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1 well-kept secret travel destination in Greece: Aegina

Dernière mise à jour : 16 mars

Female blogger Heidigoestravelling tasting pistachios

My favourite type of holiday 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

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. However, it feels a world away from the Greek capital’s mayhem. The island is totally off the touristic radar. Only the Greeks themselves know about this island. This is the reason I like it, its authentic, untouched feel.

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 (which is 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 speciality.

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. The island’s colour palette is what strikes you the most when you’re on it. 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. 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. One of my favourites is:

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:

  1. The Aegina Yacht club, for its location, scrumptious grilled cheese aka Saganáki and divine Mastiha ice cream;

  2. Skotadis, for the kindness of their staff and the fresh grilled fish or ceviche

And let’s not forget the beaches?! There are several good sandy beaches on the island. Some of my favourites are:

  1. Kolona, for its location (right next to the archaeological site of the Temple of Apollo) and its untamed nature;

  2. Fyki Beach/Aeginitissa, for the atmosphere and trendy beach bar;

  3. 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 holiday, go to Aegina! It’s only a quick hop from Athens, so you won’t lose any of your precious vacay time on transportation!

Xx, E.

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