16 Surprising Things to Do in Salamina Greece

Salamina Greece is the largest island in the Argo Saronic Gulf, about 2 km off the coast of Piraeus and the closest island to Athens. Salamina Greece is one of the less-known Greek islands probably due to its proximity to Piraeus Port. However, I will try my best to entice you on a day trip when you are next to Athens!

Salamina Greece fishing boat.

On Salamina’s northern part is the vast Salamis Navy Base and headquarters for the Hellenic Navy. Still, Salamina island has many beautiful areas to visit, clear beaches to swim in, a large pine forest to hike, fresh fish to taste, and archaeological sites and monasteries to explore. If you are also a history buff, then you have to visit Salamina Greece as this is where the great naval battle of Salamis against the Persians happened.

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You can visit the island on a day tour from Athens but it is best to have your rental car to drive to all the places you need to see.

Fast Facts Salamina

Salamina Greece beach with colorful umbrellas.
Salamina Island Beaches
  • Archipelago: Aegean Sea Island.
  • It is the largest of the Argosaronic Island group. It covers an area of 95 square kilometers. .
  • Elevation: 375 m.
  • Population: With 37,220 residents (2021 census) has the highest island population density in Greece.
  • According to mythology, the island took its name from the nymph Salamina, the daughter of the river god Asopus.

Best Things to Do in Salamina Greece

1. Explore Salamina Town

Salamina Greece main port fro a drone.
The port. Credit: Travel. gr

When you reach Salamina Port, Paloukia, you will not exactly be thrilled by its looks. Don’t let it affect you because it is not characterizing the whole island. As soon as you get off the Salamina ferry go towards the left side of the port and arrive at Salamina’s main town.

Salamina Island town is very popular for a day visit from Athens mainland. The town is built around the seaside and resembles many of the Piraeus suburbs.

The Salamina town also has its charms: many old churches can be found scattered all around the town, some with frescoes from the 18th century. There are also very interesting yet small museums that you can visit in Salamina town:

  • The Archaeological Museum of Salamis is a rather small place with few exhibits. The most important Salamina Greece findings can be seen in Athens National Archaeological Museum. Open daily 8.30 am – 3.30 pm except for Tuesdays. The ticket is €3.
  • The Maritime Museum, with displays of maps and navigational instruments and a replica of an ancient Greek ship.
  • A very interesting Folklore and Popular Art Museum with traditional wedding gowns and Salamina dresses.

A walk around the old and mostly abandoned neoclassic houses of Salamina island is worthwhile as you get an idea of how the town was 100 years ago or more.

2. Pay Tribute to Salamis’ Ancient Battle Monuments

Salamina Greece
Salamis Battle against Persians – Wilhelm von Kaulbach

Traveling towards the south, some 10-minute drive from the port, in Akti Themistokleous, you will find the Ancient Salamis Port from which only a few rocks remain today.

In the same place, you will also see the Ancient Battle Monument. In the background, of this important monument, numerous ships are being repaired in the nearby shipyards.

Salamina Greece
Salamina Ancient Battle Monument

The ancient naval battle in Kynosoura cape of Salamina Greece on September 22nd 480 BCE, according to historians, was of tremendous importance to the development of Greece and in extension to Europe as we know it today.

The Greeks, under the command of brilliant Themistocles, fought the invading Persians and defeated a Persian fleet four times larger while the Persian King Xerxes was watching in dismay from Egaleo MT in Pireaus.

This significant triumph secured Athenian naval power in the Aegean and established democracies across Greece – instead of the Persian totalitarian political system if the Persians had won. Democracy led to the Golden era of Athens, with masterpieces such as the Parthenon in Acropolis which started getting built only 33 years after the battle.

This perspective is based on the theory that most of modern Western culture, such as philosophy, science, individual liberty, and democracy, has its roots in the ancient Greek world. If the Persians had won, perhaps, the Western civilization today was different.

Salamina Greece
Tomb of Salamina Fighters

5-minutes drive further down the road at Kynosoura cape, you reach the Tomb of Salamina Fighters.

The Tomb faces the part of the sea where the ancient battle took place. The monument is an art creation of the Greek sculptor Achilleas Vasilleiou, made with limestone and gravel, and is highlighted with a bronze statue to honor all those Greeks who died to protect Greece from the Persians.

