Aegina (Saronic Gulf)


Aegina is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece, located in the Aegean Sea between the Saronic and Argolic Gulfs. Tradition derives the name from Aegina, the mother of the hero Aeacus, who was born on the island and became its king. During ancient times Aegina was a rival of Athens, the great sea power of the era. An extinct volcano constitutes two-thirds of the island. The northern and western sides consist of stony but fertile plains, which are well cultivated and produce luxuriant crops of grain, with some cotton, vines, almonds, olives and figs, but the most characteristic crop of Aegina today is pistachio.

Economically, the sponge fisheries are of notable importance. The southern volcanic part of the island is rugged and mountainous, and largely barren. Its highest rise is the conical Mount Oros in the south, and the Panhellenian ridge stretches northward with narrow fertile valleys on either side. The beaches are also a popular tourist attraction. 

In the main town you will find most of the island's restaurants and bars, lying bfore the town's beautiful Waterfront. If that wasn't enough, several beaches exist on the island with Marathonas and Moni Island Beach being the largest ones. The Temple of Aphaia is the main archaeological landmark along with the site of Kolona. The town's Archeological Museum is a must for history afficionados. Alternatively, the Church of Saint Nicholas is also popular, mostly among locals.

Aegina's close proximity to Athens makes it a preferred destination for locals, especially in the weekends. The best time to visit is in late spring – the sea has warmed up to feasible swimming temperatures and locals outnumber tourists – and early autumn, when most of the tourists have departed and the sea is at its warmest.

Hydrofoil ferries from Piraeus take only forty minutes to reach Aegina; the regular ferry takes about an hour. Scheduling a trip there can provide a lot of flexibility as there are several ferries available every day at frequent intervals. There are regular bus services from Aegina town to destinations throughout the island such as Agia Marina. Portes is a fishing village on the east coast.

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saronic gulf Islands