Aegina
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THE ISLAND OF AEGINA OR EGINA IN THE ARGO-SARONIC GULF IN GREECE - ISLAND OF THE TEMPLES
map of Aegina, Greece, plattegrond van Aegina, Griekenland Nederlands

Aegina is one of the Argo-Saronic islands which are situated close to the capital Athens. At a mere 20 kilometer south of the Athenian harbour Pireaus it is one of the most touristed islands in Greece. It is a nice destination for people that have one or two days of holidays left before they fly back home from Athens. Although Aegina is popular it does not feel overcrowded and it is also a nice base for people that want to visit Athens and explore the sights of the capital. The island of Aegina is quite green with forest and there are plenty of small coves with sand beaches. Aegina is also famous for it's pistachio nuts.

During history Aegina was an important place and one of the main rivals of Athens. For a short time in 1829 Aegina Town was the first capital op Greece. Aegina Town is the main centre and it has lots of neoclassical buildings (like Ermoupolis on the island of Syros). It is one of the ferry destinations (Aghia Marina is the other one, connected to Piraeus on the mainland by a small passenger ferry). The harbour front of Aegina Town has the majority of the tavernas, restaurants and tourist shops. Behind that the streets of the town are pretty unspoilt and it gives the impression of being in an authentic small island town. There are small squares, old houses and plenty of pistachio trees. In the ancient commercial harbour down south of the ferry quay there are caïques (small traditional wooden boats painted in bright colours) and there is a fish market.

North of the quay are the remains of the old harbour where the war ships used to be positioned. Behind it are the remains of the acropolis of Kolona / Temple of Apollo (destroyed by the Athenians now one column remains - Kolona meaning "one column"). Here, north of the capital you also find a good beach. Along the coastal road from Aegina Town to Kolona and the beach you find several restaurants and hotels (like the Danea Hotel - see also below). Ticket offices for the ferries are few and often open up just half an hour before the ferries and hydrofoils depart. If you plan to take a fast hydrofoil back to Athens late in the afternoon than it is wise to book ahead or buy your return ticket the minute you arrive in Aegina Town. These fast / late returning hydrofoils tend to be booked out quickly.

The other main place with tourist facilities on Aegina is the village of Aghia Marina on the east side of the island. This village is connected to Piraeus by ferry as well and there is a regular bus service between Aghia Marina and Aegina Town. This is a more vibrant village with nightlife and designed more especially for the tourists. At a 2 kilometer distance from Aghia Marina you can find the Temple of Aphaia, which is set on a pine tree covered hill. In the north of the island lies the third harbour of the island, the village of Souvala, where you can also find a reasonable beach.

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THE SIGHTS OF THE ISLAND OF AEGINA OR EGINA IN GREECE - TEMPLES AND MONASTERIES

The main attraction / sight of the island Aegina is the Temple of Aphaia just outside Aghia Marina. It dates from the 5th century BC. Aphaia was a goddess and a daughter of Zeus. It is one of the best preserved temples in Greece and it had two sets of columns (inside and outside).
The Temple of Zeus is situated on the top of the Oros Mountain in the south of the island. Only the foundations of this temple have survived.
The Temple of Apollo and its one remaining column indicate where the former acropolis of Aegina used to be. It is situated a little north of the capital on the coast. This temple used to be the same as the Temple of Aphaia but it was destroyed in the war with Athens, and only the foundations remained. The site is known as "Kolona" and it houses also the Archeological Museum of the island, with finds from around the island (for instance coins - Aegina was the first island with its own coins - and the Aegina Sphinx which dates from the 6th century BC).
The town of Aegina and its neoclassical buildings. One of the special sights in the town is the Markello's Tower which dates from 1802. It is situated on a square just behind the ferry harbour.
The Monastery of Saint Catherina east of Aegina Town and west of the former capital Palaiochora (now abandoned). It is placed on the site of the former Temple of Aphrodite.

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THE BEACHES AND NATURIST BEACHES OF THE ISLAND OF AEGINA OR EGINA IN GREECE

Let's face it: the island of Aegina is not world famous for its beaches, although there are a few nice ones that you can visit. The fact that most of the Saronic islands are within easy reach of the capital of Greece means that the beaches can get quite crowded during the weekends with inhabitants of Athens that come to the island for a short visit. From the mainland it takes about an hour to reach Aegina with the ferry boat. The number of beaches for naturists is quite limited. There are some coves north of Aegina Town, past the Kolona archeological site, about half a kilometer away after the first beach you see after Kolona. Here there are some rocks that are sometimes used by naturists for swimming and sunbathing. A kilometer north of these coves there are more coves with rocks and one small pebble beach.

