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Aegina, the island near Athens ideal also during winter

Aegina ● Saronic islands ● 30 September 2018
 
Aegina is a beautiful Saronic Greek island, ideal for a weekend or a day trip away from Athens. Fresh air, crystal clear sea waters, lovely beaches and a beautiful promenade at the seafront at the port are the essentials things to forget everything and travel in a charming atmosphere. Located only 45 minutes by ferry and 1,5 hour by boat from Athens, Aegina is a heaven on earth, an authentic island that is typically an Athens island, a part of a large city, which however can offer to its visitors everything that an island of the Aegean Sea has to offer. Next time you come to Athens, don't miss this great excursion that makes you feel like having traveled in an exotic place. Saronic Islands are the next best thing in the Greek tourism because they can easily be combined with a city break in Athens. Explore the closest of them and get ready for an amazing experience even during winter. Because Aegina has numerous things to do and significant historical sites, it is a top destination in Greece for vacation in the fall.

What to do

The port and capital of Aegina is a gorgeous coastal town with neoclassical houses, traditional taverns by the sea and vivid nightlife. Don't miss out in the beautiful, well-preserved neoclassical Aegina Town the walk from the port until the open-air cinema of Akrogiali. After 8 o'clock p.m. in the summer, the main road turns into pedestrian, and you can walk undistracted before watch a movie by the sea and under the stars. The best time to enjoy Aegina Town is on evenings, when the sunset colours the harbour with pink and orange hues, and the small white church at the edge of the jetty is in perfect contrast to the whole picture like a painting. Have a stroll in front of the town, by the sea, and then, you can drink coffee or a cocktail in one of the numerous cafés and bars or eat in a traditional seafood tavern, overlooking the Saronic Gulf.
Aegina Port

Another interesting spot on the island is the town of Agia Marina, on the southern-eastern side of the island. In a close distance to the temple of Aphaea, Agia Marina is a touristic resort, where you can spend an ideal day with your family in the long sandy beach with the shallow waters, and then eat in the nice fishing village there. In addition to the main beach, there are also many beach bars in the small coves around the village.

The cozy fishing village of Perdika, on the southern side of the island, with Greek taverns by the sea with fresh fish, caiques and the hospitable locals is the best option to forget being so close to Athens.  Moreover, from there, you can make a day excursion to the green islet of Moni just across Perdika and swim in emerald waters in a scenery away from the crowds.
The lighthouse

The lighthouse, on the road to Souvala, the second port of Aegina on the northern side of the island, is the best spot to watch the sunset. Sitting at the edge of the peninsula in the district of Plakakia, near the white chapel is a magnificent way to explore the hidden beauty of Saronic Gulf.

Don't miss out, if you visit Aegina in September, the Fistiki (=pistachio) Fest, a major festive event, which wants to promote the cultivation of this unique product on Aegina. The pistachio of Aegina entered the list of products with Protected Designation of Origin thanks to its fame with the name of the island and its unique flavour that is different from other places. The Fistiki Fest is the largest commercial and economic event in the area with more than 20,000 visitors. The visitors will find there sweet and salty gastronomic delicacies from pistachio as well as creations of pottery, jewellery, craft and arts in green and fuchsia colours, the colours of the pistachio.


Historical sites

Ancient Temple of Aphaea

The ancient temple of Aphaea is built in a stunning location on the top of a hill, inside a forest of pine trees, having a magnificent view of the Aegean Sea. The well-preserved temple of Aphaea is located within a sanctuary complex dedicated to the goddess Aphaea. This great Doric temple was built in the 6th century B.C. over the remains of an earlier temple. It is one of the best-preserved temples in Greece, and you will be impressed by the beauty of the landscape and the history of the place. The temple of Aphaea is located in the same distance from Acropolis and the temple of Poseidon in Sounio, creating thus an equilateral triangle. Aegina played an important role as a city-state during the ancient times, and thus this temple is one of the most glorious testaments of this flourishing past.
Temple of Aphaea

The Monastery of Saint Nektarios

The monastery, where Saint Nektarios lived and died in the 20th century, is the place, which makes Aegina one of the most significant religious destinations not only in Greece but also in whole Orthodox Europe. Saint Nektarios is the patron saint of Aegina, and was a priest, who was sanctified only 50 years ago, being one of the few Greek saints of the modern times.
Church of Saint Nektarios

Paliachora and the Byzantine churches

Near the monastery of Saint Nektarios, there is a wide area on the mountain, which is called Paliachora and has numerous small, stone-built Byzantine churches from the 12th century. If the weather is not hot, you can hike on the mountain and explore the hidden churches everywhere.

