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50 kilometers from Athens there is Aegina, Plato’s homeland, where you will find the temple of Afea (or Aphaea). It is part of the Argosaronic islands archipelago. The closeness to the Greek capital makes it one of the easiest islands to reach. An island where you can rent a villa or a house where to spend a relaxing vacation far away from the most crowded and touristic routes.
In Aegina you will also find some of the best hotels in the whole of Greece.
The quickest way to reach Aegina is taking one of the daily ferries, hydrofoils or motorboats from the port of Piraeus in Athens. Egina can also be reached by boat from Agistri, Hydra, Pòros and Spetses.
Why choose Aegina?
If you choose to visit Aegina you will find yourself in one of the nicest islands of the Saronic gulf. There are many accommodations to choose from thanks to the many hotels, houses and apartments that have been restored and are now rented to tourists.
Reaching Aegina from Athens takes about 40 minutes and once you arrive you will find a beautiful island that is far away from the main tourist routes. Aegina is famous worldwide for the production of pistachios, in fact on the island you will find many products with them inside. There is even a pistachio festival held around the 20th of September.
During this event thousands of tourists visit Egina and the other nearby islands of the gulf. Agia is the liveliest part of the island thanks to the closeness to the port that connects Aegina to Piraeus (Athens port). Here you will find many touristic structures and travel agencies that organize excursions to the nicest beaches and even to the nearby islands like Dokos and Spetses.
If you are looking for peace and quietness this isn’t the right area for you and you should consider looking for an accommodation in Souvala or Perdika (a lovely town with very unique and picturesque characteristics). If you decide to visit Aegina we suggest you take part in one of the many organized trips around the island that will give you the chance to see some beautiful creeks, the green island of Poros and the semi-deserted island of Dokos where you will find some beautiful beaches and animals like pheasants, peacocks, rabbits and deer.
In Aegina there is a beach covered in pebbles and sand that contrasts with landscape covered in mountains that surround it. There are also pine and pistachio trees near the temple of Aphaia located in a high hill in the center of the gulf of Saronico. Here are the most famous beaches of the island:
Aeginitissa beach is at about 2 km north from Perdika. The beach is really nice with a long coast covered in pebbles with different colours and shapes. There is a lush vegetation made of typical mediterranean trees and bushes that make the landscape even more interesting besides offering some useful shade during the hottest months of the year.
The sea is of course crystal clear with different shades according to the colour of the pebbles in the seabed. A well equipped beach that also has a bar where to sip a relaxing cocktail while relaxing on the beach and listening to live music.
Agia marina beach
Agia Marina is about 13 km west from the island’s capital and it is completely covered in sand. The sand is white and fine, perfect for anyone that loves these types of beaches. There is a village nearby from where the beach gets its name. The beach is very long and has a shallow seabed that carries on for many meters before becoming deep. It isn’t the best place for people that enjoy quiet and relaxing beaches. There are many bars and taverns besides places where to rent sunbeds, beach umbrellas and all the necessary equipment for practicing water sports. During the high season it is usually very crowded and full of tourists. It is also the area of the island that is mostly full of hotels and apartments to rent.
Located at about 4 km from the island’s capital. The landscape is surrounded by lush vegetation and a wonderful golden beach that make everything look even nicer. This location is so nice that many tourists, especially from Athens, decided to buy a house here. The beach hasn’t got any pebbles and even though it is one of the nicest beaches of Egina it isn’t usually very crowded. A quiet and peaceful beach where to choose from many activities to practice like diving or snorkeling. There are also many taverns that have become famous for the fresh fish that they serve.
This beach is located on the island located just outside Perdika and can only be reached with a private boat or a taxi boat. It is covered in pebbles and sand besides having many big flat rocks that get almost completely into the water. The water is crystal clear and with a turquoise colour that fades the further you get away from the beach. This beach is perfect for whoever loves swimming or exploring the natural marine life that occurs there. A lovely destination for whoever likes snorkeling, diving or fishing. Even if it may appear just like a big rock in the sea it actually has a very nice and equipped beach where to rent sunbeds, beach umbrellas and where to find some bars and taverns.
On the road that leads to the southern part of the island, after about 9 km, you will find Perdika, a picturesque village of fishermen with its small port. The beach is covered in sand and pebbles, it gets its name from the nearby village and isn’t equipped with any services for tourists. The sea is crystal clear and surrounded by a lush vegetation made of mediterranean trees and bushes. From the nearby port there are also many boats that leave for Monì and only takes 8 minutes to get there. There are also many creeks nearby so during the summer many yachts are anchored here.