Agia Marina Beach - This is the town beach of the tourist resort / village of Agia Marina, which is named after the church at the end of the beach. It is situated in a bay at the east side of the island of Aegina. Agia Marina is an organized and sandy beach with sunbeds and parasols and a choice in watersports. The beach is shallow and so it is perfect for families with small children. On the beach there is plenty of choice in tavernas and restaurants for a drink, lunch or a dinner. Agia Marina Beach is the largest beach on the island. Because of this and because the village is situated close to the famous Alphaia Temple, Agia Marina has developped into the major tourist village of the island.

Souvala Beach - This beach in the north of the island is a sand / pebble beach where you can find therapeutic hot and cold springs. It is situated about 10 kilometers from Aegina Town and the small harbor town has its own direct connection to Piraeus on the mainland. Souvala is a lively place where you can find hotels, restaurants and bars. The beach is organized and there are sunbeds and umbrellas for rent.

Perdika Beach - This beach is situated in the south west of the island opposite the small island of Moni. The distance to the capital is 9 kilometer. It is a small but picturesque beach with sand and some rocks. On Perdika Beach there are no beach beds or umbrellas fo rent, but there are some trees here for natural shade. From Perdika you can reach the opposite island of Moni by boat in about ten minutes. There are deer, peacocks and goats living on the island. On the north side of Moni you will find a quiet unorganized beach and two small canteens. The waters around the island are clear and excellent for snorkeling. See also my page about Moni Island which contains more information and a small movie of the island.

Marathonas Beach - This beach is situated in the west of the island Aegina in the small traditional fishing village Marathonas. On both sides of the village (both north and south of the harbor pier) you find an organized sandy beach with sunbeds and umbrellas. For those who love shadow: the beaches are surrounded by trees. Marathonas Beach is a popular beach destination, and especially in high season it can get very crowded. The beach is only 4 km away from the capital of Aegina. At the beaches there are tavernas that serve fresh fish. From the beach you look out on the islet of Moni.

Aiginitissa Beach - Trendy and shallow beach (so also safe for children) on the way from Aegina Town to Perdika, in the west of the island. It is an organized beach with sunbeds and parasols.

Avra Beach (Kolona Beach) - This is the beach in Aegina Town on the left side of the Hill of Kolona, at a walking distance from the ferries. It is a sandy beach with sunbeds and parasols and a good choice in tavernas and restaurants. Avra Beach is within walking distance of the harbor and the beach is the closest one to the capital. From the beach you can see the ferries that visit the island and in the distance on a clear day you can see the islands of Agistri and Methanas and the Peloponnese. You can find many hotels, shops and restaurants around the beach. The entrance to the archaeological site of Kolona is next to the beach.

For much more information and more beaches on Aegina island go to my special beaches page - click here.

THE FERRIES FROM PIRAEUS AND OTHER ISLANDS TO THE ISLAND OF AEGINA OR EGINA IN GREECE

For the ferries to Aegina check the site of Greek Ferries.

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ACCOMMODATIONS - HOTELS, APARTMENTS AND STUDIOS ON THE ISLAND OF AEGINA OR EGINA IN GREECE

Most of the accommodations in Aegina you will find along the largest sandy beach of the island, which is situated in the Village of Aghia Marina. Since the beach is shallow and quite long this is a good option for families with children. Because of its length the beach does not get too crowded easily. Also for the younger crowd and the people that are looking for some action in the evenings there is a bit of nightlife in Aghia Marina. Aghia Marina is also only 2 kilometer from the main sight of the island, the Temple of Aphaia. The capital Aegina Town also has a choice in accommodation (but less). The beach is a bit smaller, but it is good, and the picturesque village of Aegina Town itself and the proximity of the remains of the Tempel of Apollo, the ancient acropolis and the Arcehological Museum make it an interesting destination. Both villages are served daily and regularly by the ferry boats. In some of the smaller coastal villages there are also some accommodations.

FOR ALL THE HOTELS, STUDIOS AND APARTMENTS IN AEGINA - CLICK HERE.

Hotels in Aegina, Egina - Hotel Rastoni - holidays in style on Aegina, very good reviews
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Hotel Rastoni welcomes you to its oasis of tranquillity, relaxation and elegance on Aegina island in the Saronic Gulf. The hotel is only 40 minutes away from the port of Piraeus and at walking distance from the harbour of Aegina town. Leave your daily stress behind and enjoy during your holiday your own "Rastoni" (laziness)!

