Aegina in brief
Just 75 minutes by ferry and 35 minutes by hydrofoil.
Among the places you must make a point of visiting are the archaeological site
at Kolona, the imposing Temple of Aphaia, Palaiohora (known as Little Mystras)
with its little Byzantine churches scattered across the hillside, the village
of Mesagros, the Church of Agios Nectarios, and the house of the great writer
Kazantzakis, at Livadi, where he wrote the famous Zorba the Greek. You can also
enjoy a leisurely stroll through the narrow streets of the town, with its fine
neoclassical houses still evoking the island's glory days.
When night falls, it's time to surrender to the many forms of evening entertainment
the island has to offer. There are great tavernas (in the harbour, at Perdika,
at Agia Marina, etc.) where you can enjoy a glass of ouzo and some fish right
at the water's edge, with every dish on the menu enhanced by the local island
If you visit in September, you're sure to have a great time at the Pistachio
Festival, where you can enjoy Aegina's traditional product in all sorts of delicious
Zeus fell in love with Aegina, the most beatiful of the twenty daughters of
the god Asopus. He abducted her and brought her to the island of Oenone, which
then took her name. Together they had a son, Aeacus, whom Zeus made king of
the island. Naturally, the young man wanted subjects for his kingdom. To this
end, he took the strange course of transforming the ants of the island into
human beings! And so the people of Aegina came to be known as Myrmidons, from
the Greek word myrmingi meaning ant.
Aegina was the very first place in the Greek world where coins were minted
- these were originally called Helonai, from the Greek word helona meaning turtle,
because of the turtles depicted on them.
In 1827, following the W.ii ol Independent e. Aegina bet .ime the first capital
of Modern Greece Kapodistri.is, the new headol bl.ile, made it his headquarters
for the first two years ol his admimstr ation
The island of Aegina has a beach for every taste1 Here are some of the best:
- Agia Marina, 15km from the harbour: The most famous of the island's beaches,
with full facilities. A sand beach with beach bar and an ouzeri (restaurant
serving ouzo and mezes).
- Loutra Souvalas and Vayia: On the northern part of the island, about 8km
from the harbour.
- Marathonas and the little harbour of Perdika: These beaches boast fabulous
tavernas, where lots of boats and yachts dock. Located at the south of the
island, 5km and 9km from the harbour, respectively.
- Aeginitissa A sheltered cove with eucalyptus trees, 6km from the harbour,
after Marathonas beach, full facilities with umbrellas and recliners Nearby
tavernas serve all manners of delicious snacks
- A five-minute walk from the harbour of Aegina will bring you to the Avra
beach, and five minutes farther on you will find the sandy beach at Kolona,
located near an archaeological site. At the edge of the harbour, just after
the Panayitsa Church, lies Panayitsa beach, will full facilities, little tavernas
- Klima and Sarpa: These two beaches are close to Perdika. The first is a
sandy beach and the second has shallow waters, trees and a little canteen.
They are generally regarded as the most beautiful beaches on the whole island.
- Moni Island: An 8-minute boat ride from the little harbour of Perdika. Covered
in pine trees, the little island is also home to deer, wild goats, peacocks
and sguirrels - tame enough to eat from your hand! There is a sandy beach
with full facilities, and many other points along the shore where the waters
are deep and ideal for underwater fishing. There are also canteens serving
coffee, ouzo and mezes.
Not to miss
You absolutely must sample the island's trademark pistachios, served fresh,
roasted, salted or unsalted, in halvas pies, chocolate sweets or mixed with
spoon sweets The nuts have been grown on the island since 1896, and are in fact
the best-known of all the nuts grown anywhere in Greece, now enjoying special
protection as products of designated origin Every year in September there is
the Aegina I istiki F ost, when more than 60 stalls and kiosks are set up along
the shore, selling pistachios as well as other local produce like honey and
cheeses You < ,in also browse other traditional wares - ceramics, lace, hand
made jewellery, and so on Well-known chefs are often invited to create new dishes
based on the pistachio - and visitors have the privilege of watching them at
work! Children also put on their chef's hats to create delicious sweets using
the nuts, which are then offered to the visitors The festival also features
entertainment in the form of traditional dancing, singing, plays, lectures and
tours of the museums and archaeological sites.
- A romantic ride in a horse-drawn carriage.
- Bicycle rides along the shore. One particularly magical ride takes you
9km from the harbour to Perdika, and the whole island is covered in roads
and trails that are ideal for bike rides - good fun and good exercise too!
- Water sports on the beach at Agia Marina, and sailing, too.
- Finally, you can book a place on a boat cruise, or go diving, underwater
fishing or snorkelling - exploring deep waters with a mask and breathing tube.