Aegina Town: The largest town and the "capital" of Aegina has the same name with the island. This is the main point of entry to the island, where you can find the most dining, housing, shopping and entertainment options.
Agia Marina: A small town at the east of the island.
Perdika: A small town at the southwestern part of the island.
Souvala: A small town at the northeastern part of the island.
Aegina can be reached by boat from Athens / Pireaus within 40-60 minutes. As a result, Aegina can be an ideal destination for a single-day round-trip travel from Athens. Nevertheless, Aegina is worth at least a day of your itinerary, and you may find yourself staying overnight. It is a wonderful island for swimming, eating, shopping, and clubbing. The Huffington Post named Aegina as "the most beautiful Greek island that you haven't heard of".
The best time of the year to visit Aegina (and every other Greek island) is during the summer months (June - August) when the water temperatures allow swimming in the exceptionally beautiful blue Greek sea. Thus, summer is the most touristic season (especially early-to-mid August), and most restaurants and hotels are open during this time. The locals are extremely friendly and helpful, and almost every merchant speaks excellent English.
In addition to the beach-type attractions, Aegina also has a rich history. You can find multiple ancient Greek archaeological sites, such as the Temple of Afaia and the Kolona archaeological site and museum. Moreover, Aegina was the first capital of modern Greece (1826-1827), and you can find historic buildings reflecting this period as well.
Aegina Town is the main point of entrance (by boat) where most hotels, restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops are located. Aegina town is located in the northwestern part of the island. There also exist other smaller towns around the island, such as Perdika (southwest), Souvala (northeast) and Agia Marina (east). Many beaches worth visiting are scattered along the routes from Aegina to Perdika and from Aegina to Souvala.
Aegina is also a destination for upper-middle-class Athenians longing to get out of the urban hustle of the city; they visit the island during weekends throughout the entire year or during the christmas and easter breaks. During the touristic off-season (i.e., October - April, especially weekdays), the population of the island significantly decreases, and Aegina better fits travelers that seek a quiet destination.
In Aegina (and in most of Greece), Greek is the primarily spoken language. Nevertheless, almost all locals are at least conversational in English, especially those working in the tourism industry (i.e., hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops). Thus, communicating in English should never be a problem. Other languages are not as prevalent.
Hellenic Seaways sails hourly to Aegina Town for 9,5 euro.
Bigger ferries take about 60 minutes and they are cheaper; they can also carry vehicles.
Nova Ferries (phone +302104126181) from Piraeus
Unless you have already purchased a round-trip hydrofoil or boat ticket, go ahead and get a departure time locked in from one of the various kiosks along the edge of the harbor before you get too far afield, or you may find yourself involuntarily spending a night on the island. Most ticket agents speak English and accept credit cards for the transaction.
Some more infrequent routes connect Pireaus with Souvala.
All the towns (Aigina town, Perdika, Agia Marina, Souvala) are walkable and you don't need a vehicle to explore and enjoy them.
Nevertheless, you will need some sort of transportation in order to move from one town to the other (e.g., from Aigina town to Perdika) or more important, in order to visit some of the beaches that are located outside each town's limits (highly recommended). Towards this end, you can:
take a bus from the port in Aegina town to the other towns (Perdika, Agia Marina, Souvala).
rent a bike, car or a motorbike
take a taxi
Car rental costs about 20-30 Euros/day. Car and motorbike rentals are located near the port of Aegina town.
Aegina is a triangle about 11 km on a side (83 sq km). The north and west coasts are fairly flat, well-populated, and easily accessible; the southeast is more rugged and wild, with smaller mountain and port villages.
Archaeological site of Kolona: The Temple of Apollo, overlooking the bay, is a five-minute walk from the port at Aegina. Turn to the left and start walking; admission to the museum is less than five Euros and will yield a fantastic experience. You can wear a swimsuit and have lunch in the nearby picnic area. The views from the top of the site are exciting, you can look over the island and the sea -- almost all the way to Piraeus.
Temple of Aphaia: Also, ask about the temple of Aphaia--it's gorgeous and huge, and can be reached by taxi or motorbike. It's surrounded by pines on a hilltop overlooking Agia Marina on the east side of the island. The admission there is only three or four Euros and on a clear day you can see for miles from its vantage point. There is a nice little cafe and shop across the street from the temple with a decent bathroom, as well.
Perdika ("Partridge") is a fishing village at the south end of the island's west coast, a half-hour bus or fifteen-minute taxi ride. Strolling around the town's peninsula gives you lovely views of sea, adjacent islands (including the spectacular, uninhabited Moni), and the volcanic Methana peninsula. A second long point of land, south across the narrow harbor from Perdika, is deserted except for goats and donkeys (and officially off-limits according to Hellenic Navy signs), but out at the end of it is the world's only seaside, 360-degree camera obscura: wait five minutes for your eyes to adjust, and the whole landscape slowly appears on the round wall, upside down.
St. Nektarios church: A large, elaborate, modern Orthodox church and monastery, lies about halfway between Aegina Town and Agia Marina. Across the road and uphill is the entrance path to Paleochora (Old Town). This is where the island's population retreated from pirates for several hundred years; though it has been deserted since the early 19th century, many of the dozens of churches still standing are maintained by island families. A walk up to the double church on the peak makes a quiet and beautiful hour.
