The sun-dappled island that rests just a stone’s throw away from the bustling port of Piraeus. Envision this: A swift, 35-minute ride on a flying dolphin or an unhurried, 60-minute ferry journey is all that separates you from the holiday destination of your dreams. Perfect for those sun-soaked summer vacations or even spontaneous day trips.
In Aegina, it’s about the simple things: that’s what I love. Enjoy a budget-friendly vacation by the sparkling sea against a backdrop of lush green landscapes. Picture this: Sandy beaches for building castles, cycle rides across cobblestone streets, and traditional horse-drawn carriage tours – all of these promise an unforgettable family holiday.
1. A panoramic view from the Temple of Aphaia Athena
Do yourself a favor and drink in the endless blue sea from the temple’s vantage point. Here, you can trace an imaginary equilateral triangle connecting the Sounion, Acropolis, and the Temple, a testament to the ancient Greeks’ ingenious grasp of geometry. Now, isn’t that something?
2. Visiting the miraculous Monastery of Saint Nektarios, Moni Panagias Chrisoleontissas, Agia Marina, and Ekklisia tis Faneromenis
Whether it’s for religious devotion or cultural appreciation, a pilgrimage to these sacred spots is a must. Climb to a vista overlooking the vast sea, or simply retreat from the worldly chaos for a morning, it’s your personal rendezvous with tranquillity and self-reflection.
3. Hiking to Palaiochora, the 'Miniature' Mystras
If your family thrives on exploration, Palaiochora is the ideal hiking destination. It’s a perfect fusion of nature appreciation and cultural exploration. It’s often referred to as the ‘Miniature Mystras’ – with remnants of historic churches and frescoes that survived, along with few houses. Once bustling, this now-deserted settlement retains a touch of mysterious charm.
4. A 'Boat-ride' dip in Agistri and Moni
Agistri is swiftly gaining the popularity of Aegina as a tourist hot spot, still preserving the tradition of secluded, verdant beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters accessible by boat or dinghy. The strait between Aegina and Moni especially retains its ‘turquoise’ allure despite the occasional influx of boats.
5. Artistic evenings at the Theater and Music Festival in August
Come August, the Aegina International Festival comes alive, hosting an array of world-class artists from Greece and beyond. From the harmonious notes of classical and contemporary concerts to the riveting performances in plays, it offers something for everyone. Chamber music, recitals, operas, jazz, film screenings, and open-air theater – imagine those captivating evenings against the backdrop of the enchanting harbor!
6. Savor the unique charm of Fistiki Fest, the only one of its kind worldwide!
Dive headfirst into Aegina’s one-and-only Pistachio Festival, an exuberant blend of vivacious music, time-honored dance traditions, and impromptu parades of floats bearing the island’s famed pistachios. The island center transforms into a tantalizing marketplace where passionate local farmers showcase their salty bounty. It’s an experience like no other!
7. Bask in the nostalgic allure of the island's beaches
Imagine beaches reminiscent of the picture-perfect childhood memories, sprinkled with modern, cosmopolitan touches. Imagine comfortable loungers, buzzing beach bars, and lively parties fuelled by spirited young crowds. This is the reality on Aegina’s beaches, from Kolona to Perdika, Kleidi to Klima, Vagia to Tourlos, and Portes. Simply grab your map, and let your curiosity lead you!
8. Discover shops straight out of a lifestyle magazine
Step into an eclectic world of shops teeming with handmade artistic creations, jewelry, ceramics, and pop art decorations. From playful games to Greek and foreign fashion, and gastronomic delights to Aegina’s signature pistachios in every imaginable form, it’s a veritable treasure trove.
9. Savor homestyle cooking with sunset views
What could be better than mouthwatering food and local delicacies crafted from time-worn handwritten recipes? All served with love by welcoming restaurants passionate about cooking and their local produce. Topped off with a splendid sunset view, it’s pure heaven!
10. Visit the Wildlife Rescue Center
Take a trip to the Greek Wildlife Rescue Center, and witness first-hand how volunteers from around the world nurture various species of wild animals, especially birds, back to health with immense care and love.
11. Step into the very first capital of modern Greece
Step into the debate between Aegina and Nafplio about which is the first capital of Greece. Regardless of the outcome, there’s no denying that it was no coincidence that Kapodistrias chose Aegina in August 1827. Explore the island’s rich history etched in its numerous neoclassical buildings, from the Tower of Markellos to the Eynardeion School, the country’s first Government House, and the Orphanage. All waiting for you to discover!
Ready to soak in the wonders of Aegina? Let’s guide you through Aegina’s best areas that will elevate your stay from ordinary to extraordinary! With picturesque neighborhoods to modern havens, Aegina has it all, waiting for your discovery!