The ancient olive grove

The ancient olive grove near the fishing village of Perdika has olive trees that are more than 400 years old. If you visit it, you will be impressed by the size of the trees that reflects their age. In addition to Paliachora, this is a very interesting stroll you can make during autumn, winter and spring, when the temperature is mild.

Kolona and the Archaeological Museum

Near Aegina Town, there are the ruins of the Neolithic settlement of the island (2,500-2,000 B.C.) as well as of the ancient temple of Apollo (6th century B.C.). The ancient site is very interesting, but worth visiting is also the location with a small beach full of pine trees under the hill with the column of the temple imposing the whole scenery.
Kolona

Beaches

Aegina, as a Saronic island, has small beaches full of tamarisk and pine trees with crystal clear waters, ideal for families thanks to their shallow waters as well as for youngsters thanks to their vivid beach bars.
The beach of Aeginitissa is the must place in Aegina to have fun, meet new people, drink cocktails by the sea and spend moments on the beach until late. Near the beach, the tavern of Aeginitissa literally by the sea has delicious mezedes and very hospitable people. Organised beaches nearby are also the beaches of Marathon with beautiful beach bars. A few kilometers from Aeginitissa, are located the best beaches of Aegina. They are situated in the southern side of the island. Near the lovely fishing village Perdika, you can find 3 beaches (Klima, Sarpas and Kleidi) with soft white sand and emerald waters that will remind you of the Cyclades.
Beach in Aegina

The beach of Agia Marina is, as abovementioned, a golden organised beach with umbrellas and sunbeds, perfect for families, while the distance from Aegina Town to Souvala on the northern side is full of small coves with unorganised beaches with crystal waters. There, in the area of Plakakia, there is also an organised beach near the house of Kazantzakis, which is ideal to relax and enjoy the view of Peloponnese in front of you.

Off-the-beaten-path

Visitors should keep an eye out for the houses of legendary artistic figures, such as Nikos Kazantzakis, Yiannis Moralis, Nikos Nikolaou and Christos Kapralos on Kazantzakis Avenue in the area of Plakakia, the most artistic and elegant district just 3 km away from Aegina port. Aegina's Folklore Museum is definitely worth the visit as well for its collection as for the neoclassical building built in 1928 that hosts it. Don't forget to visit the Christos Kapralos Museum, which extends over six rooms at the prominent sculptor's former studio in the Plakakia Area. It hosts a considerable part of his body of work. The iconic Tower of Markelos, which was erected in 1802 and used during the rule of Ioannis Kapodistrias to house the public treasury and military headquarters, is a jewel of the old city.

Pachia Rachi is a settlement at the foot of Mount Ellanion, which is Aegina's highest mountain, that features cobblestone pathways and a magnificent sea view. Watching the sunset from there is just breathtaking. Mount Ellanion is also interesting for its ancient trails, such as the trail from Sfentouri to Eleonas, the walking route from Marathonas Beach to Pachia Rachi or the trail from there to the Monastery of Panagia Chrysoleontissa. If you love hiking, try also the eastern part of the island by heading north from the village of Anitseo or take the route that begins at Mesagros and ends at the temple of Aphaea.

Where to Stay

Hotel in Aegina, Greece Rachel Hotel
Rachel Hotel
188, Kyriakou Galari str., Agia Marina, 18010 Aegina, Greece

Rachel Hotel is located in the centre of Agia Marina, just a 4-minute walk from the beach and Agia Marina port. Aigina town and the main port of the island are 13.2 km away.

Studio & Appartment in Aegina, Greece Eri Studios
Eri Studios
Agia Marina, 18010 Aegina, Greece

Eri Studios is located in Agia Marina, Aegina, just a 10-minute walk from the popular beach of the resort. The main town and port of the island is approximately a 20-minute drive away.

Hotel in Aegina, Greece Plaza Hotel
Plaza Hotel
4, Kazantzaki Str., Aegina Town, 18010 Aegina, Greece

Plaza Hotel is located in the centre of Aegina Town, just 1-minute walk from the beach. Aegina Port is a 4-minute walk away. Agia Marina is 13 km away.


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