Forming part of the Saronic Islands, Aegina lies between Athens and the Peloponnese. It is named after the mother of Aeacus, a mythological king who was born on the island and went on to become its king. With its beautiful beaches, archaeological monuments and charming villages, Aegina is a popular getaway destination.
Things to do in Aegina
Aegina’s most famous landmark is the Temple of Aphaea, which is dedicated to a goddess associated with fertility and the agricultural cycle. Established around 500 BC, it rises atop a hilltop on the eastern side of the island and was famously depicted by Romantic painters such as William Turner. Almost all of its original Doric columns still stand today and figurines dating back to the Bronze Age have been uncovered at the site.
Near the island’s main port is the Archaeological Museum of Aegina, which was founded in 1828 by the Greek statesman, Ioannis Kapodistrias. Housed within a historic building centred around a porticoed patio, it exhibits artefacts discovered across the island. Highlights of the collection include an etched carnelian bead, ancient coins and artefacts from the Indus Valley Civilisation.
For a day at the beach, head to Agia Marina, where you’ll find a golden sweep of sand overlooking the Saronic Gulf. The shallow waters make it ideal for families and there are plenty of cafes backing the beach where you can dine throughout the day. On the other side of Aegina is Paralia Marathona, which offers views of the islands of Moni and Agistri.
Getting around Aegina
Regular ferries connect to Aegina from the Athens port of Piraeus, which is around 45 minutes’ drive from Athens International Airport. Buses travel around the island and taxis are readily available. Renting a bicycle or moped is a popular way of exploring Aegina.