Let the Aegina time machine take you back into the past. To a stunning temple older than the Parthenon in Athens. To an olive grove with gnarled trees still alive after 2,000 years. To the remains of a medieval village laid waste by a notorious pirate. And to faded neoclassical houses in a lively, colourful port that was briefly the capital of Greece.
That’s Aegina, once described as the most beautiful Greek island you haven’t heard of. Time to change that! It’s a great place for tourists to discover. More than 20 beaches, gorgeous, warm blue sea, water sports, a water park, lively resorts, traditional villages, great food and friendly people are among the many attractions.
At its heart is a towering volcanic mountain where it’s said a god once prayed for rain. The Mount Oros area is now protected as one of the most historic and beautiful landscapes in Greece.
Long ago, Aegina Town, the main port, was one of the wealthiest towns in Greece. Now it’s authentically Greek, bustling narrow lanes, small shops and tavernas, a harbour crowded with colourful boats, horse and carriage rides along the waterfront and a single column from an ancient temple to Apollo, god of many things including music and healing.
Small beaches are tucked away along the north coast until you get to Souvala, a fishing village that has developed into a lovely, laid-back holiday resort. Busy, stylish Agia Marina, on the east coast, has Aegina’s longest sandy beach, with sunshades, sunbeds, water sports and cafes.
Not far away is a well-preserved temple to the goddess Aphaia, built more than 2,500 years ago. Its 28 marble columns still gleam in the sun – an impressive spectacle.
The picturesque west coast road hugs the coastline on the side of the island that enjoys the most spectacular sunsets. The road sweeps past several golden sand beaches, including two at Marathonas and the curved bay of Aiginitissa which is fringed with huge eucalyptus trees. Then on to the traditional fishing village of Perdika that is well known for its fish restaurants.
So much to see and do on an island you may not have heard of – until now.