Mt. Oros: The tallest peak on Aegina, called Oros ("mountain"), is 532m. A motorbike will take you about halfway up, and the footpath, fairly well marked by cairns, takes another 30 or 45 minutes. At the top is a church, and from there you can see 360 degrees of the Saronic Gulf: Sounio, Athens, the Corinth Canal (almost), Methana, Poros.
Nikos Kazantzakis' memorial house: Nikos Kazantzakis, one of the most famous European authors, used to live in Aegina for an extended period, in a seaside residence at the north part of the island. He authored some of his famous works in this residence.
Kuverneio (Government House): Located in the town of Aegina, this is the official residence and principal workplace of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first head of state of the modern Greek republic (1826-1827).
During summer, the sea is warm enough to swim. As in most of Greece, the sea and beaches in Aegina are exceptionally beautiful. You may choose a beach depending on the weather / wind at the time, as on a given day it may be wavy on one side of the island but not on another. Here are some beach recommendations:
Aeginitissa: Closer to the southern part of the island and to Perdika. A beach bar also exists there. This beach attracts a lot of the younger "trendy" crowds.
Aqua Loca: Located at the western part of the island. A beach bar also exists there, which also operates during the night. More quiet and chill than Aeginitissa.
Marathonas A & B: Two adjacent beaches at the western part of the island.
Kolona beach: Within walking distance from the town of Aegina, this beach is next to a visible archaeological site and a small pine forest with picnic tables.
All of the above beaches are equipped with umbrellas and plastic chaise loungers that you can rent.
North-side beaches: Many beautiful beaches exist at the north part of the island along the route between Aegina town and Souvala. Follow this route and find the beach that looks most appealing to you. These beaches may lack the bars and the umbrella rentals but they are more quiet and scenic.
The routes between Aegina town and Perdika, or between Aegina Town and Souvala are very scenic. The road is right next to the sea. Some parts of these routes are elevated on a cliff. The scenery is similar to Highway 1 in California. These routes also offer nice sunset views. Follow one of these scenic drives with a car, bike or motorbike.
Numerous cafes operate along the waterfront in Aegina town and they offer views to the sea, the harbor and to beautiful sunsets. Drinking coffee in Greece is an activity that extends well beyond picking the coffee and going away. It is very usual to order a coffee and sit at such a seaside location for an hour or two, relaxing, discussing, and reading newspapers.
You can try "Frappe" a Greek coffee, which is very strong.
Inn on the beach is a cafe/bar at the southern part of Aegina town. A part of this establishment is on a platform that extends to the sea, beyond the mainland, thus you can essentially enjoy your drink as close to the water as possible.
Numerous restaurants exist in Aegina, which offer fresh seafood and other authentic Greek dishes.
The best waterfront taverna may be the one at the north end (from the pier, turn left), called Flisvos.
Somewhat hidden in the middle of town is Patitiri, with simple but excellent traditional food.
Try charcoal-grilled octopus at Geladakis taverna in Aegina town.
Ammos ("sand"), south of the main port about a 7 minute drive, is a hidden gem. Amazing fish and white tarama. Eat on the beach.
Nontas Fish Restaurant, Perdika 18010 Aegina Island, ☎ +30 22970 61233, . Nontas fish restaurant in Aegina Greece, famous for its location by the sea, its friendly service and its seafood and fish delicacies! edit
In Aghia Marina, go to Pita Toms, where soulvakis and gyros are fresh and inexpensive (1,60 euro).
Perdhika, at the southwest tip of the island, has a whole row of good tavernas.
An essential part of the Greek cuisine is comprised by the food offered by numerous establishments offering Souvlaki and Gyro ("souvlatzidika"). These establishment typically offer food "to-go", even though many are also equipped with tables where you can sit. Try a pita with gyro and tzatziki, or a souvlaki (kalamaki), which can be eaten alone on a skewer or in a pita like gyro. Here are some suggestions for "souvlatzidika" in Aegina town:
A landmark, family owned business in Aegina town offering traditional Greek deserts is Pagoudis @ Spyrou rodi 47 (ΠΑΓΟΥΔΗΣ, ΣΠ. ΡΟΔΗ 47). Try Ravani (Ραβανί), Galaktoboureko (Γαλακτομπούρεκο) and Κadaifi (Κανταΐφι).
Numerous hotels and rooms to rent exist in Aegina town as well as the nearby towns.
Aegina Hotel, a 5 minute walk from the main port, is simple and friendly. 35 euros per night (45 peak) with 5 euro breakfast. Good wifi, extremely friendly and welcoming hosts. Victor sells beautiful necklaces from the lobby. Aura makes tasty breakfast. Rent their ATV or bike and be sure to get directions and landmarks from them.
Antzi studios, . Welcome to Antzi studios in Aegina. Our hotel in Aegina Island is a family run hotel, offering accommodation in studios and apartmentsedit
Violent crime is essentially absent from the island of Aegina. It is safe to walk around the streets of its towns even at night.
Be aware that several clubs and bars in Greece do not always serve legitimate alcoholic drinks but instead they serve cheaper imitations containing methanol instead of alcohol, which are also known as "μπομπες" (bombs). These drinks can make you drunk quickly, and they cause worse hangovers and even considerable health problems if consumed at large quantities. You'll be perfectly safe if you drink beer, which is never altered, instead of hard liquor. If you really want to drink hard liquor, then it's best to consult with a local whether a specific establishment offers proper ("clean") alcoholic drinks.
Traveler's tip: be sure to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen while touring Aegina and its beaches. The weather feels mild and can fool you into thinking you're not as dehydrated as you are.