This little island is only 27 km from Athens. It is very easy to get there, and perfect idea for a day trip outside the buzz of the big city. It has a very interesting history. Belonging to the Saronic group of islands, Aegina has many archaeological monuments, picturesque villages, and beautiful beaches!
During ancient times Aegina was a rival of Athens, the great sea power of the era. Aegina is in the Saronic Gulf. Tradition derives the name from Aegina, the mother of the hero Aeacus, who was born on the island and became its king.
It is a perfect place for a summer stroll, with a beautiful promenade, and elegant neoclassical buildings, and charming narrow alleyways.
If you don’t have much time, you can just walk around the port area which is quite pretty. It is a very typical Greek island. I only had a bout five hours here, and managed to explore quite a lot.
Aegina is also an island with a glorious historical past, as it used to be one of the most important islands of ancient Greece, so it’s not a surprise that sightseeing is one of the best things to do in Aegina! The most impressive archaeological site of the island is the Ancient Temple of Athena Aphaia, dating back to the 6th century BC.
The temple was dedicated to the goddess of Aphaia. She was associated with fertility and the agricultural cycle.
The temple is quite high up a mountain, from there you can see stunning views of the whole island.
I had a few days in Athens, and I was looking to do something different. I was investigating travel options to lots of different islands not too far away from the mainland. I hardly knew anything about this island, but was glad I made the visit. I also managed to visit the monastery at the back of the temple, but it was being refurbished inside, and I didn’t take many pictures of it.
Although the Island is quite small, it is not possible to walk around it. One would have to hire a car or moped to drive around, or get a taxi – that would cost quite a few euros! I managed to enjoy myself there, but I didn’t manage to see everything in the one day that I had. Perhaps, it would be a good idea to stay over to explore more of this incredible island.