Spectacular ancient temples. Mystical medieval settlements. The world-renowned pistachios. Centennial olive groves. Great hidden beaches. Amazing hiking trails. Stunning sunsets. A relaxed island atmosphere. This is Aegina!
At a distance of 16.5 nautical miles (about 27 km) from the port of Piraeus, it is only a 40-minute ride on the hydrofoil or just over an hour on the regular boat. It is a beloved destination for Athenians and international visitors alike, throughout the year, due to its large local population and regular, all year-round, connection to Piraeus.
One of the greatest naval powers of antiquity and biggest rival of Athens, where the fist coin of western civilization was minted. Home to the captivating Temple of Aphaia (one of the three temples of the “Sacred Triangle”); the spectacular medieval hill of Paleochora; the first capital of the new independent state.
Aegina is a sanctuary for some of the country’s biggest writers and artists, who are captivated by the island’s unique clarity of light, famous since antiquity. It is also a sacred land for pilgrims from around the world that come to visit the famous and imposing monastery of St. Nektarios.
History and nature are at a continuous play, making Aegina an ideal destination for culture and history lovers, foodies, families and nature enthusiasts!
Visit the Historical & Folklore Museum of Aegina to “travel” back in time and see the everyday life in Modern Aegina just a few years back. The museum hosts rare manuscripts, traditional costumes, vintage furniture, engravings and embroideries, agricultural tools, fishing equipment and fishing boats miniatures.
Explore Paleochora, or “old town”, a medieval village build in the 9th century that used to be the island’s capital until 1826. It is located next to Agios Nektarios Monastery, 7km from Aegina port. Archaeologists have identified it as the location of the ancient city of Aegina. Enjoy the magnificent view from the top of the hill and see the remainder of the city walls, the water tanks and the 38 churches that nowadays remain.
Visit the Tower of Markellos, located near the center of Aegina town, a landmark of the island and a building of a great historical significance. The building was built in the 17th century and it is named after its owner Spyridon Markellos, a strong proponent for the Greek Independence. During the Greek War of Independence (Greek Revolution of 1821), the tower was used to host many key figures and after the war, when Greece became a free state and Aegina was declared the newly-founded country’s capital, the tower was turned into the residence of the Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias from 1828 to 1829. Its impressive pink color and Venetian style makes the Tower of Markellos to catch the eye!
Visit one of the most renowned sites on Aegina, the imposing church of Agios Nektarios and the monastery of Agia Triada (The Holy Trinity). Agios Nektarios of Aegina (1846 – 1920), is one of the most widely known Greek Orthodox Saints and officially recognized as a saint by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1961. Every year, thousands of orthodox pilgrims visit the holy site to honor the first modern saint of Greece. His memory is celebrated on the 9th of November, on the name day of Nektarios.
Discover one of the architectural wonders of Ancient Greece. The Doric temple of Athena Aphea, dedicated to goddess of Athena, was built around 480 B.C. and is located 13km east of Aegina Town. The amazing thing is this temple of Athena Aphea, the temple of Poseidon in Sounion and the Parthenon in Athens geographically form an isosceles triangle! The legend has it that Aphea escaped the clutches of sailors near the coast of Aegina and was seen going up till she vanished and hence the name Aphea meaning vanish. Aphea is said to be a mountain and a hunting goddess who protects shipping. Aegina was an important shipping power of the region.
The Kapralos Museum is located along the main coastal road, approx. 3 km north to the main town. It consists of six chambers – the sculptor’s workshops – while the landscaping surrounding them was designed by the sculptor. Christos Kapralos left a collection of approximately 7,500 works to the Greek people on establishing his foundation. The visitor to the Kapralos Museum of Aegina may view works spanning the years 1963-93. His copper statue, The Mother, placed on a square opposite the museum by the sea, symbolizes the Greek mother, a woman who toils in devotion to her family.
Next to the Archeological Museum, you will find the remains of the Temple of Apollo. There is only a single column left standing, the last remnant of the Doric temple built in 520 B.C., giving the name “Kolona” to the area, which in Greek means “Column”.
The Archaeological Museum of Aegina is the first museum ever established in the Greek State by Ioannis Kapodistrias in 1829. The museum houses artifacts from all ancient sites of the island; Kolona, Temple of Athena Aphea, the sanctuary of Ellanios Zeus.
Take a boat trip to the uninhabited little isle called Moni, only a 10-minute water taxi from Perdika beach. In the little isle you may see peacocks and kri-kri goats and enjoy a relaxing swim in a pretty beach with turquoise waters.Fistiki Fest
If you are visiting Aegina during September don’t miss out the famous Fistiki Fest, the Pistachio Festival of Aegina taking place in the island since 2008. This is the major event of the Saronic Gulf and the main aim of the festival is to promote and support the cultivation of the famous and unique pistachio, known as the “Aegina Pistachio”.
During the festival you will have the opportunity to enjoy famous Greek singers, composers, musicians and dance groups, buy pistachio and pistachios based products from the trade fair and experience a unique gastronomy trip!