Great rival of Athens during Antiquity, Aegina is today almost considered a suburb of the Greek capital: historical heritage, beaches and proximity, here are three pillars that make this island so attractive. For a day or a week, what to do in Aegina during your visit?
- 1. The Temple of Aphaia
- 2. Chora, the port of Aegina
- 3. Agia Marina Beach
- 4. The village of Paleohora
- 5. An excursion to the island of Moni
- 6. Markellos Tower
- 7. Perdika et ses plages (Sarpa et Klima paralia)
- 8. The archaeological site of Kolona and the archaeological museum of Aegina
- 9. The monastery of Agios Nektarios
- 10. Marathonas Beach
Aegina holds a special place among the Greek islands : a great ancient city, rivaling the power of classical Athens, the island will subsequently be the very first capital of a Greece seeking its independence, around 1829. Its proximity with Piraeus , the great Athenian port, makes it particularly accessible to escape the suffocating city and its intense traffic: a godsend for Athenians as well as for holidaymakers, who can afford an excursion to the Greek islands without going very far.
Visiting Aegina is therefore just as much for the weekend, or even for the day from Athens , as for a whole week, enjoying the island atmosphere. In addition to several sites to discover, the activities to do in Aegina revolve around the beach and the sea. Take the time to enjoy the pleasure of sitting down at the tavern, by the water, to taste grilled octopus, fried calamari, taramasalata and other seafood the Greek way, letting time slip away or sipping an ouzo. Translation: you won’t have time to be bored in Aegina, only to enjoy.
In summer and on weekends in fine weather, Aegina easily fills up with Greek and foreign visitors, and the atmosphere is there. To visit Aegina in a calmer light, favor the beginning of spring, or the off-season, for a beautiful itinerary to discover the essentials of the island.
1. The Temple of Aphaia
For lovers of archaeological sites, it is difficult to visit Aegina without going through the temple of Aphaïa, a must: it is one of a trio of exceptional ancient buildings with the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion , and the Parthenon dedicated to Athena on the Acropolis of Athens, and testifies to the past greatness of the island.
In addition to its historical interest, the site offers visitors a magnificent setting, so there is something for everyone.
2. Chora, the port of Aegina
Chora, the island’s capital, is also its main port, where boats from Piraeus dock. Take the time to linger in this particularly pleasant and lively little seaside town, early in the morning or in the evening, whether on the side of the terraces of taverns to have a bite to eat, or to stroll through the colorful alleys of the historic heart. .
If there’s only one thing to do in Aegina, it’s to enjoy Chora!
3. Agia Marina Beach
To the east of Aegina, Agia Marina is a pleasant seaside resort, very popular with Athenians, which offers its share of taverns and cafes, as well as a very popular large sandy beach.
It is also a popular base for exploring and visiting Aegina and its main sites, including the nearby Temple of Aphaia.
4. The village of Paleohora
Inland, Paleohora is a visit to Aegina to immerse yourself in the still recent past of the island: there are in this abandoned village, once one of the most important on the island, more than a dozen ancient chapels, as well as the remains of a ruined fortress.
A marked path allows you to go around the site on foot.
5. An excursion to the island of Moni
To do in Aegina, an excursion to the small uninhabited island of Moni, nearby: from Perdika or Chora, jump in a taxi-boat for a day in the sun in the crystal clear waters of Moni, which even has its own small bar of beach.
Feel free to walk away to explore the rest of this charming island.
6. Markellos Tower
Among the prestigious buildings of Chora, the Tower of Markellos is among the sites to visit in Aegina because of its historical importance, as the political base of the Greek Revolution of 1821 against the Ottoman Empire, which would lead the country to the independence ten years later.
Greek or philhellenic revolutionaries, many big names have passed through the tower of Markellos…
7. Perdika et ses plages (Sarpa et Klima paralia)
The beach remains one of the main occupations when visiting Aegina, so why deprive yourself?
In Perdika, known for its fish taverns, as in the surrounding area, don’t miss the seaside atmosphere and the beaches of Sarpa and Klima, to the south, among the nicest in Aegina.
8. The archaeological site of Kolona and the archaeological museum of Aegina
Two birds with one stone: take the time to visit in Aegina (Chora) another important archaeological site, Kolona, whose location overlooking the Aegean is even more impressive than its remains, as well as the adjoining archaeological museum , for a complete overview of the rich ancient history of the island: Aegina minted its own coinage, and had the nerve to compete with the great Athens on the mainland!
9. The monastery of Agios Nektarios
In the heart of the island stands an impressive monastery, an important place of pilgrimage dedicated to Agios Nektarios: this “modern” saint, who died in 1920, is a particularly popular figure in Aegina as in the Orthodox world in general, known (and canonized) for his miracles and multiple healings.
10. Marathonas Beach
When we tell you that one of the activities to do in Aegina is the beach!
That of Marathonas, halfway between Chora and Perdika, is another example, easily accessible, comfortable with its deckchairs and parasols, with of course its share of beach bars and taverns to cool off and have a bite to eat: a classic!
How to get to Aegina?
Aegina is certainly the most accessible is