It is a great spot to watch the sunset in Salamina Greece and to imagine what it was like for the ancient men to fight in the sea all those thousands of years ago.

Salamina battle Contributors

Some of the contributors to the Battle of Salamina are:

3. Stroll Selinia Traditional Salamina Village

Salamina Greece
Selinia in Salamina Greece

Selinia is a small town, a 15-minute drive from Salamina port and southeast of Salamina town. It is one of the few areas in Salamina that has retained a lot of its old glamour with its seaside dotted by nice-looking mansions and houses.

A distinct landmark of Selinia is the white and blue large church of Saint Nikolaos on the town’s coast, visible from far away.

Salamina Greece
Selinia Theater

As you get to Selinia from the road you find a small amphitheatrical open-air theater made of stones with mosaic patterns and designs and three arches in the front with a view to the open sea. This is a great spot to watch the ferries going back and forth.

Salamina Greece
Selinia’s Marina

One of my favorite things to do in Selinia is to go for an ouzeri meal – small dishes like tapas accompanied with ouzo, the best alcoholic drink for seafood! The village is known for the grilled octopus, which is made here in a unique way.

At the tavern, do ask them to bring you platetsi – bread with olive oil and cheese. Yummy!

4. Have an Ice Cream at “Cyclades”

Salamina Greece
We Go Ice Cream

On the seaside of Selinia Salamina Greece, you will find a pretty little shop called ‘We Go Ice Cream’ that looks like a Cycladic house. It serves all kinds of Greek pastries and especially ice cream.

You can have a nice stop there for a coffee or to try loukoumades (dough with honey) while enjoying the sea views.

5. Swim at Eas Club Beach

Salamina Greece
Eas Beach Salamina

Traveling around Salamina you will find many beaches that you can explore. Eas Club beach is organized with sunbeds and umbrellas but you can find a lot of free space if you wish to find a quiet spot.

There are trees around it so you can seek shelter and there is a nice promenade with fishing ships docked at the end of the beach.

You may also enjoy: Best Day Trips from Athens

6. Be Amazed by Euripides’ Cave

Salamina Greece
Cave’s entrance in Salamina

Euripides cave can be found on the southernmost part of Salamina, between Peristeria and Kolones areas.

Euripides, an ancient Greek playwright, born on Salamina, whose plays are still performed widely all over Greece and the world, was using it as a retreat. Artists do need their isolation to perform best and Euripides was no exception!

To get to the cave you need to hike for about 20 minutes from the sea (easy level). On top of the cave, you’ll be rewarded with the same lovely sea views that once upon a time Euripides was also admiring.

Better avoid going deep inside the cave as there might be safety issues. Instead, you can have a look from the outside using a good, very bright, and light flashlight like the Energizer LED Tactical Flashlight.

7. Swim in Saterli, Kochi and Faros’ Beaches

Salamina Greece
Faros Beach

Nearby the Euripides cave there are some nice beaches with clear waters that you can swim in, Saterli, Kochi, and Faros beach with a stone lighthouse from 1901 that you can hike to.

My favorite one is Faros Beach with the great rocky view on one side and the lighthouse view on the other side.

Where to Stay in Saterli

Salamina Greece
Paradise sea balcony

Paradise Sea, great accommodation at Saterli Beach, a small apartment with a fully equipped kitchen, lovely sea views, and very hospitable hosts.  

8. Check out the Strange Circular Funerary Monument

Salamina Greece
Kolones Circular Monument

Very close to Faros Beach and in the Kolones area you can visit the 4th-century AD funerary monument with four graves belonging to members of a wealthy family. 

You can see similar types of funerary monuments in the Ramnous Archaeological site in Athens.

9. Have a Greek Coffee at the Agios Nikolaos of Lemons Monastery

Salamina Greece

On the west side of Mount Stavros, you can visit the beautiful Monastery Agios Nikolaos Lemonion, built in 1741. The Monastery is built in such a lovely spot that people organize their weddings or their children’s Christenings.

The kind nuns are always there to assist and offer a cuppa of Greek Coffee. You can also support the Monastery by buying something small from their tiny in-house shop.

