Aegina! An island near Athens, so hospitable and beautiful that you want to visit it again and again. The island has many places and features for which it is known, one of which is the famous pistachios of Aegina.
In Aegina you can escape for a day, a weekend, or even relax for a week. In our full article below you will find all the information you need before your first visit to the island.
Table of Contents
- Aegina is the second largest island in the Saronic Gulf
- According to Greek mythology, the island was named Aegina after the daughter of God Asopos, whom Zeus had fallen in love with and had abducted to Oinoni(later Aegina).
- Aegina was the first capital of modern Greece in 1828, which was then transferred to Nafplio in 1829.
- Every September, the Pistachio Festival is organized, the largest event on the island. In addition to the commercial activity and the elegant kiosks with pistachio products, various art exhibitions, concerts and theatrical performances are organized. For this festival, visitors from all over Greece arrive on the island, as well as from abroad, proving the popularity and important role of local products.
How to Go
Ferry Boats carry passengers, cars and mopeds. They depart daily from the port of Piraeus and reach the main port of Aegina in about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Flying Dolphins carry passengers only and no vehicles. They depart daily from Piraeus and arrive at the Port of Aegina in about 35 minutes.
There are also open type ferries that carry only passengers and connect Piraeus with Souvala and Agia Marina. The duration of the trip is 45 minutes to one hour approximately. However, these 2 latter ports serve only during the tourist season.
Ferry tickets can be purchased from the ticket offices at gate E8, from where the ferries to Aegina depart. During the summer, due to the crowded ships, we advise you to book your ticket on time, especially if you are travelling by car.
Information on prices and ticket availability can be found here.
Car or motorbike: The roads of the island are mapped, and the search for the beaches is very easy. You will not face any transportation problems. You will just find more traffic with the car compared to if you have a two-wheeled vehicle. The coastal road in front of the port, in the summer months closes during the afternoon and night hours and the traffic of vehicles is prohibited. If you decide to rent a vehicle from the island we suggest that you contact the rental service before travelling to make it available. Phone reservations are usually accepted without prepayment. You will find rental shops as soon as you leave the port. Prices range from € 30 to € 40 for cars and € 20 to € 25 for motorbikes, depending on the type of vehicle and the period you book it.
Intercity buses: Or otherwise (KTEL). Very economical, with which you can move to the most famous places of the island. The cost of the ticket is € 1.80 to € 2, per route and you can purchase it from the bus driver. However, itineraries are infrequent, and may not run more than 6 per route per day. Below you will find the routes, as well as the distance they cover and the time:
Aegina – Faros – Vroheia – Marathonas – Perdika (9,5 klms – 20 mins)
Aegina – Kypseli – Leondi – Vathy – Souvala – Agioi – Vagia (13 klms – 30 mins)
Aegina – Agioi Asomatoi – Kondos-Agios Nektarios-Mesagros-Agia Marina (14 kms-35 mins)
The phone number of KTEL is 22970 – 22787, where you can call to be sure of the itineraries but also for any changes.
Taxi: The taxi square is located outside the port. At the point where the tickets for the ships are issued, you will find the charges per route, from 7 € to 17 €. It is also possible to call a taxi driver to pick you up from the room where you are staying.
Bicycle: Finally, many people choose the bicycle for their travels on the island. There aren’t many difficult roads or steep slopes. Cycling enthusiasts can bring their own bike or rent one.
Best beaches in Aegina
The blue flag awarded beach is the most famous on the island. Most of it is organized, with taverns and beach bars, but it also has many places where you can relax further away. It is ideal for families since the waters are very shallow, clear blue, and ideal for snorkeling. The distance from the city of Aegina is 15 minutes by car, or 25 minutes by bus.
The neighbouring island that you should definitely go to. From the port of Perdika boats depart every half hour (5 € go – return) and within 15 minutes you are in a really special place. Initially there is an organized beach bar with sunbeds and umbrellas, where you could drink your coffee / cocktail and eat.
The most special particularity about this island, however, is that peacocks wander around the beach and the sunbeds looking for food from the tourists. On occasion you might even come across a wild goat. Beyond the organised beach we suggest you wander further inward and around this little island. There are many beautiful beaches to be discovered, especially round the back.
