Europe Travel

1 well-kept secret travel destination in Greece: Aegina

 

Female blogger Heidigoestravelling tasting pistachios

My favourite type of vacation is off-the-beaten-path vacations, away from big tourist flocks. This summer was no exception as I spent two weeks on Aegina, another of the Saronic islands and one of Greece’s well-kept secret

Small white-painted lighthouse in front of deep-blue sea water
Home to the first Greek government during the Greek independence war and after independence (1821), Aegina is just a short 50 minutes boat ride away from Piraeus, Athens main port, but it feels a world away from the Greek capital’s mayhem. The island is totally off the touristic radar, almost only known by the Greeks themselves and this is what I like the most about this island, its authentic, untouched feel.

The flow of an island life is unlike any other: laidback and uncomplicated; Aegina is no exception. Out of all the Saronic islands, Aegina is my favourite. It’s more vibrant as well as culturally active than Hydra or Spetses. There is something for everyone on this island: the more sophisticated crowds seeking to enjoy its cosmopolitan feel, the ones looking for cultural happenings and families in search of the quiet family life.

Picture of Aegina's waterfront with on the left side honey-coloured small houses and shops and on the right docked sailing boats

As for all the Saronic islands, the only way to travel to Aegina is by boat. When you arrive in the Chora’s (the island’s main town) harbor, you’re greeted by a waterfront made of honey-coloured neoclassical buildings and the mighty Agios Nikolaos (Saint Nicolas) church, all surrounded by plenty of lush pistachios orchards, the island’s specialty.

Paved street surrounded by honey-coloured buildings and shops

Honey-coloured Greek orthodox church building on Aegina's waterfront

FUN FACT: Aegina is one of the world’s biggest “fistiki” or pistachio’s producers. They’ve even created their own Pistachio Festival, which aim is to promote the cultivation of the pistachio known internationally as the “Aegina Pistachio”.

Verdant pines and pistachios groves, ochre-coloured hills, honey-coloured houses, deep to turquoise blue water, what strikes you the most when you’re on the island is its colour palette. And let’s speak about the sunset, so gorgeous you’ll think you’re dreaming!

Pistachio tree on Aegina

View of the island of Aegina from the top of a mountain

Sunset on from a beach in Aegina

FUN FACT: Speaking of amazing sunsets, Aegina is known worldwide for its incredible light, so much so that many painters, writers and photographers chose to live on the island to be constantly inspired, such as Nikos Kazantzakis (he wrote Zorba the Greek) or Nektarios Kontovrakis.

There is no shortage of things to do on Aegina. Some of the island’s highlights are the monastery of the holy trinity and the adjacent church of Agios Nektarios as well as the stunning Temple of Aphaia. By the way, visiting this temple dedicated to the goddess Aphaia and as well preserved as the Parthenon – minus the flock of tourists – feels like being on a private tour!

Picture of honey-coloured massive Greek orthodox church

Picture of well-preserved antique Greek temple

Isn’t it nice to indulge into a bit of shopping when on holidays? Aegina has plenty of shopping options to choose from, from the usual touristic shops to cute little designer boutiques all to be discovered when venturing into the town’s back streets. Some of my favourites are:

Shop window showcasing different decorative objects

Shop window showcasing jewellery pieces
Your thing is more tasting local specialties? There is no shortage of tempting places to eat and drink on the island. Two of my favourites are:

  • The Aegina Yacht club, for its location, scrumptious grilled cheese aka Saganáki and divine Mastiha ice cream;
  • Skotadis, for the kindness of their staff and the fresh grilled fish or ceviche

Picture of the terrace of a traditionnal Greek restaurant facing a marina
And let’s not forget the beaches?! There are several good sandy beaches on the island. Some of my favourites are:

  • Kolona, for its location (right next to the archaeological site of the Temple of Apollo) and its untamed nature;
  • Fyki Beach/Aeginitissa, for the atmosphere and trendy beach bar;
  • Moni, for its turquoise-coloured water (feels like the Caribbean), its location and the atmosphere

Picture of beach with pastel-blue water surrounded by honey-coloured stone cliffs and green trees

Picture of white-painted wooden structure beach bar in Aegina showcasing taupe-coloured cushions and a big sun-shaped mirror

Picture of a wooden dock and turquoise-coloured water with two catamarans on the water

Picture of rainbow-coloured beach bar wall with a small table and medium sized wooden bench in front of it

Do you fancy an off-the-beaten-path vacation, go to Aegina! Plus it’s just an ideal quick hop from Athens so you won’t lose any of your precious vacay time on transportation!

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Xx, E.

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    charlotte
    September 10, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Very nice article 😊. Et merci pour les jolies adresses toujours très intéressantes à savoir. Voilà 1 île où j’ai très envie de retourner et de re-découvrir !

    • Reply
      heidigoestravelling
      September 11, 2018 at 10:14 pm

      Merci 😍 Ravie de pouvoir inspirer, susciter un intérêt pour une destination au travers de mes articles.

  • Reply
    sissa27
    September 10, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Oh million thanks for your article full sound insights! We re going to Athens in Oct to visit a friend and we ll try to go to Aegina 😎 lovely pictures too👌 keep your articles coming! Good job 💋

    • Reply
      heidigoestravelling
      September 11, 2018 at 10:18 pm

      Awe, thanks for those very lovely words 😍! It makes all the work worth it! Happy to be able to inspire you to discover a new destination. Would love to hear your impression if you end up going to Aegina!

  • Reply
    Weekend getaway in Hydra, Greece | heidi goes travelling
    September 16, 2018 at 10:18 pm

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