SARONIC GULF ISLANDS GREECE
Pronunciation: 'egg-ee-Na' / Tel. code: 2297 / Aegina Port Authority: tel. 22-328
How to get to Aegina
By Ferry: Daily with Piraeus, Hydra, Spetses, Poros, Methana Peloponnse.
Tourist Police, Vass. Gorgiou St, Tel: 22391 Buses Aegina Town, Tel: 22412
Port Authority Aegina Town, Tel: 22328 Postal Code: 18010
Where is Aegina
Aegina island Map
Aegina: General characteristics
Aegina lies in the Saronic Gulf and is the 2nd closest island to Piraeus (16 mi.) and Athens after Salamis. Aegina can be reached in a little over an hour by ferry boat or half an hour by Flying Dolphin hydrofoil. Aegina has a land mass of 82 square km. with 57 km. of coast line (mostly rocky beaches).The population is about 12,000. There is a full sized Marina. Aegina's best beach lays to the right of the Aegina town harbor. There are 2 harbors in Aegina and the farthest, ie. Aegina Town is the recommended disembarkation point as Aghia Marina is the industrial port. Buses can take you to Aegina town should you disembark there by mistake.
AEGINA REGIONAL FEATURES
Aegina is a beautiful island with alternating areas of greenery and barren vistas. More manageable during the week when Athenians are back in Athens. If pressed for time, by all means visit Aegina. The only thing I wasn't thrilled about were the beaches which are mostly small and rocky. The water itself was perfect, clean and calm. This is a place to use those wave walkers I told you to bring along in the practical tips section. Aegina Town is a nice port and a bit bigger than some islands. There are many taverns and pastry shops along the Limani and all kinds of picturesque establishments among the back streets. Aegina is a good island to rent a car for because it is rather large. My advice is to rent an off road vehicle because there are many interesting dirt roads to travel on, you'll be able to get away from the more crowded beaches and find interesting places to hike.
Aegina is a mountainous island with wonderful valleys and ancient trees such as this allegedly 2,000 year old olive tree. An off road vehicle or dirt bike will let you appreciate this islands hidden beauty more fully.
AEGINA ISLAND SPECIALITIES
Aegina is the pistachio nut growing capital of Greece and the ideal spot to buy all kinds of pistachio related products as you explore the back streets of quaint Aegina town.The whole island in fact is full of wonderful nut trees including almonds. Dried nuts too, of course, are available for sale at many places on the island and in a bewildering variety of forms. They'll be a bit cheaper than in Athens and fresher too.
AEGINA'S HISTORCAL IMPORTANCE AND SITES
The Temple of Aphaia is one of the best preserved temples in Greece. Built in the 5th century BC it lies 2 km from Aghia Marina and has regular bus service from the towns of Aegina. Aphaia was a hunting nymph and one of Zeus's daughters. She was the primary deity of ancient Aegina and worshipped primarily only on Aegina. Fee charged/Tel:32-398. In ancient times due to its strategic location the island was one of the most sophisticated and early pioneers of coinage.
Aegina Town has a museum with many interesting finds from various epochs. Closed Tuesday: fee charged.
There is one monastery on the island: Aghios Nektarios. Pilgrims come from all over Greece to worship at the resting place of this most recently canonized Greek Saint (1961). 7km east of Aegina town.
8 km east of Aegina Town is the Medieval Town of Paliochora was the Byzantine Capitol of the island and once boasted 365 churches of which only 25 remain, some with well preserved frescos.
From Aegina Town buses (tel.: 22-412) run to most villages and the Temple of Aphaia.