Hydra, Poros, and Aegina are three beautiful islands in Greece with crystal clear waters. These islands are usually included together in a one day cruise trip package.
We decided to stay in Athens for 4 days. That was too long. It only took 2 days to see most of the places like Acropolis and the beach towns. It helps to fill in the days with cruises or bus tours. The concierge at our hotel recommended the cruise to the three islands. We originally booked it with our hotel but found a better price at a travel agency. The tour company usually picks up guests at their hotel and takes them to the pier. They also drop them off at the end of the day. Tip: Wake up a little earlier to get breakfast before you leave.
The travel agency offered us a regular pass or a VIP pass. We opted for the regular. Lunch is included in the package. Tip: if you’re not on a budget, I recommend getting the VIP (it’s like the fast-pass at Disneyland). We had problems getting seats inside the ship (it can be chilly on a ship in early April). We sat outside on the top deck for three hours. I think it’s cheaper if you purchase the VIP package before your cruise. We wanted to upgrade after getting onboard but it costs 120 euros per person. We quickly learned how to fix the problem. We came back a little earlier than everyone else after each port visit to beat the crowd and get seats inside.
Things you’ll need for the cruise:
A hat, bottled water and snacks (if you don’t want to buy them on the ship), sunscreen, a light to medium jacket (depends how tolerant you are to cold winds), back pack (to keep all your things in and to carry souvenirs), euros, portable phone charger, good walking shoes or sandals.
Optional items: sunglasses, bathing suit (some passengers went for a swim), and a scarf (I often use it to cover my head and neck or drape it on my shoulders or legs).
Off we go! It’s a three hour boat ride to get to Hydra. The ship offers breakfast if you forgot to eat before you left. They also offer guided tours once you reach the islands.
First stop, Hydra.
Hydra is a romantic place with cobble-stoned streets, traditional stoned mansions, and lots of donkeys. This is the only island where cars and public transportation are banned (donkeys are used instead).
This picturesque town offers many restaurants with fresh seafood and streets lined with souvenir shops.
Tip: you can barter for lower prices on souvenirs.
Tip: Eat lunch now because if you didn’t pay for the upgrade, you might not eat until after the second stop… around 2 p.m.
Beautiful wild flowers and pops of red from the poppies cover the side of the hill as you stroll along the path.
Time to head back. We only had an hour and fifty minutes on this island but it was enough time to enjoy it.
The donkeys are used to transport things and goods on the island.
Time to say goodbye to the lovely island of Hydra.
Next stop, Poros.
Poros is a smaller island compared to Hydra although the architecture looks similar. We were only given 30 minutes to walk around. The temple of Poseidon is located here. They have a museum as well. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to see them.
Last stop, Aegina.
The Temple Of Aphaia can be found here as well as the archaeological site of Kolona (bus tours are offered). There is also a beach close to the dock. We didn’t book the bus tour on this island because we wanted to return early and get seats inside (it will be colder going back and we wanted to catch the show). We were given 2 hours to sight-see but we went back to the ship after only one hour.
The island is known for pistachios. You’ll see pistachio stands in each corner. We tried the home-made pistachio flavored gelato from one of the gelaterias. Let’s just say it’s an acquired taste. It was more salty than sweet.
The waters are so clear that you can schools of fishes swimming below.
Time to see some shops
Time to go
I recommend not getting the three-island package. Hydra was the nicest out of the three. Just book a ferry ride to Hydra alone if you can. The other two islands were not as impressive.
Tip: Get something to eat here if you don’t want the overpriced mediocre food on the ship.
Another 3 hour trip home. Estimated time of arrival is around 7:30 p.m.
Luckily, the entertainment on the ship made the trip home go a little faster. Opa!