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Attica, the Saronic Gulf Islands, and Delphi Travel Guide

Aegina

The eastern side of Aegina is rugged and sparsely inhabited today, except for Ayia Marina, a former fishing hamlet now studded with hotels. The western side of the island, where the main hub of Aegina town lies, is more fertile and less mountainous than the east; fields are blessed with grapes, olives, figs, almonds, and, above all, the treasured pistachio trees. Idyllic seascapes, quaint

backstreets, and a number of beautiful courtyard gardens, make Aegina town attractive. A large population of fishermen adds character to the many waterfront café–taverna hybrids serving ouzo and beer with pieces of grilled octopus, home-cured olives, and other mezedes (appetizers). Much of the ancient city lies under the modern. Although some unattractive contemporary buildings (and some less well-preserved older ones) mar the harborscape, a number of well-preserved neoclassic buildings and village houses are found on the backstreets. It takes between 60 and 90 minutes for ferries from Piraeus to dock at Souvala, a sleepy fishing village on the island's northern coast, or at the main port in Aegina town.

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