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I remember reading a chapter about Aegina in a book about the Greek Islands a few years ago. What I distinctly remember from it is the first sentence: "Aegina has been famous since antiquity for its Temple of Aphaia, one of the finest in the Hellenic world and one of the best preserved. Now, to be completely honest with you, I had not once heard of this Temple back then. Not a word. You might think it's logic (after all, there are so many temples in Greece) and you'll be right, but it stroke me as weird that I'd never heard of it.

Of course, you can guess that I visited Aegina that very summer. Don't worry, I'm not some kind of lunatic that would travel all the way across the country just to visit some temple. Well, actually, I am, but that was not the case with Aegina. See, Aegina is actually part of Athens, one of its green suburbs. It's full of houses that belong to Athenians.

So, time for some general information about this beautiful island: Aegina is a must for archaeology lovers, like myself. It was named after the daughter of the river god, Asopus. According to mythology, she was abducted by Zeus and taken to the island. Her son by Zeus, Aeacus, was the grandfather of Achilles, the Trojan war's... well, warrior.

aegina greece - map

Aegina Hotels

If you search for accommodation in Aegina I recommend you to visit Aegina Hotel Online Bookings. There, you can make your reservations directly to the hotels and find rooms in low prices and useful guest reviews.


What does Aegina look like?

saronic gulf greece-agios nikolaos church

Aegina, besides being the largest of the Argosaronic Gulf islands, it's also the most popular, a pretty green island with archaeological sites like the temple I previously mentioned that you can see on entering the port. The white chapel of Agios Nikolaos stands at the entrance of the Aegina harbor as well.Surrounded by pines and pistachio trees, the town is busy with shops and traffic. The houses are mostly neoclassical, with red-tiled roofs, ochre colored walls and wrought-iron balconies.

Which places should I not miss in Aegina?

Archaeological Museum.jpg aegina greece - Christos Capralos

Being the kind of place it is, Aegina couldn't not have any museums, could it? There are three museums I'm going to recommend to you and you should make sure you visit them all, because they're more than worth it.

First of all, there's the Archaeological Museum. Laid out like an ancient villa, it contains objects found on the island. A scale model in the hall shows one of the houses built at Kolona in 3000 BC, whose two storey's testify to a high level of technology. Now, what else will you find there? Rows of Hellenistic funerary steles on the patio; sculptures from one of the pediments of the temple of Aphaia, depicting a battle of the Amazons; several pieces of pottery with black figures on a red background, dating from the 10th-8th century BC; objects dating from the Neolithic to the Roman period, including Archaic statues, a marble sphinx from the 5th century BC and a fine collection of geometric style pottery; so, I seriously hope that if I lost you somewhere in the middle of this paragraph, it wasn't because you were bored but because you didn't need more convincing and decided to stop so you would discover the rest yourself!

aegina greece polemistes statue

The second museum is, of course, what else? The Aphaia Museum, the museum of the temple that made me visit Aegina in the first place. The Aphaia Museum only consists of three rooms, which you should visit without wasting any times because the opening hours do not offer much time in your hands. My advice? Go quickly through the first room, the other two are a lot more worth your time: they display reconstructions of the second temple of Aphaia (destroyed by a fire in 510 BC), using some of the original pieces.

Finally, there's the Museum Christos Kapralos. This museum occupies the workshop that was used by the sculptor from 1963-1993 and contains his most important work, the Archaic style Battle of Pindus, a monumental 150 ft long limestone relief on 20th century history.

What about the historical and archaeological sites of Aegina?

temple of aphaia

Well, you can guess with what I'm going to start, can't you? The Temple of Aphaia is standing at the top of a hill covered in pines. Built in the early 5th century BC to form a “sacred triangle” with the temple of Poseidon at Sounion and the Parthenon, it has a dominating position with an excellent view of Aegina and the Saronic Gulf. It was probably abandoned only a few decades after it was built when the citizens of Aegina were driven from the island by the Athenians.

saronic gulf greece-temple apollo Temple of Zeus

The temple is not the only site, of course. There's Kolona and the Temple of Apollo as well. The current excavations on this site add to the general chaos of the ruins. The temple that dominates the site once had 30 Doric columns and is a contemporary of the temple of Aphaia (6th century BC). It was actually built by the same craftsmen. To the west lie the leveled walls of two small temples dedicated to Artemis and Dionysos.