Marathonas A & B
The beach of Marathonas A is unorganized and very quiet. It has very few sunbeds and in some places has fine pebbles, while the rest has sand. Within a distance of 500 meters, in Marathonas B, is the beach bar BoCampo which gathers more people and has sunbeds, umbrellas, and tables. These beaches are 5 minutes from the city of Aegina in your own vehicle, but are also connected to the island’s transport network.
An organized beach at a distance of 8 km from Aegina. In Aeginitissa is Fyki beach bar – restaurant, located in a very beautiful cove, amongst green trees reaching all the way to the sea. It is an organized beach with umbrellas and sunbeds and a specially designed area for beach rackets and beach volley in the sand.
Aegina Maris Beach Bar
It is located in Aiginitissa in a small bay and it is an organized beach with colourful sunbeds as its special feature. The beach is sandy. The only aesthetic disadvantage in the image of the beach, are the abandoned studios that exist in the surrounding area.
Perdika is the beautiful fishing village of the island. Its beach is relatively secluded with 3-4 umbrellas on the rocks. There is a view of Monastery island right opposite. It is ideal for those who seek tranquility, as it is not very crowded, and its waters are crystal clear.
In a very beautiful cove, you will find Klima. Sand and pebbles, but also emerald waters, one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. It is an organized beach with a bar, umbrellas and sunbeds. We suggest you stay until sunset to enjoy the colours of the sun shimmering on the sea. Within walking distance of the beach, you will see some yachts that have been moored there and people enjoying their dives.
This is a free, unorganized beach, with pebbles. Ideal for those who want a tranquil swim in its blue waters. There are two taverns on this beach nearby. Thanasis and Akrogiali.
In the area of Souvala lies Therma beach, its name deriving from the old name or Loutra of Aegina. This beach is known for its thermal waters. Loutra does not have much sand, but it is ideal for swimming despite its rocky places. Next to the port there is the homonymous beach of Souvala which is organized, with many cafes, taverns and summer shops. Souvala is also connected by buses that start from the city of Aegina. The journey takes about 30 minutes.
A free, unorganized beach at a very short distance from the port, with pine trees reaching all the way down into the sea. It is quite deep in some places and is not suitable for families. It is located next to the archeological site of Kolona. One of the most important buildings in the area was the temple of Apollo, of which only one pillar that characterizes the entire monument survives today.
What to Do
Temple of Aphaia
It is located on the highest point of the island and is surrounded by pine trees. According to mythology, Aphaia is identified with the Cretan goddess Vritomartis, daughter of Zeus. Minos, the king of Crete, who had fallen in love with her, was pursuing her and she, in order to hide, fell into the sea, where she was caught in the nets of fishermen who put her on their own boat.
There a sailor fell in love with her and in order to escape she fell into the sea again and ended up on the island of Aegina, which the boat happened to be passing. Vritomartis continued to search for hiding and finally ended up on this remote hill of Artemis. When they went to look for her, they found in her place a statue which they named Aphaia (Aphaia = silent). In this place the Aeginians founded a sanctuary in her honour and built the famous temple of Aphaia.
It is one of the best preserved temples of antiquity built in the 5th century BC. It offers a unique view of the Saronic Gulf and when the atmosphere is clear, it is said that from there you can see the Parthenon and the temple of Poseidon in Sounio, which form an imaginary isosceles triangle. The temple is open daily for visitors 10.00-17.30 and the cost of the ticket per person is 6 €. We suggest that after your tour, you sit in a quiet place and enjoy the energy of the space, the harmony and the scent of the pines.
One of the largest Orthodox monasteries in the Balkans, Saint Nektarios is an imposing nunnery, operating with 14 nuns. Many vows and tributes are bestowed from the thousands of pilgrims who arrive in groups every year on November 9th, which is the celebration in memory of the Saint.
With the certified diving center Aegina Divers, you will have the opportunity to discover the beautiful waters of the island, diving in various places around the island. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver, you will enjoy this experience, discovering the seabed.
