Aegina: the tourist magnet
Aegina is a picturesque island of undeniable beauty of the Saronic Gulf, located between Attica and the Peloponnese, surrounded by the islands of Agistri, Salamis, Methana, Poros. It is the second largest island of the Saronic Gulf after Salamis. The coastline stretches for 57 km. The population is about 17, 000 inhabitants. It lies at 16 nautical miles from Piraeus. The major part of the island is of volcanic origin.
How to get there
Aegina is connected with the mainland by regular ferries. The trip from Piraeus will take you 1 hour and 15 minutes. On board a high-speed "dolphin" you can reach it in 35 minutes.
Its profitable location between the Peloponnese and Attica, the two historic centers of Greek and European civilizations in ancient times made Aegina an important commercial center competing with cities of Asia Minor. Today the island has become a blooming "suburb" of Piraeus and Athens and a popular resort. Aegina offers its visitors ideal conditions for recreation and inspiration. Despite its small size, Aegina is in no way inferior to larger cosmopolitan islands. The island has well-developed infrastructure: frequent and regular public transport, taxis, tour buses, many restaurants, taverns, bars, discotheques, which can satisfy any visitor. For several decades it has attracted many Greek and foreign artists and writers.
Aegina has become a magnet for travelers looking for adventures and discoveries. For those interested in history and culture, Aegina is the perfect place. The island never ceases to amaze its guests: picturesque villages, the medieval town of Paleohora, historic monasteries and mansions. Thanks to numerous beaches and untouched nature, the island is suitable for those who love water sports, hiking, climbing, etc.
Myths & legends
According to myth, the island got its name from Naiad Aegina, the most beautiful of 20 daughters of the river god Asopus. Zeus, who fell in love with her, kidnapped and took her to the island of Oenone, which was later called after her. Aegina gave birth to a son Aeacus, who earned fame as the most just and pious among the Greeks. Zeus made Aeacus king of the island and turned ants into people so that his son had subjects. Therefore, its inhabitants were called Myrmidons (the Greek word μυρμήγκια means "ants"). Aegina is considered to be the birthplace of Achilles and Ajax - the two main characters of the Trojan War.
A bit of history
Aegina has always been a constant participant of Greek history. The island has been inhabited since 3500 BC. There are monuments of all historical periods, making it a potential center for studying Greek culture as a whole. Aegina reached the zenith of its fame in the Archaic period (734-459 BC), when it became a major trading and maritime power, amassing wealth from the transit trade with the ports of the Mediterranean region. The Aeginates took an active part in the revolution of 1821. In 1827 Aegina was declared the first capital of the new Greek state.