Aegina PDF Print

aegina.mapIn the middle of the Saronic Gulf, sixteen and a half nautical miles from the port of Pireaus, in the light blue waters of myth and history lies Aegina, or according to Herodotus, the island of Aeginai, the first capital of modern Greece, the island whose ancient name has remained unchanged throughout the ages.

According to the ancient Greek myth, Aegina was the loveliest of river Asopos twenty daughters.  Zeus, father of men and gods, fell in love with her.  He transformed himself into an eagle and carried her away from Flious (today called Ai-Giorgos, East of Arcadia) to the then uninhabited island of Oinoni directly in the middle of the Saronic Gulf.  The fruit of their love was Aeacus, who became the first and last king of the island that bore the name of his mother, Aegina, (or Aigina).

Aegina’s climate is Mediterranean, i.e. dry and healthy with few rainfalls, which explains why the island has always been an ideal travel spot, whether for health reasons, or for winter or summer holidays.

The city of Aegina, which takes its name from the island itself, is situated on the western side of the island.  As you enter the harbour that is buzzing with life, the small, snow-white and picturesque chapel of Ai-Nikolas (St. Nicholas) welcomes you from the jetty on the waterfront.  The church of St. Nicholas, patron of the sailors, was build with funds raised by the seamen of Aegina. Saint Nicholas is so greatly adored by the local mariners that a common wish to those who is going to sail  is: “may the saint sit at your rudder”.

The Acropolis Museum

The new Acropolis Museum is 25000 sq ft with an exhibition space of 14000sq ft, ten times larger that the orginal museum and having all the features of a modern international 21st century museum.

The Acropolis Museum is in the historical area of Makriyianni, southeast of the Rock of the Acropolis.


The Temple of Aphaia

The sanctuary of Aphaia is located at the northeastern tip of Aegina, overlooking the headland of Agia Marina, on a pine-clad hill offering a panoramic view over the sea.  The site is known to have been a place of worship during prehistoric times (around 1300 BC), when it was associated with a female fertility deity, as we deduce from the finds dating back to prehistoric times (probably from the beginning of 2nd  mellenium BC).  The most prominent of these finds is the statuette of a female figure nursing a baby, which was brought to light through archaeological excavations.

Aphaia named Britomartis daughter of Zeus and Karme and a dear companion of Artemis.. Minos, king of Crete, loved Bitomartis, and to escape his attentions, she jumped into the sea.  However, she became entangled in fishing nets.  Artemis saved the girl from drowning and turned her into a goddess, venerated by the Cretes with the name Dictinna (translator ‘s note: the Greek word for nets is “dictia”).   The Aeginitans believed that Britomartis emerged in Aegina, where she became invisible (translator ‘s note: the Greek word Aphaea means “invisible”) and lived in a forest.  Thus, she was worshiped with the name Aphaea.

Remarkable is the fact that the distance (44,64 Km.) between the temple of Aphaea in Aegina and Acropolis of Athens is the same as the distance between the temple of Aphaea and the temple of Poseidon in Sounio (cape in Athens). 

Agios Nektarios

On Aegina’s  main road leading to the inland, 6 km west of Aegina town is found the location Xantos, with a new-built large church and the old renowned monastery of Agios Nektarios.  The nunnery is built over the ruins of the Byzantine monastery of Zoodoxos Pigi, opposite the medieval city of Paliahora where the miracle-working saint Agia Anastasia lived as a hermit in the 9th century.  Agia Triada was erected in 1904 and the foundations were laid by Agios Nektarios himself on 1st January 1906.  At that time Agios Nektarios was still director of the Rizzarios School and the foundations were laid with the approval of the Metropolitan bishop, Theoklitos.  When Nektarios resigned from his post in the ecclesiastical school he inaugurated his monastery (2nd June 1908) and retired there, where he spent the rest of his life in strict ascetic practice and prayer.   

When the Saint died on 8th November his relics, were buried on the right side of the church, under a tall, deep-shaded pine tree.  His grave and monastery remains to our days full of votive offerings and they are a place of religious pilgrimage, where thousands of devout believers flock daily to worship and begging his mediation for their physical health and spiritual deliverance.

Hellenic Wildlife Hospital 

At the foot of the hill descending from Lazarides, one comes across the Hellenic Wildlife Hospital (HWH).  This is the first organization in Greece to obtain official permission to possess, treat, transport and release all species of indigenous wildlife. Hundreds of volunteers from Greece and elsewhere have gained an unforgettable experience by taking part in different activities organized by the HWH.  All those who are interested in contributing to wildlife protection and maintaining the cleanliness of the facilities can be put up by the HWH, where they may gain an unforgettable experience by working with the animals.

Perdika - Moni         

Perdika is a picturesque fishing village built around a natural harbour, protected by the wind, in the southwestern tip of the island.  Its name (Perdika in Greek means “partridge”) is derived from the numerous partridges of the woods that existed in the area before its development.  Archaeological excavations tell us that Perdika was inhabited during the Mycenean Age.

A mere ten minutes away from Perdika by boat lies the uninhabited islet off the southwest point of Aegina called Moni.  The small island derives its name from the monastery of Panagia Chrysoleontissa, but according to the renowned traveler R. Chandler the name means “isolated skerry”.

How to get here 

Aegina is located about two hours away from one of the safest and well organized airports in the world.  It takes one hour to get from the airport to the port of Piraeus by train or bus, and fifty to seventy minutes is the distance between Piraeus and Aegina by hydrofoil or boat.

Where to stay  

Apollo, Agia Marina  -  http://www.apollohotel.gr/

Argo Hotel, Agia Marina  -  http://www.argohotel.com/index-uk.htm

Danai, Aegina  -  http://www.danaehotel.gr/cms/

Anatoli, Agia Marina  -  http://www.e-anatoli.gr/

Faros Inn, Aegina  -  http://hotelfarosinn.gr/online/

Fistikies Holiday Apartments, Aeginahttp://www.fistikies.gr/online/

Irides Luxury Studios  -  http://www.irides.gr/

Klonos Anna Hotel  -  http://www.klonosanna.gr/eng/intro.html

We recommend that our visitors inform us of their desired time period that they wish to travel to our island, to request our help in choosing the best choice of accommodations available.

Where to eat 

Babis, Aeginahttp://www.babisaegina.gr/online/

Manitas, Leonti -  http://www.omanitas.gr/online/

Home-made traditional recipes with the pistachio as the basic ingredient for explorers of unique smells and tastes.

Getting around

Taxi              +30 22970 22635.
Local bus:      +30 22970 22787
Local information website



 
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