Check out the best things to do on Aegina, a charming Saronic island that’s just an hour away from Athens.
*This post was updated 8/2017.
Things to Do on Aegina
This beautiful scene is just a one-hour ferry trip away.
I think it’s a perfect little day trip so if you have limited time. It is one way to see a Greek island or swim at a Greek island beach.
Introduction to Aegina
According to Greek mythology, the island’s name derives from the most beautiful of the twenty daughters of the river god named Asopos. There are ancient sites to see, pretty beaches to relax at, historic sights to snap shots of and local specialties to try. For a little island, there are lots of things to do.
If you spend a day or even a weekend here you can fill your time happily by exploring all Aegina has to offer.
Best Things to Do on Aegina
Stroll the Harbor
Ferries and boats dock right in Aegina Town, the main town of the island. While you’re there you can take a short tour in a horse-drawn carriage.
Check out the Tower of Markellos
One of the things to do on Aegina is seek out the salmon pink Tower of Markellos in Aegina Town. It was built in the 17th century as a Venetian fortification and later used as a headquarters during the Greek Revolution of 1821.
Visit the Archaeological Site of Kolona
Another one of the top things to do on Aegina is visit the archaeological site of Kolona. During ancient times, a fantastic Doric temple dedicated to the god Apollo was built here. A monolithic column that formed part of the temple remains and it was an important reference for Venetian sailors who named the area Colonna. The Archaeological Museum of Aegina can be visited here.
Tip: You can stay at the super hospitable and cozy Rastoni B&B for a great view of this ancient site from your room.
Admire the Temple of Aphaia
The Temple of Aphaia is another top sight in Aegina. This ancient temple predates the Parthenon in Athens. With Sounion’s Temple of Poseidon on the Athenian Riviera and the Parthenon in Athens – the Temple of Aphaia is the third link to a hypothetical isosceles triangle. Precious artifacts from the temple can be seen at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.
Tip: The Archaeological Museum of Aphaia is located right next to the ancient temple.
Paleahora, which means old village, was once the island’s capital. There are dozens of stone chapels left including the twin chapel of Saints George and Demetrius where a medieval fortress once stood.
Visit the Monastery of Agios Nektarios
Orthodox pilgrims visit this holy site to honor the first modern saint of Greece. Built in the 20th century, the monastery honors Saint Nectarios who was considered to be a miracle worker.
Spend Time in Scenic Perdika
Another one of the top things to do on Aegina island is visit Perdika. Drive or take a short boat ride from Kalamaki to reach the little scenic fishing port of Perdika. One of the best things to do here is dine at a fish taverna meal.
Take a Boat Trip to Moni Island
Near Perdika, you can find an uninhabited little isle called Moni (except for a few peacocks and Kri-Kri goats). The little beach has a sandy bottom, beautiful clear water and there is also a taverna offering refreshments and snacks.
From Perdika you can take a 10-minute water taxi to the uninhabited place which has a pretty little beach and turquoise water.
There’s also a few boats that leave from Aegina Town (20-minute ride). 9 euro round trip/per person.
Swim at Sarpa Beach and Klima Beach
Ask any local or Aegina fan and they’ll say Sarpa is one of the most – if not the most – beautiful beach on the island. Set on the southwestern coast of Aegina, near Perdika, it features thick sand and pebbles. Another nice beach nearby is Klima Beach.
Eat Aegina’s Famous Pistachios
This island is pistachio land. Yes, they are harvested here with passion and they are considered the best in the world. In fact, a festival dedicated to the nut takes place here each year called the Fistiki Fest. If you happen to be around in mid-September, check it out. You can head to Eakion, a local pastry shop, to buy all types of pistachio products.
Try Local Seafood Dishes
Besides the variety of sweets and snacks possible with pistachios – oh, there are many – you can dine on local seafood. Two to try are the grey mullet (often salted called lykourinos) and katsoula.
The octopus is excellent too!
In Aegina Town, behind the main road and near the fish market, you’ll bump into a line of fish taverns.
Visit a Museum
The Christos Kapralos Museum was once the workshop of the famous Greek sculptor and now hosts pieces of his work. Located in the Plakakia district of Aegina Town, it is close to the home of famous Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis. However, Kazantzakis’ home is not open to the public.
The Folklore Museum of Aegina is located in the center of the Aegina Town. Here, you can find rare manuscripts, maps, traditional costumes, vintage furniture and other cultural artifacts.
Founded in the early 19th century, the Archaeological Museum of Aegina was the first museum to be established in the modern Greek State. It’s right next to Kolona and has artifacts from the Temple of Aphaia, a statue from the Temple of Apollo and Neolithic pottery.
How to Get to Aegina from Athens
International travelers can find the best deals on Vayama for flights arriving at Athens International Airport. From Athens, you can take the metro or a cab to the city’s port of Piraeus.
Ferries depart frequently (almost every hour) from Piraeus to Aegina. The Flying Dolphin (passengers only) takes 40 minutes and a regular ferry (loads cars and motorcycles) takes around about an hour and 15 minutes. You can check ferry schedules here. Ticket prices depend on the type of boat, from 8 to 14 euro/one way.
You can also take a one-day cruise departing from Athens and visit Aegina along with two other Saronic islands. I highly recommend the Full-Day Cruise to Aegina, Poros and Hydra. Another good option is the Cruise to Aegina, Poros and Hydra Day Cruise with Lunch.
Where to Stay on Aegina
I highly recommend Rastoni hotel in Aegina Town. Full review here.
This lovely little hotel is just a few minutes’ walk from where the ferry docks. Expect hospitable service, comfortable clean rooms and a beautiful garden. Click here to check the best prices and availability for the Rastoni.
How to Get Around Aegina
It’s not necessary to rent a car on Aegina or bring one. You can get around by foot. If you want to go to certain towns or beaches, you can hire a taxi at the port. You can also rent a scooter for a day when you arrive in Aegina Town.
That sums up my best things to do on Aegina island. Have you been? Would you add anything else to this list?