10. Hike to Mycenaean Acropolis at Kanakia

Mycenenan Acropolis in Salamina Greece
The Mycenean area in Salamina from a drone

Traveling to the southwest of Salamina Greece and with some hiking involved you can reach the Mycenaean ruins of around 1300 BCE in Kanakia.

Ruins of Aiantas Palace

The ruins of the Aiantas (Ajax) kingdom, were found only in 1999 when archaeologist Yiannis Lolos was hiking Kanakia.

Evgenia resting on a ledge over a Greek forest
Ρesting from hiking the forest near Kanakia

Kanakia is probably the best area of Salamina, covered in trees and as the area is not developed at all, you can swim in crystal clear waters and experience some of the beautiful Salamina nature.

You may also enjoy: The Mycenaen Palace of Nestor in Pylos.

11. Make a Dive into Clear Kanakia Beach

Salamina Greece
Resting hiking point over Kanakia Beach

Kanakia Beach in south Salamina is the best beach in Salamina. You can reach Kanakia after you have hiked the Mycenean archaeological site of Salamina or you can drive there.

beach kanakia in Salamina Greece
Kanakia Beach

Afterward, you can grab a beer or a Greek salad from the seaside tavern found at the end of the Kanakia beach.

12. Easy Hike to the Windmills on the Hill

Salamina Greece
Salamina Windmills

Only 2 out of 10 in total old windmills still stand on the low hill of Agios Nikolaos overlooking Salamina Bay on the west side of the island. Built in the 18th century, they were widely used to mill and provide food for the islanders. It’s a pretty place between pine trees with sea views of the Saronic waters.

The only sad thing is that the windmills are left to fall in complete disrepair.

13. See Orsa, the 2.500-years-old Olive Tree

Salamina Greece
Salamina Oldest Olive Tree

The Olive Tree of Orsa is located in the area of Aiantio, in western Salamina Greece, more precisely on Kakivigla Avenue.

It is a complex of trunks whose circumference exceeds 6 meters. But the most amazing thing is that scientists from the Klorane Institute have concluded that the olive tree is older than 2500 years old.

The Olive Tree of Orsa is the only creature that is still alive from the time of the Salamis Naval Battle!

14. Visit the House of the Greek Poet Sikelianos

On the northwest of Salamina stands a beautiful house that belonged to a famous Greek lyric poet and playwright Angelos Sikelianos (1884-1951). It overlooks the sea, and it has Cycladic lines that look a bit like a Mykonos or a Santorini house. Its white color makes a lovely contrast with the blue of the sea and the sky.

Sikelianos wrote many exceptional poems, but my favorite is this one:


O Field of Asphodel, two horses
Whinnied and raced along your edge,
Their backs were shining like a wave
As they came surging out of the tide
And tore across the empty sand

15. Go to Panagia Faneromeni Monastery

Faneromeni Monastery Salamina

Since you are visiting the Sikelianos House, very close lies the beautiful and impressive Holy Monastery of Panagia (Holy Mother), the most important monastery in Salamina Greece. The idea of its construction first came in 1642 when Lampros Kanellos saw a dream of the Holy Mother asking for a church dedicated to her which soon after he built.

During the Greek Revolutionary War (1821) against the Ottomans, the Monastery monks used its rooms as a hospital and sanctuary for the Greek fighters. Today 19 nuns are living there, taking care of the monastery.

16. Ouzo and Seafood at Kakias Tavern

A table filled with seafood in the tavern of kakias in Salamina Island Greece.
Kakias Tavern in Salamina Greece

Kakias Tavern is one of the best seaside places to enjoy fresh seafood, great risotto, grilled octopus, squid, and fried zucchini, some of its many delicious choices. Accompany them with many glasses of chilled ouzo or Greek beer Mythos!

You can very easily find it on the other side of Salamina port towards the west side of the island, just a few minutes’ drive. If you ask for Kakias Tavern everyone will know to show you the direction.

Where Else to Eat in Salamina Greece?

Salamina, like all the Greek islands, is famous for its fresh fish and a wide selection of seafood. All the taverns and restaurants have also a good selection of Greek traditional dishes, like gemista or the famous Greek salad.