One day in Agistri
A neighbouring, small island, which you can circle literally in one day. For more information about Agistri, click here.
Horse and buggy ride
In the port you will see the beautifully decorated carriages, with the beautiful and imposing horses. Your carriage ride will make you feel the mansion air of the island. Also, this walk is ideal for children. The duration is 20 minutes and costs 15 €.
At Cine Akrogiali, you will enjoy the ultimate experience of summer afternoons, watching a movie under the stars, with the gentle breeze and a beer at hand. It is located very close to the port and shows daily new and old favourite movies for the young and old. To be informed about the screening hours and the movies you can check here.
Videos from our trip to the island can be seen here.
Food and Beverage
Akrogiali: Located on the beach of Agia Marina. A taverna on the sandy beach at a walking distance from the sea. The shop is 3 generations old and the staff is very helpful.
Skotadis: In the town of Aegina in a central location. It is one of the oldest and most famous ouzo bars on the island. From its excellent seafood delicacies, we singled out barley with crayfish.
Remvi: One of the most famous shops in the city of Aegina. In Remvi you can enjoy your breakfast, brunch, food but also your coffee and your drink. It overlooks the harbour and the seafront promenade.
Miralice: A very beautiful place in the city of Aegina, for coffee, cocktails and food.
Tortuga Artcafe Winebar: In a picturesque strait of Aegina behind the main coastal road, Tortuga offers coffee, a wide selection of wines and Italian-influenced cuisine.
Inn on the Beach: One of the typical shops of Aegina, Inn on the Beach is located by the sea. For us it was the best choice to enjoy the sunset with its famous cocktails.
Aiakeion: Traditional patisserie where you can drink your coffee, but also try its ice creams.
For our stay on the island we chose Aegina House, in the city of Aegina. It is located 10 minutes from the port, in a quiet and central place. We felt the hospitality of the island, but also enjoyed moments of calm. The house is spacious and is ideal for families, as well as for 2 couples simultaneously since it is 95 m².
The white rooms with blue windows and the garden with colourful flowers, offered us the beautiful island images we were looking to experience. George was one of the most helpful hosts, giving us all the necessary information about the shops, the beaches and the characteristics of the island.
Useful Sites & apps
In the last few years we have been travelling we have singled out some applications, which we use before every trip or during it. We have chosen them over others for their validity, ease of use and variety in the options they have to offer. We describe below in detail what these are together with their characteristics.
Booking.com is a popular online booking platform for accommodations worldwide. With a vast selection of hotels, apartments, villas, and more, Booking.com offers travellers the convenience of finding and booking their ideal stay in just a few clicks. The site’s user-friendly interface and extensive filtering options make it easy to narrow down search results based on specific preferences such as price, location, amenities, and more. As a result, Booking.com has become a go-to destination for travellers looking for hassle-free booking options. With competitive pricing and a loyalty program that rewards repeat bookings, Booking.com is a top choice for travellers seeking great deals and a seamless booking experience. Find available rooms here.
Hotels.com is a leading provider of hotel accommodation worldwide, offering booking services through its own network of localised websites. Once you reach 10 nights, you’ll have a free night which you can apply at checkout. You can earn multiple free nights by continuing to book with Hotels.com, though. The platform gives travellers one of the widest selections of accommodation on the net, including both independent and major chain hotels as well as self-catering in over hundreds of thousands properties worldwide. The company offers a one-stop shopping source for hotel pricing, amenities and availability. Find the best deals here.
Tripadvisor helps hundreds of millions of people each month become better travelers, from planning to booking to taking a trip. Travelers across the globe use the Tripadvisor site and app to discover where to stay, what to do and where to eat based on guidance from those who have been there before. With more than 1 billion reviews and opinions of nearly 8 million businesses, travelers turn to Tripadvisor to find deals on accommodations, book experiences, reserve tables at delicious restaurants and discover great places nearby. Find available offers and booking your accommodation here.
For ferry tickets to all of Greece as well as destinations like Italy, France, Spain etc. Immediate service and cooperation with the largest services in Greece.