Overview of Aegina
Aegina, the “queen” of the Argosaronic Gulf, is one of the most touristic Greek islands. Its proximity to Athens (aka nearly one hour from the port of Piraeus) attracts, among others, weekend visitors and day-trippers who wish to enjoy an authentic island atmosphere combined with very good amenities. Important sights and excellent gastronomy, beach fun and nightlife, make Aegina a top destination for both Greeks and foreigners.
The island’s Town is always busy. At the waterfront you can see restaurants, cafes, bars and shops, together with caïques that sell fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as horse carriages. Behind the main coastal road, neoclassical buildings, narrow streets and houses with small balconies “give away” the island’s traditional character. Aegina also has a rich historic background, one the most interesting among Greek islands, manifested in its monuments. A commercial maritime centre since ancient times, the island was invaded by pirates, suffered the Venetian and ottoman occupation and later on became the first capital of partially liberated Greece between 1828 and 1829.
The famous Temple of Aphea, the ancient settlement relics in Kolona, the Government House (former residence of Greece’s first governor Ioannis Kapodistrias) and the Orphanage (built by Kapodistrias to house the war orphans during the Greek Revolution) are some of the testimonies of the island’s past. Meanwhile, a number of beaches, cosmopolitan resorts like Agia Marina and picturesque mountain or seaside villages such as Pachia Rachi, Perdika and Vagia, complete the puzzle. Pleasant and hospitable, Aegina offers generously a genuine Greek island experience, suitable for everybody.
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: Two sandy beaches featuring sun beds, umbrellas, canteens and a volleyball court – the ideal place for all-day sea fun : The island’s most popular seaside resort, a sandy beach with tourist facilities, generally crowded. The great feast of Agia Marina village is celebrated July 17th : Sand, pebbles and water springs are the main characteristics of this well-known spot. : Relatively small and sandy, with a lively and cozy beach bar-restaurant, this is youngsters’ favorite. : Quiet beach with pebbles, found at the picturesque village of the same name, with tavernas nearby.
: Aegina Town, Greek cuisine : Agia Marina, Greek cuisine : Aegina Town, Greek cuisine
: A must starting point is the 5th century BC temple of Aphea (daughter of Zeus), Aegina’s sightseeing highlight and one of the best preserved archaeological sites in Greece. Situated on a pine tree hill, it offers great views of the Argosaronic and a small museum. Next stop is the Temple of Apollo, where one Doric column, among other ruins, reminds its past glory. Last but not least, the Archaeological Museum of Aegina is one of the most worth seeing museums among all Greek islands. It lies at the Kolona archaeological site and it was founded in 1829 by Ioannis Kapodistrias. : This charming ancient town -Aegina’s former capital in medieval times for almost a millennium- is set in an imposing rocky landscape. Its remains include nearly 30 byzantine churches, out of more than 500 that used to be there. : The beautiful small island of Agistri is located at less than 30 minutes by boat from Aegina. The islet Moni is 10 minutes by caique across Aegina’s Perdika village. : The Cathedral (the first parliament of the Modern Greek state) and Markellos Tower (a trademark Venetian small castle, now open only for art events). : One of the biggest orthodox churches in the Balkans and a famous religious centre that counts numerous visitors. : You can find it practically everywhere in the island. Note also that the Aegina Fistiki festival, dedicated to this delicacy, is held at mid September. : Watch a movie under the stars in one of the three open air cinemas of the island. : It is the largest in Southern Europe and treats up to 4.500 wild animals every year. Feel free to make a donation, as it is a nonprofit institution, based exclusively on volunteers’ work.
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