Acropolis. Additionally, many people enjoy leisurely strolls through the charming villages of Souvala and Vagia on the island.


Agistri marina, Greece

Agistri is a unique island with a peaceful, pine-filled forest, sandy beaches, and stunning ocean views.

It’s a popular option for adventurous travelers, offering plenty of opportunities for hiking, cycling, horseback riding, and sailing. However, there are also ample areas for long, casual walks on the beach or in the countryside.

Agistri is comprised of three villages: Megalochori, Limenaria, and Skala.

Megalochori serves as the island’s capital and is home to its main harbor, offering a variety of hotels, taverns, and beaches. Limenaria is a quaint traditional hamlet with a scattering of houses amidst the pine trees. Skala, located on the northeastern shores, is the island’s second harbor.

Every year, Agistri hosts four exciting festivals:

  • Zoodochos Pigi feast, celebrated on the Friday after Easter Sunday.
  • Agioi Anargyroi feast day, celebrated on July 1st.
  • Agia Kyriaki feast day, celebrated on July 7th.
  • Dormition of the Mother of God feast day, celebrated on August 15th.

If you happen to be in Greece during any of these days, a trip to Agistri should definitely be on your schedule.


Hydra is a renowned sailing destination, with the town structures forming a semicircle around the harbor.

However, this destination isn’t solely for sailors. It boasts a variety of captivating architectural sites, including luxury residences constructed by Italian craftsmen that once housed local fighters during the Greek War of Independence in 1821. Today, these buildings have been transformed into museums, featuring exhibits dedicated to Greek history.

Hydra is also home to approximately 300 churches and six monasteries, offering plenty of places for religious scholars to explore.

Visitors should keep in mind that Hydra is a car-free island, meaning they will likely find themselves walking quite a bit. Fortunately, walks around the island are peaceful and picturesque, providing beautiful views of the Aegean Sea. Additionally, there are a variety of local tavernas serving delicious dishes, perfect for a well-deserved break.


Poros has long been a source of inspiration for poets and writers, including American author Henry Miller and Greek poet Georgios Seferis.

In reality, Poros is composed of two islands: Sferia, a volcanic rock that houses the present-day Poros town, and Kalavria, a lush island with numerous freshwater springs and streams. The two islands are connected by a small bridge.

The island features hills adorned with pine trees, olive and lemon groves, and several sandy beaches, offering a range of breathtaking settings for travelers to explore on foot or by bicycle. It is also an ideal destination for swimmers and water sports enthusiasts, providing opportunities for activities such as kayaking and sailing.


Salamina, Greece

Salamina offers a diverse range of captivating museums and sightseeing opportunities, catering to various interests. Some notable destinations include:

  • Municipality of Salamina Folk Art and History Museum: Showcases exhibits on the island’s history, featuring local costumes, furniture, ancient agricultural tools, weapons, and ceramics.
  • Naval Museum of Salamis: An open-air museum that showcases cannons and torpedoes.
  • Ancient Port: A port dating back to the 4th century BC. It is home to Ambelakia, the oldest village on the island, located four km south of Salamina.
  • Churches and Monasteries: Some of the most popular ones include Agios Dimitrios Church, Agios Nikolaos Kalyvitis, and Faneromeni Monastery.

The island also boasts several renowned beaches, with the cleanest ones primarily located on its southern side. These include Selinia, Kanakia, and Faneromeni.


Spetses is another island located near Athens, approximately 54 nautical miles away. Similar to Hydra, it is also a car-free island.

Exploring on foot provides visitors with the opportunity to admire its captivating architectural and historical sites, such as the 200-year-old captains’ mansions, which have been transformed into museums like Bouboulina’s Museum and the Spetses State Museum.

The residents of Spetses take great pride in their island’s history. Each year, they organize the Armata Festival, a reenactment of the Spetses naval battle that took place on September 8, 1822. This battle played a crucial role in the 1821 revolution.

Furthermore, visitors have the opportunity to participate in the Spetsathlon, Greece’s largest triathlon, or the Spetses Mini Marathon, featuring various running and swimming races for participants of all ages.

Plan a Trip to the Argo-Saronic Islands Today!

The Argo-Saronic Islands offer something for every type of traveler, from history buffs to sports lovers.

Now, it’s time to start planning your trip. Use the information shared above to help you decide which island you want to visit first!