Day Trip from Athens

Parthenon

After getting thoroughly pumped writing yesterday’s post, I realized that I needed to further investigate a proper outing for a day trip from Athens. Greece is, of course, home to many great ancient cities, but how are they today? Which cities are worth visiting and which make the most worthwhile day trip when you only have one day to spare? I’ve looked through Frommer’s, Lonely Planet and a number of other random guides that dot the internet, but I can’t seem to decide. An island trip will happen on a separate day, but if we’re looking for a mainland excursion (1 – 2 hours away from Athens, preferably), what’s the best spot to hit up? New ideas and stories are more than welcome!

Lots of love,

  • Kristian

    I’d discount Patras as there is nothing much to see and Corinth, as it’s not worth a whole day in itself. Plus, if you visit Olympia or Mycenae or any other site in the Peloponnese you will pass through Corinth and cross the canal, which is always worth a visit.

    Mount Olympus is very far from Athens and it would take at least 5-6 hours to drive there. Delphi is in the opposite direction from the Peloponennesian sites so could not easily be combined with anything else on your list, though it is worth a trip in itself, and the neighbouring village of Arachova is a lovely mountain village with gorgeous views.

    A good bet might be a joining a one-day excursion to the archaeological sites of the Peloponnese. I have only done these independently but I believe that there are organised day-trips that include (at the minimum) ancient Corinth, the ancient theatre at Epidavros and Mycenae, while some I think may go as far as Olympia.

    One idea for an unforgettable evening would be to check out the Greek Festival website (www.greekfestival.gr) to see if there are any concerts playing. They take place either at the open-air Roman Herod Atticus theatre (at the foot of the Acropolis) or in Epidavros itself. Both are spectacular and I highly recommend them.

  • http://www.thetravelingscholar.com ShannonElizabeth

    Kristian — you’re so awesome! Thank you so much for the insight! An organized day trip might be a good option to get in as much as possible in the time we have. I’ll have to check out that site, too! Thanks so much for the tips! :)

  • Kristian

    It is good to hear that 18 years’ living in Greece have not entirely gone to waste and prove useful from time to time :)

  • http://www.thetravelingscholar.com ShannonElizabeth

    You LIVED in Greece? Okay, NOW I’m jealous! No wonder you’re such an expert! Many thanks for the advice :)

  • http://www.youngjeninspats.wordpress.com Jen

    Hey, When I lived in Greece my two favorite day trips were Sounion and Aegina. Sounion is an easy bus ride away, boasts one of the most spectacular sunsets in the country (they let people in till sunset so everyone can watch) and has a great temple with Byron’s name carved into it. Aegina is a 1.5 hour boat trip from Piraeus and has extensive pistachio orchards, the temple of Aphaia, and loads of good restaurants. Have fun!

  • http://www.thetravelingscholar.com ShannonElizabeth

    We were talking about Aegina or Hydra, but good to know the Saronic Islands are a good day trip! We want to do an island PLUS a mainland day trip and so far Sounion seems to have gotten good reviews! Thanks for the insight :)