We deaprt in the morning from Athens catching the first ferry from the port of Pireaus. As the boat leaves the Port of Piraeus you can see the whole Attica Basin and the peaks of Parinitha, Penteli and Hymetus mountains. Within 10-15 minutes of departure you will be passing over the west coast of Salamina, where fleets of cargo and container ships lay in anchorage near and around the coast of Salamina waiting their turn to unload or load their goods from the commercial Port of Piraeus in Keratsini and Ikonio.
After only a further 5 minutes Salamina is left behind and, in the distance to the south, Aegina can already be seen across the glittering blue Saronic Gulf. When you enter the harbor, the small, white church of Saint Nikolas welcomes you (This tiny church can be your first stop after the hydrofoil docks and we enter into its beautifully painted interior). Your first impression is the modern type classical buildings, which are located along the sea front of the island and have earth tone colors which make them look even more beautiful at sunset.
Then you are free to walk in the narrow, paved streets and see the traditional houses, the churches with the blue domes and the shops with folk art. Don’t miss seeing the fish-market, the traditional restaurants that serve snacks with Ouzo (a Greek drink). Also the fishing boats, that are not only used for fishing but for sailing groceries as well.
You must try the world famous Aegina gourmet pistachio nuts, homemade rizogalo (rice pudding), marmalade and local cheese mizithra.The pistachios trees have been cultivated in Aegina since 1860. The ideal climate of the island and the unique soil composition lend exceptional flavor and aroma to the Aegina pistachio. This has distinguished it from other pistachios and earning well-deserved recognition as the finest pistachio in the world.
Also, you will find in Aegina picturesque houses, winding alleys, horse drawn carriages, fertile plains, olive trees, aquamarine waters and an abundance of wind flowers in the spring.
However, the most famous and interesting ancient monument of Aegina is the Temple of Athena Aphaea- situated in the centre of the island- which used to be among the most important religious centres in ancient Greece. The Temple of Aphaia, the ancient Aeginetan deity related to the Cretan Britomartis (Artemis), was built about 490B.C. Its Doric peripheral construction (having columns surrounding the building) of local gray limestone has been partially restored.
Alternative Tour Options:
There are so many other things to see in this area. Keep in mind that your driver is at your disposal, so if you would like to adjust the proposed itinerary at all, just let him know!
Comfortable clothing and sensible, flat-soled walking shoes are recommended. Sun glasses and sun screen are suggested.
Did you Know?
The Famous TV Chef Jamie Oliver visited the Greek island (Jamie does Athens), explored it and cooked all sorts of delicious food.
The Temple of Aphaia, the Acropolis of Athens and the Temple of Poseidon in Sounion geographically form an isosceles triangle known as ” the sacred triangle of antiquity”.