Weekend in Athens? How to Still Find Your Greek Isle

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What any traveler to Greece will tell you is to get out and explore its beautiful islands in the Aegean Sea. Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Crete, the list of beautiful islands goes on and on, but what do you do if you only have a weekend to fly in and out of Athens? The Acropolis is a must, of course, but did you know that a quick 1 hour ferry away is an idyllic, postcard-perfect island village away from the tourist crowds? A peaceful place, where donkeys are the mode of transportation, not cars, and the colorful boats in the tiny harbor assure you that the fish you're eating was caught that very day out of the water at your feet.

The place I'm talking about is Kaminia, a small village just around the corner from Hydra Town. Fast ferries from the Athens port of Piraeus to the island of Hydra take about 1 hour, and you can typically buy tickets the day of departure. Nearly all tourists on the ferry will stick to Hydra Town, which is a beautiful whitewashed village with a quaint harbor full of luxurious yachts. You won't hear the sound of any cars polluting the air here, as the main form of transportation remains by donkey. While certainly worth exploring, Hydra Town proper is busy due to the ferries constantly unloading more and more tourists, and the fact that those tourists don't often venture past the shops lining the harbor. To truly get away, take a quick 15-20 minute walk around the corner, along an oceanfront path, to Kaminia.

Standing in Hydra Town, facing the town with your back to the water, turn right and walk along the water. As the path begins to leave town, you will be walking along the ocean cliffs, with the beautiful view of the Aegean all around you. As you come around the corner of the island you will walk straight into the harbor of Kaminia. White-washed houses and colorful fishing boats will greet you, as well as the peaceful pace of island life. Grab a chair at Kodylenia, the taverna sitting just above the small natural harbor, order some fresh fish and ouzo, and watch the sun set into the waters of the Aegean. With a short, lantern-lit walk back to town, feel free to stay awhile. You've found your secluded Greek isle.


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