|Colin Murison Small's|
|HOME : Athens and the Argolid :|
Angistri, Hydra & Spetsai
Martian Risk: considerable, but avoidable: see text.
Each of the islands in the Argo-Saronic Gulf (on which Piraeus, port of Athens, stands) provides a welcome contrast with the hustle and noise of the capital and each has its own character. The citizens of the capital are fortunate to have a string of comparatively peaceful hideaways so close.
Traditional ferries, hydrofoils and catamarans process west from Piraeus, the port of Athens, from dawn till late heading for Aegina, Poros, Angistri, Hydra, Spetsai and Porto Cheli. They used to venture out only in convoys of 3-4, like the proverbial 37 bus in London, to ensure that if you missed one you missed the lot, but today there are so many that it’s no longer a problem.
The convenience of being able to sight-see in Athens by day and return to somewhere quiet at night. And, indeed, to the comforting feel of being on an island.
Perhaps the fact that on high days and holidays the Athenians bring themselves and their noise to those islands – but why shouldn’t they? They are, after all, their islands.
What you can do varies with each island: Aegina is the only one with a serious classical site – the superb temple of Aphaea above Agia Marina, a once popular resort for the British but now almost a ghost town since the withdrawal of UK charter flights to Athens.