The small stylish hotel has 12 beautiful spacious rooms, all decorated uniquely. The rooms on the first and second floor have a tremendous panoramic sea view. You look directly on the ancient hill and archeological site of Kolona and the sunsets are amazing! A beautiful spacious mature garden with shaded relaxation areas completes the setting of the hotel.

If you are looking for an ideal place for your seminar or workshop, for groups up to 30 persons, the Rastoni seminar area is at your disposal. It is equipped with the latest technological equipment for presentations. Free wireless internet available around the reception area.

Hotel Rastoni is open from March until November. If you would like to visit our accommodation in the winter months please contact us for arrangements.

Check availability and prices & book the Rastoni Hotel in Aegina - click here.

Hotels in Aegina, Egina - Pension Electra - Aegina Town - very good reviews, well priced
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In the centre of the town and just 100 metres from the harbour and 200 metres from the organized beach, Electra Pension is located in a quiet spot, with a calm environment. Enjoy a friendly setting where management are always prepared to serve and cover your requirements and needs. A 24-hour reception desk and free parking could prove useful services during your stay. Electra Pension is situated only 200 m from Ancient City of Aigina with the Poseidon Temple and Aigina Museum. Located in the main port and capital of the island, you should find plenty of entertainment close by, whether you opt to take a trip to one of the beaches, shop, or simply people-watch from a taverna and just 100 meters away from the central bus station, used for local itineraries. The easiest and fastest way to go to Aegina Island from the Airport is using bus No ? 96 that takes you directly to the Pireus Harbour and 100 metres from the Aegina Island departures

Check availability and prices & book Pension Electra in Aegina - click here.

Hotels in Aegina, Egina - Pension Electra - Hotel Karyatides - Aghia Marina - central location, cheap prices
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In the heart of Aghia Marina you will find the popular Hotel Karyatides, which is a privately owned, family-run hotel, offering the very best personal attention and friendly relaxing atmosphere that makes our leisure guests come back year after year. The hotel consists of 24 double and 6 triple bedrooms, renovated in 2004, TV lounge, garden café-bar, breakfast room and reception desk. All rooms have private facilities with Air-Conditioning, Colour Television, Safety-Box, Hairdryer, Refrigerator and totally new bathrooms. Ironing Equipment is available on request. From its commanding position close to the organised beach, the majority of the bedrooms have a marvellous Ocean View or Mountain View. As all of the rooms have a balcony, you can either sit there and enjoy your breakfast or go to the yard to the nice café-bar, where you can design your breakfast after your personal taste. If you feel like shopping, the hotel itself is situated in the village centre, where you can find everything you need. The island's longest beach is just a stones throw away and around the corner you will find numerous restaurants with excellent cuisine and anything else you can expect to find in a highly developed tourist resort. Hotel Karyatides is situated only 200 m. away from Aghia Marina's port where daily transportation to and from Piraeus/Athens takes place from. In Athens you can visit all the famous historical monuments.

Check availability and prices & book Hotel Karyatides in Aegina - click here.

Hotels in Aegina, Egina - Pension Electra - Senia Studios - Aghia Marina - quiet and central location, cheap prices
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The Senia Studios are situated just 5 minutes walk from the centre of Aghia Marina, in a quiet area with pleasant surroundings and private pool. This family run accommodation offers a friendly welcome with clean, modern, self catering rooms. The Senia Studios are surrounded by well maintained and attractive gardens, bursting with banana palms, ferns and flowers, giving a tropical feel. Ideal for couples, with all the benefits of being close to the centre of Aghia Marina, this accommodation offers a relaxed, quiet base to return to after a night in the town. The rooms can all accommodate 2 to 3 people, and they al have airconditioning and a private veranda or balcony.

Check availability and prices & book Senia Studios in Aegina - click here.

Hotels in Aegina, Egina - Hotel Danea*** - Aegina Town / Kolona Beach - including breakfast, good reviews
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Hotel Danae is situated on the coastal road of Aegina near the Temple of Apollo aprox 1 kilometer from the centre of town. It has 54 rooms all with private balcony and most with sea view. They all have wc, shower, airconditioning, central heating, television, hairdryer, safety box, telephone and music. The full buffet breakfast is served on the veranda and there is a restaurant that serves both lunch and dinner. In the beautiful garden there is a swimming pool and snack pool bar. The nearest beach is 50 meters away.

Check availability and prices & book the Danea Hotel in Aegina - click here.


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