Portes is a traditional Greek fishermen village. Here you will find the typical houses used by the fishermen and that during the summer are rented to tourists. The whole place is very picturesque, just like the tavern that you will find here, a great place to try Greek and traditional food. The beach isn’t equipped with any service for tourists and is located near the small port, for this reason it usually isn’t very crowded. A perfect place for someone looking for a peaceful and quiet vacation. The beach is covered in sand and pebbles, while the sea is perfectly clear and has a wonderful turquoise colour.
At about 10 km north-east from Egina’s capital there is the village of Souvala from where the beach gets its name. Souvala is considered by many people one of the best beaches of the island also thanks to the fact that it is completely covered in pebbles that give the water a different shade of colour. Here you will also find some natural springs that are very good for you thanks to the sulfur dissolved in the waters. The beach is amazing and perfect for swimming besides having many bars and taverns.
4 km east from Souvala you will find Vagia beach. Besides being one of the island's nicest beaches it also has a port nearby where you will have the chance to take a boat or rent a room from one of the hotels in the port's village. The village is owned by fishermen and in it you will find small taverns and even some archeological remains that were found a few years ago in an archeological site inside the village. The beach is surrounded by pine trees that offer excellent cover during the warmest months of the year. The sand on the beach is golden and the water is crystal clear.
Archeological sites, water sports and days by the beach are just some of the things you can see in Aegina. Another activity to choose from is the boat tour that will take you to the islands in the saronic gulf and other islands with hidden creeks. The trip starts in the morning and lasts until the late afternoon. Usually there is a grilled meal included and you will probably stop and eat in one of the beaches you are visiting.
Archeological sites in Aegina
When visiting Aegina the first place we suggest you visit Paleohora, the island’s old capital located on a steep hill near the monastery of Agios Nektarios. It is an important archeological site where you will find the medieval remains of many churches and of an old castle. The churches of Agios georgios, Episkopi and Metamorphosis offer some beautiful frescos. The temple of Apollo, Athena, and Zeus are masterpieces of architecture and are definitely worth visiting if you are staying in Aegina. Next to the temple dedicated to Zeus located on top of mount Hellanio you will find Agios Taxiarhes church from which you will admire one of the most beautiful views of the saronic gulf you can admire.
Boat rental and water sports
If you want to explore the island’s coasts and waters probably the best thing to do is to rent a small boat in one of the many renting centers spread throughout the island. There are also many water sports that you can practice here after having rented the equipment from one of the centers.
Diving and horse riding
If you love diving on the island of Aegina you will find many diving centers that are well equipped with all the necessary equipment for practicing these different sports. Perfect for both amateurs and professionals. Egina is full of olive and pistachio trees so you can take a long walk or go horse riding.
Getting around Aegina? On the island you will find 3 local bus lines, these will take you from the bus station to the port and vice versa. The timetable can be found in the bus station and at every bus stop. Unfortunately all the arrival stations are written in Greek so you will have to ask the bus driver where the bus is going. The tickets can be bought directly on the bus.
Renting a car or scooter in Aegina
The island has roads in pretty good conditions so you can easily move around both by car and scooter. The car rentals are located in the island’s main villages and towns, especially in Agios Marina. The prices for renting a vehicle are around 30,00 €/day. On the island there are also 3 bus lines that will take you to the island’s port on a daily basis. The time tables are spread around the island’s bus stops and bus station. The tickets can be bought directly on the bus and here you will find the timetables of the local bus lines. There are also a few taxis in Aegina but they are often very expensive. For this reason you may want to combine a taxi with a bus ride to avoid high costs.
In Aegina there isn’t an airport but just a port that receives daily ferries and boats from the port of Piraeus (Athens). The journey lasts about 30 minutes and goes through the Saronic gulf. If you get to Athens by plane you will have to reach the port of Piraeus. There is a daily ferry from piraeus to Aegina during low season, while during high season there are multiple runs per day.
The ferry companies are the following:
• Hellenic seaways, 7 runs a day that take about 40 minutes
• Anes Ferries, 7 runs a day that takes about 1hour and 5 minutes
• Saronic Ferries, 9 runs a day that takes 1 hour and 10 minutes
There is also the possibility to reach the cyclades islands thanks to the many ferries that everyday travel from one island to another.
Most of the accommodations and hotels in Aegina are mostly located near the island’s port but there are also some apartments and studios spread throughout the rest of the island. There are also some small hotels managed by local families with extremely competitive prices.
Where to stay in Aegina
The cheapest solution is certainly renting one of the many studios spread throughout the island. To choose the best studios you should check both the price but also the position where it is located and how easy it is to reach. Another thing to consider is how close the studios is to a bus stop, especially if you decide not to rent a car. The apartments are located in both villages and in isolated areas of the island. It is also important if they are practical and how close they are to the locations you want to visit.