Aegina island is one of the Saronic Islands, 27 kilometers from Athens. The town of Aegina was the first capital of the Modern Greek state after the Greek Revolution. It is considered the jewel of the Saronic Gulf by its numerous local and foreign fans. It is also known for its unique peanut variety which is cultivated in its territory and carries its name; you can explore the ancient Temple of Athena Aphaia, whose location forms an equilateral triangle with the locations of the Temple of the Parthenon in Athens and the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion and you can visit the famous Monastery of Saint Nektarios, a place of pilgrimage for thousands of Orthodox Christians each year. Several beaches are waiting there for you to swim, like Akrogiali, La Palma, Aerides Vagia, Moni, Klima and much more.
Our one-day excursion starts from the port of Piraeus, where we embark on the ferry to the famous island of Aegina. The ship departs at 8:20 a.m. and after a short and pleasant voyage, we will arrive at the port of Aegina, around 09:40 a.m.
We start our excursion from the harbour, turning right along the beach, with direction to Marathon beach. We will follow the steep asphalt road and for about 5 km we will reach the Pahia Rahi village. On getting to the village, we will turn left towards Lazarides village. It’s time to left behind the asphalt road and enters a forest one, which runs through a magnificent pine forest. Meanwhile, we will enjoy a plethora of the picturesque views of Angistri small island in the Saronic Gulf; Salamis island, where the great Battle of Salamis took place between Themistocles and King Xerxes in 480 BC. and the small islets of Leoussi and Moni, covered by pine-trees, retaining the wild beauty of the pristine landscape. Keeping on, we will cross Tzikides village, admiring the village’s traditional houses, and Methana, which it is situated on a volcanic peninsula, attached to the Peloponnese and Galatas.
After approximately 4 km, we will explore the chapel of St. Anargyri, where we will stop for pictures and a short rest under the shadows of the trees. Then, we will descend for another 3 km and we will ride in the ring road of the island with direction to the famous Agia Marina beach. We will cycle through the village and will continue our ride towards the archaeological site of the goddess Aphaia, who was worshipped almost exclusively at a single sanctuary on the island of Aegina. The road is steep and passes through a pine forest. We will arrive at the entrance of the Temple of Aphaia at about 12:40 am. We will spare about 1 hour and 20 minutes to visit the archaeological site and the museum. There, we can also have some rest at a kiosk tasting some snacks, and ice creams or refreshment to gain our lost energy.
Leaving Aphaia, we will continue our journey towards the Monastery of Saint Nektarios. The road here is asphalt and easy to ride. We will continue our ride downhill on Mesagros village, crossing another green pine forest. At this point, we will turn right and cycle up to the hill of Paleochora, which is the oldest town of Aegina, whose main characteristic was the 365 churches, each one dedicated to each day of the year. Unfortunately, only 38 churches have survived, but some are in very good condition to visit and take pictures, just following a short hiking trail of about 200 meters.
Next, we will depart towards Souvala port, crossing the coastal road and meeting the town of Aegina in front of us. We will cycle across the old dock and the house where Nikos Kazantzakis, the great writer of “Zorba”, lived for a while, to feel as free as he could, during the German occupation of Greece.
If the weather permits, we will stop for about two hours, to enjoy the picturesque seaside, swim in the crystal waters of the island and relax on the beach. The deck chairs, under the natural shade of the trees, are waiting for us to taste a glass or a bottle of cold ouzo and taste some Greek “mezedes” from the local kiosk. After our break, we are ready to ride towards the city of Aegina. We will cycle, next to the old lighthouse and the medieval tower-villa, two must-see areas, arriving in Aegina town at about 17:00 p.m. A break will follow providing you with the chance to have some leisure time till 17:50 p.m. and taking some more pictures. Don't forget to taste the famous Aegina’s pistachios and drink a Greek coffee in a local “cafeneio”, staring the local streetwalkers and imagine their every-day habits.
Just before the end of our trip, we will board in the ship, which will bring us back to the port of Piraeus. Don’t forget to enjoy the sea breeze, watching from the deck the upcoming sunset and reflect on your experience and feelings. Piraeus port is waiting for us, at around 19:45 p.m., to welcome us back to the Attika land.