Aegina is an idyllic island very close to Athens, thus a very popular destination for quick getaways. Belonging to the Saronic group of islands, Aegina Greece has many archaeological monuments, picturesque villages, and beautiful beaches! It is also known as the island of artists since some of the most important Greek artists loved Aegina for its unique light, nature and civilization.
Aegina town, the capital of the island, stands out for its well-preserved buildings. On the outskirts you can find charming little villages with distinctive traditional character, such as Kypseli, Agii and Vagia as well as larger ones like Ayia Marina, Perdika, and Souvala.
A 2km ride from Ayia Marina lays the 500 BC Doric Temple of Aphaia Athena, the most important monument on the island, which served as a prototype for constructing the Parthenon. The temple was founded there as it formed an equilateral triangle with the Parthenon and the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, the so-called “holy triangle” of antiquity. Leaving the temple on the grounds you can visit the Aphaia Museum and have refreshments enjoying the view of Ayia Marina at the small “kafeneio”, coffee shop.
Half the way to Ayia Marina lays the cathedral of Agios Nektarios, one of the most important orthodox monasteries in the Balkans, a place of worship, which attracts visitors throughout the year. Along the way you find Paleochora, or “old town” where the locals where hidden the 11th century, to flee from the pirates. It is said that the locals made a religious vow to build one church for each day of the year, so there where 366 churches built. There are about 38 churches now, walking through them one can enjoy the nature and the outdoors feeling being in another era. Some also feature wall paintings from the period between the 13th and 18th century.
The island is ideal for total relaxation at the beach or in the countryside. Swimming in the wonderfully secluded beaches of Aegina is a delight. Enjoy a day under the hot sun and in the afternoon have lunch in the seaside taverns. In the evenings, have a drink in a lounge cafe-bar under the stars.
Another enjoyable activity in Aegina Island is hiking. Many old footpaths cross the island and lead to tiny chapels, small settlements, secluded beaches and hilltops with breathtaking view to the sea.
Across Perdika village lays the island of Moni, 8 minutes by boat, perfect for a day trip. The beaches have deep, clear waters, suitable for underwater fishing and it's full of pine trees, a hidden paradise. There are no inhabitants, and if you get lucky you might see deer, wild goats and peacocks that come close to you, in order to feed them.
While in Aegina make sure to try the Aegina pistachio called “fistiki”, a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product. During September the entire island, after the harvest, celebrates with the FIstiki Festival. Don’t miss it!
From the Port of Piraeus there is daily connection to Aegina:
By flying dolphin
Aegina can also be reached by boat from: Agistri, Hydra, Póros and Spetses.
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