The scattered remains of the Byzantine city of Paleohora are yet another interesting site you can visit. Built in 896 by the inhabitants of Kolona who wanted to escape from attacks by the Saracens, it was the main town of Aegina until the early 19th century. This ravishing ruined town's main interest lies in the melancholy beauty of its site and the restored churches that are decorated with frescoes. The churches are 365 in total and are linked with the square medieval houses by a maze of alleyways. Some people call this town “the second Mistra”.

Finally, don’t miss the Temple of Hellanion Zeus, dedicated to Zeus Hellanios, “the rainmaker”. It consists of two massive terraces, cisterns and a monumental staircase that still remain in place.

Does Aegina have any good beaches?

aegina greece - aegina beach

Aegina may not be famous for its beaches, but there are some that are definitely worth visiting. A bright example is Agia Marina, one of the very few sandy beaches of Aegina situated in front of the tourist resort of the same name, east of Aegina's capital.

Souvala Beach is pebbled and sandy, with crystalline waters, near Souvala village. This beach is famous for its therapeutic hot and cold springs.

Perdika Beach is a nice little beach in the fishing village of Perdika with an excellent view over the islet of Moni and the Peloponnese. This ravishing beach is a mixture of rocks and sand.

Finally, Marathon Beach, in the seaside town of Marathon, is perhaps the best choice. Its waters are crystal-clear and there are a few picturesque tavernas along it.

What about the food?

aegina greece-sea food

If you're searching for good value, you might wanna avoid the harbor front, just like the locals do. Most of the inhabitants prefer to head for the ouzeries and restaurants around the fish markets at the eastern side of the harbor.

Mezedopoleio To Steki is a good choice. This tiny place is actually the most popular restaurant in town. It's always packed with people enjoying its local specialities like barbecued octopus and grilled sardines.

Ouzomezedopoleio Ippokampos is another fine choice. This old-fashioned place serves only mezedes, but they're all rather delicious. They're brought on a tray for you to choose.

Dodoni, by the harbor in Aegina Town, is a self-service restaurant with decent suvlakia and mixed salad. It also has excellent ice-cream.

Finally, Tropics, in the harbor as well, is well known for its reasonably priced pita bread and the tasty sandwiches it serves.

What about Aegina's nightlife?

agia marina-baracuda beach bar

Aegina Town offers various bars scattered around the numerous narrow streets behind the waterfront, thus offering a wide range of music for everyone.

Barracuda Bar is in Agia Marina Beach, conveniently situated on a well-designed rock, is one of the best bars in Aegina. Its music ranges from reggae (usually in the morning) to lounge (until 11 at night) and deep, Latin, house and other.

The Inn on the Beach is a legendary cocktail club that was established in 1987 and was renowned for its character, style and quality. It's situated next to one of the main beaches of Aegina.

Mike's Bar is a must-visit bar. It claims to have the best service on the island and... I have no choice but to agree. It's open from 6 till late at night and the drinks it serves are excellent.

Famous Pistachios of Aegina?

Do not leave Aegina without buying the famous Pistachios. They stay that they are the best in the world. You can find them at any nut shops in Greece. In Aegina you can find them in any shop but also Kiosks at the port. They are nice present to your friends !!!

aegina greece - pistachio aegina greece - pistachio aegina greece - pistachio

How do I get to Aegina?

Hydrofoils from Piraeus provide links with Aegina Town (30 minutes), Souvala (25 minutes) and Agia Marina (30 minutes). In summer there are at least 10 ferries from Piraeus to Aegina (1 hour and a half). The island is also connected with Poros, Hydra and Spetses.

Book online your ferry tickets to the greek islands and have them delivered at home easily.

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