The main inhabited islands of this group are Salamis, Aegina, Agistri, Poros, Hydra, Spetses and Dokos.
There's myth, legend, and history around every corner of the winding white alleyways.
Each of the Saronics has a unique feel and culture, so you can hop between classical heritage, resort beaches, exquisite architecture and remote escapism.
Besides the fantastical white-walled fortified towns like Hydra rising from the sparkling Mediterranean, you'll discover authentic Greek culture and traditional tastes, with no shortage of tiny tavernas that explode into a lively and unforgettable night.
A substantial and attractive island with a proud history, less than an hour from Pireás, ÉGINA (Aegina) is not surprisingly a popular weekend escape from Athens. Despite the holiday homes, though, it retains a laidback, island atmosphere, especially if you visit midweek or out of season. Famous for its pistachio orchards – the nuts are hawked from stalls all around the harbour – the island can also boast substantial ancient remains, the finest of which is the beautiful fifth-century BC Temple of Aphaea, commanding superb views towards Athens from high above the northeast coast.
HYDRA, built in the shape of an amphitheatre on a slope overlooking the Argosaronic gulf, is one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. Its harbour and main town preserved as a national monument, it feels like a Greek island should, entirely traffic-free (even bicycles are banned) with a bustling harbor, traditional stone mansions, narrow cobblestoned streets, secluded squares and the use of around 500 donkeys as means of public transportation.
In antiquity POROS consisted in fact of two islands, Sphería and Kalávria, but the last explosion of the Méthana volcano in 273 BC radically changed the morphology of the area. Sphería was cut off from Méthana, and in this way Póros took its present-day form.
The town of Poros is built in the shape of an amphitheatre over two hills.
A popular, upmarket escape for Athenians, SPÉTSES had brief fame and a vogue as a package destination, largely thanks to John Fowles, who lived here in the early 1950s and used the place, thinly disguised, as the setting for his cult novel The Magus. But the island never developed the mass infrastructure – or the convenient beaches – to match.
Spetses, an island boasting a long naval tradition, is famous for its significant contribution to the 1821 War of Independence. The island has managed to retain its individual traditional character thanks to its well-preserved grand captain mansions, still bearing eloquent witness to the island's glorious past.
The picturesque old harbour and Dápia, a tourist and commercial centre where the heart of the island's entertainment beats, are the trademarks of the town of Spetses.
Today, the town is much the biggest in the Saronic islands.
Sightseeing on the Island
The rich history and naval tradition of the island is reflected on numerous sites that are definitely worth visiting:
• The House of Bouboulina
• The House of Hatzigiannis Mexis
• Church of Panayia Armata
• Cathedral of Ayios Nikolaos