A holiday on the Greek Island Aegina

AeginaSince Saturday I am on the Greek Island Aegina, located in the Argo-Saronic gulf. It was a long trip getting here, but it was so worth it. I had never been to Greece before, so I was very excited to go for the first time. Next weekend we will celebrate the Orthodox Easter again and while I am not religious, I am looking forward to the celebrations as I am interested in the tradition. I am here another six days and while the weather in Lugano is great, it’s just not as fantastic as here.

How to get to Aegina

The closest airport to Aegina is Athens International Airport, called Eleftherios Venizelos, located 25km outside the centre of Athens. Easyjet offers non-stop flights from London Gatwick to Athens, so does British Airways and Ryanair.  It is very important to make sure you arrive not much later than 3pm or to leave before noon on your way back. If you arrive after 3pm you will not be able to make it to the island on the same day or on the way home to reach the airport in time. You can only get to the island by boat and the boat timetables can change according to the season.

When to visit Aegina

It’s best to visit Aegina outside of the high holiday season. Spring and autumn are great times to visit the island. It’s not even May and I went swimming in the sea today. It’s sunny, warm and energising. Aegina is actually known to have the mildest climate in Greece.

Aegina’s History

A myth says that the island was named after the most beautiful of Asopos twenty daughters. Asopos is the river good in the Greek mythology who eloped with Zeus to the then deserted island. There is evidence that the island was inhabited from as early as 3500 B.C. The island had a strong economic and social growth between around 900 B.C. and 480 B.C. and minted the first coins anywhere in Greece during the 7th century before Christi. Aegina was also actually the first capital of modern Greece, but only for two years from 1827 to 1829. If you are interested in (Greek) history, you will not be disappointed here. I have yet to visit the temple in Aegina, but will probably do so on Friday.

Perfect for the independent traveller

Aegina is a real living and working island, making the island very attractive for travelers who would like to have a real travel experience rather than being surrounded by lots of other tourists. Aegina is not as ‘perfect’ as some of the other Greek islands aimed at tourists. Don’t get me wrong: While the beaches are lovely, they are not as ‘pretty’ as the beaches in Santorini or Mykonos.  Aegina mainly hosts Greek weekend visitors, especially people from Athens of whom many have a second home here. So, if you are looking for perfect white sand beaches, then Aegina is not for you, but if you want to get the real Greek experience, book your Aegina holiday.

Aegina Beaches

Aegina Island Greece Sea Beach

There are several good sandy beaches on the island and the water is crystal clear. I was in Marathonas today and it was great. The water was clean, warm enough for a swim and La Palma offers free sunbeds and umbrellas to their customers. La Palma is a cafe, bar and restaurant offering a pleasant service located at the beginning of Marathonas beach on the west side of the island. The prices are very reasonable, I paid 20,80€ (£16.35) for a Pina Colada, one Gin&Tonic, two large scoops of ice cream and two coke zeros. From Marathonas beach you can see the islands Moni, Agistri and Methana as well as the Peloponnese mainland.

Aegina Island Greece Beach Water

Where to Stay on Aegina

I am staying in a private holiday home in Aegina, in a small village called Pachia Rachi. However, there are some amazing hotels and apartments on the island that have been recommended to me.

My personal favourite is Marini Luxury Apartments and Suites. Not only does it have an outdoor pool, but also a fitness centre and is set amidst a beautiful landscaped garden. Every room is equipped with a hairdryer, a private bathroom including free toiletries, a satellite TV, laptop safe and even a refrigerator. A restaurant serves Greek cuisine and you can order cocktails as well as snacks at the pool. Activities for all guests include yoga lessons, traditional dances and aqua aerobic. There are many other great hotels and apartments on Aegina.

What to Wear on Aegina

Overall, I think Aegina is a great destination to travel to as you get a lot for not much money. Accommodation, restaurants and the activities are all very reasonable priced.

Have you been to Aegina or to another island in Greece? What did you think? Would you travel to Aegina?

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