The island of Aegina is one of the closest to Athens. Easy to access and average-sized, it is the type of island which can offer something for everyone - sandy beaches with shallow water for families with kids, pebbly coves for isolation, beach bars for young couples and singles, and historical landmarks for those interested in antiquity. Various hotels and family restaurants with fresh food can be found. The island cultivates many vegetables and fruit, as well as pistachio - the pride of Aegina.
The ferries from Piraeus to Aegina are daily and frequent (approximately every 30 minutes), carrying both passengers and cars and serviced by four ferry lines. The major tourist flow consists of Athenians, especially in weekends and bank holidays. The main port is Aegina Town
on the northwest coast. The north and northwest part of the island is flat, densely populated and built up in such a way, that the seaside villages of Souvala
, Therma and Vagia
are almost merged and look like neighborhoods of the town. Aegina Town is a lively place with a nice promenade, numerous cafes and ouzeries and elegant neoclassical buildings. The west part of the island is hilly and greener, here is also the most famous resort of Aegina - Agia Marina
, with long sandy strip and very shallow water. Other sandy beaches can be found around Aegina Town (especially Marathon beach), Souvala and Vagia. The south coast is less populated and beaches there are calm and more pebbly.
Aegina has two important historical sights - the Temple of Aphaia and the Temple of Apollo (better known as Kolona). The Temple of Aphaia (Afea) is dedicated to the goddess Athena and its ruins are located on a the top of a hill above Agia Marina. The Temple of Apollo is just a bit north of Aegina town and high column that has remained is seen from the ferry. Other interesting sights and places on the island are:
- Paleochora, a deserted castle village which resembles Mystras fortified town on Peloponnese
. It was built on a hill during Byzantine times and today you can see well preserved ruins of old churches and other buildings
- The Monastery of Agios Nektarios
- The pink Tower of Markellos, dating back to 1802 and located near the port in Aegina Town
- Moni islet near Perdika
village, in the south. In the summer boat taxis can take you to the islet every 10 minutes for swimming and sunbathing
island which is very close to Aegina Town can also be visited for a day trip