I tend to choose remote taverns for my meals like in the smaller villages where you usually find the most authentic atmosphere and food in a place. Not always – but most of the time I am on a Greek island.

Can I do Island Hopping from Salamina?

Unfortunately, there is no direct connection between Salamina and the other islands. You have to go back to Piraeus port and take a ferry to get to any of the islands of your interest.

If you have made up your mind about which other islands you would like to visit, book your seat in advance at FerryScanner for the best deals!

Solo Female Traveller to Greece

Women who travel alone are perfectly safe in Greece, in big cities, or on any of the islands. Traveling around the country is quite easy as Greek people are very friendly and eager to help and reply to any questions from visitors.

Having said that, common sense and gut feeling should always be trusted. If something feels wrong, then it probably is!

How to Get to Salamina from Athens

There are 3 ways to get to Salamina:

  1. The most common way is to get to Piraeus in Athens. From Pireaus you have to get to Perama, which is half an hour’s drive away. The Salamina ferry ride from Perama to Paloukia port takes just 15 minutes. There is no need to purchase your ticket in advance. Boats leave every 15-20 minutes during the day but every 30 minutes at night. Tickets cost €6.15 per car up to 4.5 meters) and €7.20 for longer cars. Motorbikes pay €1.10-€1.55. The ticket for the driver is €0.60, and €1.20 per passenger.
  2. ONLY during summer at weekends: Take the small speedboat from Piraeus to Selinia port in Salamina. The trip lasts 35 minutes. There are 3 routes, at 10.00, 12.00 and 15.30
  3. Drive to Megara and take the 10-minute ferry to Salamina from Nea Peramos port. There are at least 5 routes every day but not at night.

How to get around Salamina Greece

A car or a scooter is the best way to explore the island. If you need to rent a car in Athens, check out great deals at DiscoverCars.

Where to Stay in Athens

Looking for the Best Hotels and apartments near old Athens Plaka and Acropolis Parthenon? Check out all the updated posts for Athens’ best properties:

Plan My Trip to Greece

Do you need a custom travel itinerary or a transfer within Greece? Are you traveling solo, with your family or friends and need a tailor-made multi-day tour or a transfer?

If yes, please visit my dedicated Plan My Trip Page for a free itinerary!

How to Get to Athens Port (Piraeus) from Athens Airport

Bus X96 Peiraias Port to Athens Airport
Airport Bus
  • Bus: If you are arriving at Athens International Airport you can travel straight to the port by taking the X96 express bus (€5.5, children <6 yo, free entrance), which departs every 40 minutes and the average trip lasts 1 hour – runs 24/7.
  • Metro: (€9) is easily found across airport arrivals (blue line – M3) going directly to Piraeus port. The average trip to Piraeus lasts 1 hour.
  • Taxis are available in front of the airport (around €40 to Athens, €55-60 to Piraeus (depending on the traffic in Kifisos), and take up to 3 or 4 people with small luggage)
  • Rent a car with Discover Cars for reliable, new cars at affordable prices
  • You don’t like driving but love hassle-free solutions? Book a Private transfer with an English-speaking driver from Athens International Airport to Piraeus Ferries, or anywhere else in Greece
  • Are you looking for domestic flights in Greece? Check out the official Aegean Airlines Website.

Essential Greek Travel Info

About the author
Evgenia Mataragka
Hi! I am an Athens-based Greek obsessed with exploring Greece and bringing you the best travel experience ever!

4 thoughts on “16 Surprising Things to Do in Salamina Greece”

  1. Hi Fred, thanks for the comment.

    Yes, hiking is especially nice in the area of Kanakia, in a beautiful forested area, with the ancient ruins, the Monastery of Lemons, and of course the nearby beach. The Old Olive Tree is very impressive and definitely worth a visit!

  2. Great information. We’re happy that after painfull, nonsense guides we finally came to your beatiful, detailed descriotion of an island. Thank you for your time and effort of describing every aspect of the trip to the island. We wish you all the Best, Cant wait for more guides.

    • Dear Joasia,

      Thank you so much for your kind comment and for finding my post useful. As I am planning a trip to Salamina soon I will post more about the island’s beaches and best restaurants. Please suybscribe to the newsletter so that you get all the news 🙂 Wish you all the best from Athens!


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