Originally, I was planning on taking a bus from Athens to the pier and then board a ‘flying dolphin’ to take me to the island of Hydra, for a day hike. Yet as I passed by the tour office and read the advert “1 Day 3 Islands” I figured since my sense of direction usually ends up with me wasting time, my best bet to enjoy the day was by handing over the details to a cruise line.
Platinum Cruise picked me up at the Grand Bretagne Hotel, a 30-minute walk from my Airbnb apartment, promptly at 7:15 and fifteen minutes later I was handed a red boarding card, which indicated I was dining after the second stop. Yes, the ticket price, 109 included dinner, but they failed to include a drink. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why they didn’t include the cost of a drink in with the meal. Thankfully, water is cheap.
The morning sun was warm and the dark blue sea was calm. It was a perfect day to be on the water. We passed by two of our stops, along with sun-drained shade less islands were nothing grows past your knees, making our way to the first destination. At 11:30 the captain brought us into Hydra. It’s a spectacular sight with the town nestled between two hills. No wonder it’s been used in movies.
We had an hour and twenty minutes on Hydra. If you chose to do a tour package, the cruise line rushes you around to check out the sights. Rushing from site to site would irritate me, so I decided not to participate. Instead, I strolled along the stone pathway along the coast, while eating ice cream and took in my surroundings.
Poros is the smallest island the tour takes you to, and to me, it had an Italian look to it. Images of Lago Garda, Italy came to mind, without the vibrant colors that Italy blesses us with. We only had forty minutes to venture about. This allowed a walk up the stairs to take a selfie with the Greek flag and roam down an alley.
I think I need to go back to Poros.
Our last island on the tour was Aegina, the largest of the three, and is world-known for its pistachios. We were given over two-hours, which was enough time for what I wanted to cover. While the tour buses made a mad dash to the Temple of Aphaia, I embarked on a ten-minute stroll to the archaeological site that suited me just fine. I was there alone amongst the ancient city ruins, taking my time, deciphering what rooms were what.
I then weaved my way through the sleepy alleys, before making my way back to check out my last site, a tiny Greek Orthodox church at the end of the pier.
Okay, your turn….
Have you been to these Greek islands?