Sunny days, spring scenery and cheaper destinations closer to Athens. Do you need anything else to enjoy the May 1st holiday, especially if you managed to take Monday off? Maybe not!
Bike rides, picnics on the beach or in the woods, good food, perhaps the first swim in the sea (for the bravest), and naturally, the most beautiful May garland of wild flowers, these are some of the things you can brag about when you return on Tuesday night to noisy Athens.
The Saronic Gulf islands
One of the most tempting offers to spend a pleasant weekend near Athens, are the Saronic Gulf islands. Especially if you're among the lucky ones who took Monday off and have 4 days off, the islands of Aegina, Poros, Salamina, Spetses, Hydra and Agistri, are awaiting you in order to celebrate spring and to make a May garland on beautiful places near the sea.
The island of Salamina (www.salamina.gr), known since ancient times, is the largest island in the Saronic Gulf and is the nearest one to the coast of Attica, just a few minutes away from Piraeus. There you can visit the museum of the great Greek poet Angelos Sikelianos and the museum of folk art and history. You can climb the hill, where you will find "Euripides" theatre and the church of the Virgin Mary, where you will also enjoy a panoramic view that reaches Elefsina and Athens. In addition you can take a walk in the southern part of the island, where you will find the old stone lighthouse. If you dare to take a swim in the sea, you have many choices, such as the beaches of Satirli, Kanakia, Batsi, Eandio and others.
Aegina (http://bit.ly/Aigina_travel), the second largest island in the Saronic Gulf, is just over an hour from Athens. Besides its beautiful beaches, Aegina can offer many other things to the visitor who wants to explore it: the mountain of Paleochora with small churches, beautiful views of the bay, small villages, scattered ancient ruins, and incredible nightlife - these are just part of the treasure called Aegina. Be sure to visit the fish market and traditional taverns where you can eat fresh fish and try typical dishes and appetizers that are traditional for the island.
On the island of Poros (http://bit.ly/Poros_travel), you can visit a romantic beach – the Port of Love, where you can enjoy the greenery and clean waters under the pine trees, and then climb a hill to experience a spectacular sunset. The houses in neoclassic style are the "decoration" and pride of the seashore main street, together with picturesque small and narrow streets inside the city.
Once you arrive at the port of the island of Spetses (http://bit.ly/Spetses_travel), herbal fragrances filling the air will greet you in the best possible manner. Vehicles are prohibited throughout the island, and in order to move around you can use bicycles, motorcycles, or, even better, your feet. Sightseeing in the island has no end: the Museum of Spetses, the house and the statue of Bouboulina - heroine of the Greek liberation uprising (1821-1828), the historical records of the island, houses in traditional style from the 18th century in the region of Agios Nikolaos, Bakiri cave and of course the famous, secluded beaches of Spetses.
The wonderful main town on the island of Hydra was built as an amphitheatre in the northern part of the island and on the right and left side of the harbour entrance there are fortifications with cannons, which guarded the village in the past. In Hydra cars are also forbidden so moving around is done with the help of donkeys, which gives the island an even more picturesque appearance. It is worth seeing the harbour from the hill above the city and enjoying the beautiful sunset. Of course, as with most islands, on Hydra you can also enjoy a wide variety of taverns, cafes and bars on the seashore main street and enjoy a great night.
Finally, the small but beautiful island of Agistri (http://bit.ly/Agistri_travel), with its "alternative" nature and low prices, will give you all the prerequisites for a relaxing vacation: hotels, rooms for rent, taverns, bars, as well as beautiful beaches, like Skala and Dragonera.
Nafplio and mountainous Arcadia
The first capital of Greece, Nafplio (http://bit.ly/Nafplio_travel), is a great destination for the four days off around May 1st, because you can easily combine it with a walk in the beautiful mountain villages of Arcadia (Distance from Nafplio to Vitina is around 90 km).