Aegina is a beautiful island in the Saronic Gulf. Its beauty, combined with its close proximity to Athens, has made it a beloved destination for day trips or short getaways. Its reputation has spread worldwide, thanks to its famous and incredibly tasty pistachios. When you arrive at the port of Aegina, the main settlement of the island, it's worth taking a stroll through the town and discovering impressive buildings.
History of Aegina
Aegina, which was founded around 3500 BC, was initially inhabited by Peloponnesians. The island developed into an important commercial and maritime center, leading to the introduction of currency for the convenience of transactions. Despite favorable climatic conditions for its residents, the continuous growth of Aegina posed problems for Athens, which came into conflict with the island and managed to achieve a significant victory against it. In the following centuries, Aegina remained under the control of conquerors, suffered from destruction, and its inhabitants were displaced from the island.
During the Greek Revolution, Aegina welcomed a large number of refugees from surrounding areas. Despite its population, it contributed to the revolution with the participation of approximately 500 Aeginitans. During the period of 1826-1829, the island gained the title of temporary capital of the country. During this period, the small island in the Saronic Gulf experienced significant growth, as evidenced by the various buildings constructed at that time, such as the orphanage and the first library in Greece. After the capital was transferred to Nafplio, Aegina gradually declined, reducing its population by half.
Beaches in Aegina
- Marathonas: A pair of consecutive sandy beaches with lush vegetation of eucalyptus trees, bushes, and azure waters. They are fully organized with countless options for food and various activities on the sand. The atmosphere is mainly family-friendly. They are located just 4 kilometers from the port of Aegina.
- Agia Marina: A large and popular sandy beach with excellent organization, offering opportunities for water sports and plenty of beach bars for endless parties. The settlement of Agia Marina is surrounded by pine-covered hills, while its shallow waters are ideal for families. At one end of the beach, there is a rocky coastline suitable for underwater fishing and snorkeling, as well as sunbathing on the white rocks.
- Moni: A beautiful sandy beach with exotic turquoise waters on the pine-covered islet of Moni, opposite the port of Perdika (just an 8-minute boat ride away). The beach is organized with a beach bar where you can get various snacks. It is an ideal choice for those seeking seclusion and tranquility. The entire islet is a paradise for underwater fishing, snorkeling, hiking, and exploring the wild nature.
- Aiginitsa: One of the most beautiful beaches on the island, with a sandy shore, tall eucalyptus trees reaching down to the sea, and shallow azure waters. It is organized with a beach bar and a space for beach volleyball. It is the favorite beach of young people and those who wish to practice yoga by the sea.
- Klima: A peaceful cove with a pristine white sandy beach and crystal-clear waters on the southern side of the island. The beach is well-organized with sun loungers, umbrellas, and a canteen for supplies. It is one of the most distinctive beaches in Aegina, a favorite anchorage for weekend sailing trips and a paradise for snorkeling enthusiasts.
Sights in Aegina
It's worth visiting some attractions and activities in Aegina, as described below:
- Visit the ruins of the prehistoric settlement at Kolona, located next to the main port of Aegina. Once dominated by the Temple of Apollo, only a unique column was saved. The current name of the area, "Kolona," is derived from Colonna and the Venetian sailors who used it as a landmark.
- Visit the impressive Monastery of Saint Nectarios, built in 1907 and located near the village of Kontos. It is one of the largest pilgrimage sites in Orthodoxy.
- Climb up the hill of Palaiochora, which was built in 896 as a refuge for the Aeginians from pirates. This medieval capital of the island once housed 365 Byzantine churches, one for each day of the year. Today, 38 of them are preserved.
- Enjoy the stunning sunset from the summit of Mount Ellanio, the highest peak on the island, next to the chapel of Prophet Elias. The view towards the city of Aegina, Perdika, and the islets of Moni and Agistri is breathtaking.
- Discover the rich tradition of pottery in Aegina, which is the homeland of the famous Aegina clay pots.
- Attend the Aegina Fistiki Fest, held every September. It is one of the country's most significant gastronomic and cultural festivals, dedicated to the Aegina pistachio.
These are some of the attractions and experiences you can enjoy during your visit to beautiful Aegina.
Activities in Aegina
- Explore the impressive ancient Olive Grove of Aegina, a secluded valley with wild beauty at the foot of Mount Ellanio, where tall olive trees are found. Some of them are over 1,500 years old, with trunks that reach a circumference of 10 meters.
- Discover the charming fishing village of Perdika, with its typical Cycladic architecture and white traditional houses. Walk through its picturesque alleys and enjoy the beauty of the landscape.
- Visit the workshops of the potters in Mesagros, where you can acquire high-quality ceramic vessels with exceptional paintings.
- Make a stop outside the "House of Kazantzakis" in the Livadi area of Aegina. The famous "Koukoulis" was the permanent residence of Nikos Kazantzakis and his wife from 1936 to 1944 and hosted many significant artists and writers.
How to travel to / from Aegina?
The route from Piraeus to Aegina and vice versa is easy and fast, as there are ships departing from three ports in Aegina throughout the year.
- Ferry routes from Piraeus to Aegina: Ferries depart daily from the port of Piraeus in Athens. During the peak season, at least 12 ferries depart from Piraeus to Aegina, typically from 6:30 in the morning to 6:00 in the evening. The duration of the ferry journey from Piraeus to Aegina varies from 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the type of the ferry, and the passenger ticket cost ranges from €12 to €19. Additionally, e-tickets are available. The route is serviced by high-speed catamarans or flying dolphins
- Ferry routes Aegina to Piraeus: There are 4 ferry companies offering services for this route: Saronic Ferries, ANES Ferries, Aegean Flying Dolphins, and Blue Star Ferries. This itinerary operates throughout the year, and ticket prices range from 18 to 19 euros, depending on whether it's a high-speed or conventional ferry. The duration of the journey from Aegina to Piraeus is between 40 minutes to 1 hour. The fastest ferry company on this route is Blue Star Ferries, taking 40 minutes to reach Piraeus.
- Ferry routes Aegina (Suvala) to Piraeus: You can make your reservation from the areas of Suvala in Aegina to Piraeus. Suvala is located 10 kilometers north of the main port of Aegina and is the second largest port on the island, with regular connections to Piraeus. The ferry from Suvala in Aegina to Piraeus is operated by Saronic Ferries, with a journey duration of 1 hour. This itinerary is available throughout the year, and the ticket cost is 19 euros.
Overall, the ferry journey from Aegina to Piraeus and vice versa is convenient and offers multiple options to meet the passengers' needs.
How can I book ferry tickets to Aegina?
Book your ferry tickets quickly and affordably online at booktickets! Here, you will find all the available information on prices and ferry schedules to help you organize your trip!